Part I – The Beginning of a Story - The Problem
I found this story when I was watching local news, channel 6 WAITE in Knoxville. The story – how Coca-Cola is fighting Covid-19. Coke! I was hooked!
All stories start with a problem, and this one was global – a shortage of test tubes for Covid-19 testing. How could test tubes ever be a world-wide problem?
These tubes are special. They start life as plastic preforms, small plastic tubes that are heated and blown into shape. But there’s more . . . They can’t leak. They have to be large enough to hold any size swab, and millions must be made every week. It’s a BIG problem!
Part 2 – The Middle – Step 1
This could be a set of Covid-19 tests. Do you see the swab and the vial? Back in May there were not enough test kits around, and something had to be done.
The US Department of Health and Human Services reached out to the Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL), which is near Knoxville, Tennessee. They talked to Lonnie Love, the lead coronavirus scientist, about options.
Step 2 Lonnie knew the people at Coke, and talked to them about what they needed. They decided the preform from Coke looked like a perfect match for the testing kit.
Step 3 Lonnie and ORNL asked Coke for preform samples, like that first tube. They worked together to decide if the preform test tubes could be used in the kits.
Look above at the kits again. Those packages include the swab, saline solution, and the test tube. The tubes have to be big enough for the swabs to fit inside, and the cap has to seal on top. Coke’s do!
Coke preforms have a screw-top lid that’s tamper-proof, and it seals so there won’t be any leaks.
Step 4 Lonnie’s team checked out the preforms first. Then they picked Longhorn Vaccines-Diagnostics in San Antonio, Texas to do more testing.
Lonnie wanted Longhorn to double check to make sure the preform met all their requirements. They’re one of the five companies that make covid-19 tests.
Step 5 Within 24 hours, Lonnie got a call from Longhorn. They said, “Coke is it!”
Step 6 Lonnie’s team did another set of tests to make sure the preforms were leak proof. They also made sure bacteria couldn’t grow inside. How? They either heated them to a high temperature, or cleaned them in an ethanol solution. Ethanol is a grain alcohol.
Step 7 Lonnie also reached out to Sandia National Laboratories to work on sterilizing the preforms. It has to be done before they can be used in testing kits.
Sandia uses Gamma Irradiation for sterilization. It’s the best way to safely and economically sterilize huge amounts of medical equipment. Randy Schunk led the Sandia engineering team. Their job – to figure out the right amount of gamma rays. Enough to sterilize the tubes, but not so much that it damaged the preforms, their caps, and their contents. Then they’d be useless.
Look at the Y line. It shows how gamma radiation works. The waves can travel through paper and aluminum, but only a third of them can make it through lead or concrete.
STEP 8 Sandia’s job is to figure out the right amount of gamma radiation to clean the preforms but not damage them. They’ll share their results with the other companies around the country who sterilize the coke preforms.
Part 3 – The End – Step 9
On June 1, Coca-Cola announced this incredible story. Their Southeastern Container Company (SEC) from North Carolina had already produced 7 million tubes, in one week, for 7 million covid-19 kits.
Step 10 That was 8 weeks ago. Since then they have produced 56 million tubes for covid-19 kits.
Thanks to Coke, the US Department of Health and Human Services, Oak Ridge, Longhorn, and Sandia working together, 56 million people have been able to find out whether they’re positive or negative for covid-19. Each of these companies must feel proud of what they’ve done for their family, friends, communities, and country, and I’m proud of them. I hope you are too!
My Main Source for this Post
I wonder if that’s why someone invented the TILE. They needed it, and so did I. I wrote about it back on July 22, 2018. I titled the post Lost . . . and Found. Here’s the link: http://www.rindabeach.com/blog/lostand-found
Part 1 – What Worked!
Back then I kept losing things, like my keys or my purse.
Do you see the tile on my key ring? I haven’t lost them since. If they’re not where I think they are, I pull out my phone, click on the link for my keys, and wait for them to sing. The song usually comes from the depths of my purse.
Do you see it in the cosmetics bag? I always keep it in my purse. I haven’t lost it since, thanks to my tile.
Part 2 – What Didn’t!
Look below. I used all three of these things back in 2018. The Tiles workd, but not perfectly. When I’m not satisfied, I edit till I am . . . or till I think of something better.
I glued my first tile onto my Kindle. It worked . . . till the battery died. I ripped it off, and it left a hole in Van Gogh’s STARRY Night. I fixed it by taping on the next tile. That worked until the mailing tape got gross. I think I changed it two or three times . . . till I thought of something better. Tomorrow I’ll tell you my invention.
The bag in the middle was my subbing survival kit. I kept kleenexes and mints inside for when my allergies flared up. It helped at the lake with pollen too, and that’s where I lost it! I looked everywhere but my tile refused to sing. Maybe my signal couldn’t reach it, or maybe someone threw it away. Either way, it’s time to try something new!
Last year another problem cropped up. I needed my phone to track steps, but I couldn’t remember to carry it with me. Time for a new idea.
Tomorrow – I’ll share my three new solutions. Necessity might be the mother of invention, but I think it’s related to creativity too!
New Idea #1 – Try a Ribbon Around It!
I got a new cover, but I came up with an idea that didn’t leave a hole. Can you tell how?
new tiles have replaceable batteries. I’ll never need to cut the ribbon - unless I change the cover and need a matching ribbon.
New Idea #2 – Wear it Around Your Neck
I have a new phone and a new way to keep track of it. Can you guess what it is?
I found my bag online. Soon I’ll have it in three more colors. I can’t wait! I love when my accessories and clothes match.
New Idea #3 – Attach it to Your Lapboard
This is my laptop. I work on a lapboard so I can take my computer where ever I want. It’s lovely! I can work in a car, or on my couch in Ohio, or Tennessee. Anywhere, even outside! But, when my work started moving around with me, that’s when a problem popped up.
My mouse, the computer kind, would slide off my board and hit the floor. Then the back would pop open, and the batteries would roll every which way. I’d search, but they always found the most difficult place to hide. I bet if you look carefully you’ll see my solution.
Did you guess those three things at the edge of the lapboard? They’re actually pencil holders, and they work!
I found the idea at CVS when I had to sign my receipt. They had a pen in a holder to keep it in place. I thought about it. Then I wondered, could it work on my lapboard? It has! For 3 or 4 years! But then I found a problem – isn’t there always a problem? Can you guess what it is?
It’s the top! Occasionally the mouse slides off, but not often. If I redid my board, I’d add another holder at the top. But then I’d have to move the bottom red one down, probably an inch or two. Before pasting, I’d play with my mouse to make sure I allowed plenty of room.
Sometimes, the way it is, I don’t have enough room. I have to pick up the mouse. Then I can move the arrow to the right spot. That’s why editing is a GREAT THING! Take your time! Editing pays you BIG dividends!!
How can you learn to listen to mother and her necessities? You need to look at problems as opportunities. I pulled up this photo so you can look at the necklace.
Do you see the octopus? That’s easy! But look closer . . . closer . . . can you see what the octopus once was?
If you guessed a fork, you have problem-solving eyes. So does Karen from Yellow Cat Spoon Jewelry. She turns old silverware into amazing things. If you start looking around and thinking about what something could be, you’ll learn to think like Karen. If you’d like to check out her jewelry, head into Riverside Art Center in Wapakoneta, OH. You can also find her at this link:
Part 1 – The Wrong Way to Find Them
The images I use on my posts are half the story. Tonight I’m taking you behind the scenes. I didn’t know back when I wrote my first blog in November of 2016 that you have to be careful where you get your images.
Do you remember the Great American Eclipse? It happened on August 21, 2017. I wrote a post about it. Back then I used Bing to find images. That’s where I looked as a teacher, then as a new writer. I loved my images . . . until I got caught.
It seems like sometime in March of 2018 I got a letter from a group of lawyers.YIKES! I opened it up and saw . . . one of the images from my eclipse post. DOUBLE YIKES!!
This isn’t that image. The original was way better! It featured the Trump family – Donald, Melania, and Barron. They were standing on a White House balcony, wearing the special eclipse glasses to see the event safely. The photo was copyrighted to a French source.
I live in Wapakoneta, Ohio. I couldn’t believe someone in France could find me! It was actually a legal team with a great search engine. They stated in simple legal terms what I needed to do to clean this up.
I’m a retired teacher, and I don’t make money on my blog. I thought I was immune, but I’d been warned about this by writing friends. I looked at the letter again. I knew I’d done something wrong, and this time I couldn’t ignore it. So I called the number, confessed, and asked for mercy.
The legal team asked for two things. 1 – I had to pull down the image from my blog. That was easy. 2 – I had to pay a fine. That was harder. BUT, I confessed my error, and my fine was cut in half. Thank goodness!
I spent part of a year dreading the mailbox because I could have had more fines. I took a chance – I didn’t change the other images on my blog, but I would have if I’d gotten another legal letter, or two.
But, I did learn from my mistake. I only use public domain pictures or my own now. I advise you to do the same, but it’s your choice. You’re allowed to learn from your mistakes, but it’s not fun. Not at all!
Part 2- My Biggest Source of Pictures – Look What I Found, With a Little Searching
Have you heard of Pixabay? If you haven’t, you need to check it out! Every picture is public domain, and that means they’re all FREE! I gave myself a research project for this section. I did a post about my mother, the bird lover. She named a few of the birds she’d seen. But about a week later, she wrote out a full list of her winter birds, with a brief description. I found all of their pictures on Pixabay, except one.
You can google Pixabay, or use this link: https://pixabay.com/
Here’s my link for my mother’s post if you’d like to read it: http://www.rindabeach.com/blog/my-mother-the-bird-lover
I couldn’t remember when I wrote it so I checked my Pinterest Boards. If you have research to do, you can check it too. Here’s the link: https://www.pinterest.com/rindabeach/boards/
Part 3 – Where do You Look When Your Image isn’t on Pixabay
When I couldn’t find the Red Ruby Hummingbird, I googled it. Then I went down the list until I found the Wikipedia link.
My first problem, the bird doesn’t exist, but, there is a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. I clicked the link and found this image on Wikipedia. It’s Public Domain and FREE!
Sometimes Wikipedia asks you to attribute the source, and sometimes they don’t. This one did:
By Steve Maslowski - Cropped from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Digital Library System, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48297
Article Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby-throated_hummingbird#:~:text=The%20ruby-throated%20hummingbird%20is%20migratory%2C%20spending%20most%20of,Panama%20or%20Mexico%20to%20the%20eastern%20United%20States.
Remember those first 4 birds from Pixabay? One is in that first picture. It looks ruby red to me so I wondered if it could be my mother’s bird.
My source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rufous_hummingbird
Part 4 – Where I Get Pictures of Me, or My Lake?
These pictures were taken by my sister-in-law two years ago when she came to the lake. The first one is the view from our dock. I know! Gorgeous!It became the background for many of the illustrations in LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME.
The second one’s our house and dock. I love to stay here. It’s gorgeous, and so peaceful! It’s my favorite place to write. I bet you could too! It’s easy to be inspired with this kind of view.
Both photos were digitally manipulated to look like illustrations. That’s what makes LAKE FUN so special!
Some pictures I take myself. They’re of the things happening around me that I want to share with you. These two found their way into my first book, NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM. I needed them for the back matter. Their job is to help you build your own wind tunnel.
BTW – if you know someone who has to do a science fair project, this is a great one. I googled and found this wind tunnel on Instructables.com. Goalie Guy made the original one for his 7th grade science project.
I asked to use his photos, but I didn’t need them. I’m a writer so I wound up editing his project to make it simpler. To say thank you for his help, I sent him a copy of NEIL as a gift. I discovered that Goalie Guy graduated from college last year. This year he was busy on the job designing and building robots. WOW!
Part 5 – OOPS! I Forgot a Source
I write a book review for every post you see. I try to pick a book that matches the post. Where do I find the covers? Amazon!
I haven’t had to worry about copyright. Tomorrow I’ll write and post my review for BORN TO FLY on My Reads. I’ll also copy and paste it onto Amazon. Then I submit it for acceptance.
I’ve never had one rejected, but maybe they accept them all. I usually get an email the next morning telling me that my review was accepted and posted.
PS- If I can’t give a book 4 or 5 stars on Amazon, I won’t review it. I can only think of one book from My Reads that had a 4. I only picked it because it fit the post. Every other book has gotten a 5. That’s because I keep a reading journal. It has 295 picture books and 110 chapter books, for now.
PPS- I started the journal in 2011 because of something I heard from a panel of agents. They said if they’re interested in you, they’ll ask what you’re reading. I knew I’d never remember titles or authors so I started the journal. It’s helped me with My Reads. Maybe someday it’ll help me find an agent for my writing.
I’ve had this on my idea list since April or May, but now it’s time to look back at these incredible people. Time to recognize how they kept you and me safe and healthy during the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020.
1. Lab workers – When I see pictures like those below, I think of the blood work I’ve had done. Someone drew it. Someone tested it to see what my body was doing. Others have given me tests for infections like strep throat. Someone at a lab decided what the test said.
When the coronavirus hit, lab testing slowed down, even stopped. Doctors decided who/what testing could be done, and what could wait. Some labs started focusing on diagnosing the virus.
Others focused on how the virus worked. They looked for ways to stop it. These are the people behind the scenes doing research and testing on Covid. It’s June of 2020, and they’re searching for a vaccine. There’s hope it may be available in 2021. So I say THANK YOU to those people who work in labs doing research and testing.
2. Pharmacy Employees – These are the people we are so glad to see when we’re sick. They didn’t stop working during the pandemic. They kept our prescriptions filled during the worst of the virus. I’m a diabetic, and I was worried about not getting refills on meds I have to have.
Thanks to the Pharmacist and their aides, I never ran out, and I hope you didn’t either. THANK YOU!
3. Security – Security guards keep people and property safe. I see them most when I’m in a parking lot at the mall or a hospital. I always feel a little safer when I see them.
I’m not so happy to see a policeman when I’m driving too fast. That’s because it means a ticket and a fine. It also means I have to find a way to slow down, which is a good thing. Going too fast anywhere usually causes accidents. I’d rather skip those. THANK YOU to all those people who keep us safe, our stuff too.
4. Mass Transit Workers – Think trains, planes, and buses. These are the vehicles and people that keep everyone moving, especially in big cities, like New York or Chicago. During the pandemic they made it possible for other essential workers to get to work.
I live in small-town Ohio. We don’t have mass transit for people, except for school buses. During the pandemic some bus drivers made their runs to deliver food, not kids.
Airplane traffic slowed during the pandemic. People were afraid to get onto planes with that teeny-tiny virus floating around, but people are starting to fly again. I hope someday soon I’ll climb on a plane and visit my Texas family! THANK YOU to all the transit workers who keep us moving, whenever, where ever we’re going.
5. Farmers and Agricultural Workers – Think of the farmers who grow food from fruits to grains to vegetables. Other farmers raise the animals who feed us from cows to chickens to pigs. Someone grew or raised the food you ate during the pandemic. They didn’t shut down.
Add in the people who process our food. They take it from the farm and put it in the packages we buy at the grocery store. And, don’t forget the people who stock the shelves and check you out.
Many restaurants closed down, but some stayed open to make take-out food for you and me. Cooks and cashiers and delivery guys kept working. THANK YOU to all of those people who kept us fed during the pandemic.
6. Energy Workers – Think of the people who generate the electricity and keep it on. Sometimes they’re out in the worst weather. They fix the equipment so we have light and heat, TV’s and computers.
Think of the phone you use. Someone makes those satellite signals work for your phone. When you have trouble, someone else is on the end of the line to help you figure it out.
Have you ridden in a car, truck, or bus? The people in the oil industry made that possible, even during the pandemic. Someone pulled the oil out of the ground and sent it to the refinery. That’s the mass of metal in the photo below.
The people at the refinery change the oil into the gasoline that drives your car. They also make the chemicals that are in everything around you.
Don’t forget the people who manned the gas stations so you could go to the store. So other essential workers could do their jobs. THANK YOU to the energy workers who kept the power on, for all of us.
7. In the funeral business – Did you lose any friends or family during the corona shutdown? If you did, someone in the funeral industry helped you.
At the funeral home they’ll get the body ready for burial. They’ll set up visitations and services to help you say goodbye. They’ll direct you with details, like death certificates. Things you’ve never ever thought about. Someone will dig the grave, set up a tombstone, and care for the graveyard.
Your loved one may be cremated. Their body is returned to ash, and it will be given to you. Some people spread them in a special place. Others pick out a container to keep them close by. During such a difficult time, THANK YOU to all those people who help us say our final earthly goodbye.
8. Manufacturing workers – Look at the products below. If you used any of them, or something similiar, there’s someone to thank.
During the pandemic people needed safety supplies like gloves, masks, and hand sanitizers . They needed cleaning products like soap to wash germs off everything from hands to houses. Doctors, nurses, and dentists still needed medical supplies to do their work, and we all needed someone to continue making all these things.
During the pandemic we still needed medicine. We needed the chemicals that are in everything from medicines to cleaning supplies to so many things in your house. Take a look around. There are chemicals everywhere, and someone at a factory made them.
Don’t forget food! From meat to cheese to cereal, someone processed it. Someone put it in a package.THANK YOU to all the manufacturing plants and their workers for keeping us supplied with the things we needed.
9. National security and the military – The military is easy to understand. These are its branches. They work together to protect our country, its citizens, and our property.
The military is also complicated. You think of the Navy and Coast Guard with only boats, but I think every branch has helicopters and airplanes. The newest one is The Space Force. I picture rockets and spaceships, but one of its biggest jobs will be caring for all of the US satellites orbiting the earth.
When I think of security, I think of cameras and the security officers at the mall. Here’s a list of the top 10 security jobs:
10 Accountants – they work everywhere!
9 Intelligence Officers – like the FBI & CIA
8 Business Analysts – they’re everywhere too!
7 Cyber Security – no one wants to be hacked.
6 Language Expert – parlez-vous francais?
5 Statistician – they collect and analyze data
4 Security Analyst – they advise and report danger
3 Logistics Specialist- they manage transportation of assets
2 Cryptologists – think codes!
1 Security Officer – think government policemen.
Many of these are ordinary jobs, but they may also require security clearances because you might be working with national secrets and government property. You don’t have to be an international spy! THANK YOU to all the security and military people who keep us safe!
10 . Water and wastewater employees – These are the people who make sure we have safe drinking water. Another group of workers takes care of sewage. That’s the stuff you flush down the toilet. I’m so glad they kept on working! Imagine no water to drink or to flush the toilets!THANK YOU to all those people who kept our faucets and toilets working!
To the left - a water treatment plant to clean our drinking water. To the right a sewage treatment plant. It cleans everything that you flush down the toilet.
11 . Vendors– These are the stores and businesses that provide the products and services we need. THANK YOU to all those people who kept the stores stocked,. And another THANK YOU to the people who sold us those things we needed.
12 . Bankers, Call Service Centers, Payroll, and Insurance Workers – None of these people produce products, but we need the services they provide. Bankers help us save or borrow money. If you buy something with a problem, a call center operator can help you straighten it out.
If you have a job, the people in payroll generate your check. They’ll even put it in the bank so you can spend it on your wants and needs. No one can live without insurance. You can buy life, health, home, and car insurance. Each one protects something you value. THANK YOU to the people who provide these essential services for you and me.
13 . The News Media – How do you know what’s going on around you? People deliver the news to us on TV, radio, in newspapers, and online. Without them we wouldn’t have a clue about what’s happening around us. THANK YOU to all the people who keep us informed!
14 . Cleaning Crews, Custodians, and Janitors – I hate cleaning so these are my favorite people! They kept my classroom clean for 33 years. You’ll find these professionals in schools, businesses, stores, factories, and so many other places. After a season of covid, keeping clean equals staying safe. A HUGE THANK YOU TO THE PEOPLE WHO KEEP OUR WORLD CLEAN. THANK YOU!
15. The Catch All Category – There are so many people who kept all of us going, and I think this is where they put everybody else. So I’ll end with another THANK YOU to everyone who kept us going! Now it’s time to showcase these essential workers with a picture. Here goes!
If you are one of our essential workers, or know someone who is – I want to end with a final THANK YOU to you, and to them. They are heroes!
Part 1 My Family and the Spanish Flu – This is my Grandmother and Grandfather Wilson with four of their children. From left to right, Leo, Mary, Opal Lee, and Grant. Two kids are missing – my mother and her brother Don. They weren’t born yet. Mom was born in 1935 so I’m guessing this was taken around 1930. That’s way after the Spanish Flu.
When the media started connecting the Spanish Flu to Covid 19, I realized something I would never have figured out without this pandemic.
You see, without the Spanish Flu, those kids, my cousins and me – we would not exist.
It’s crazy to think this way, but it’s true. I discovered as a teenager that my grandmother wasn’t grandpa’s first wife. He was married to another woman first. I think her name was Melinda, but I’m not sure. In any case she was expecting a baby. It was due during the time the Spanish Flu was raging through the country. She didn’t live. Neither did her baby.
As a mom now, it makes me incredibly sad that both of them died, and that I don’t know their names. I don’t have a picture of Melinda. I think it’s heartbreaking that when you die, sometimes you are just forgotten by history. If Melinda hadn’t died, my grandfather and grandmother would never have married, and my mom, my aunts and uncles would never have been born. I’m glad they’re all there, but I’m still sad for Melinda and her baby.
I also realized something else by looking at that picture. By 1937 my grandmother, Rinda, was dead. You see her name is my name. I never understood why she had to die when her kids were so little. My mom was 2. My Aunt Opal Lee was 16.
Now I do. You see my grandfather had a third wife, and she gave him a daughter. If my grandmother hadn’t died, that last daughter, my aunt wouldn’t have been born. Sometimes it’s not for us to question why. Sometimes it’s for us to do or die. (Paraphrased from Alfred, Lord Tennyson – The Charge of the Light Brigade.)
Part 2 Three Cities and the Spanish Flu – With the new pandemic I’d heard reports about two of these cities, but the third one was a total surprise.
First up – Philadelphia, home to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell – By late summer of 1918, a second wave of Spanish flu hit the US. It was carried here by WWI soldiers returning home. By mid-September it was spreading through Philadelphia like wildfire, but the health director said don’t worry. It’s just those soldiers. The rest of us won’t get it. His advice – stay warm, keep your feet dry, and your bowels open. Sorry, it was in the article! Really!
September 28th, Philadelphia was celebrating with a Liberty Loan Parade to raise money for the military. Many people thought it should be cancelled, but the health director said it’ll be fine. We need to raise money for war bonds. On the 28th the parade stretched for 2 miles. It included soldiers, Boy Scouts, marching bands, and dignitaries marching down a route packed with spectators.
This is not the Liberty Loan Parade, but it gives you an idea how packed the parade route was. 72 hours or 3 days later, all 31 of Philadelphia’s hospitals were packed.
By the end of the week 2600 people were dead. A quote from the article said the “parade probably threw gasoline on the fire, but it was already cooking along pretty well.”
Next up – St. Louis, home to the Gateway Arch, our nation’s monument to western expansion – The St. Louis health commissioner went the opposite way. He put local physicians on high alert, before the first case was reported. He wanted them ready when the second wave hit.
When the flu broke out in the army barracks, he closed the schools, movie theaters, and pool halls. He banned all public gatherings. He had a network of volunteer nurses set up to treat the thousands who were infected. It flattened the curve and saved lives. A 2007 study went back and analyzed the results, St. Louis had 1/8 of Philadelphia’s worst death rates, an incredible feat for a big city!
I’m sorry to write that they weren’t so successful with the third wave that hit late winter/spring of 1919. I wonder if they got tired of lockdown and just had to get out.
Last but not least – San Francisco, home of the Golden Gate Bridge – Health officials in San Francisco put their faith in masks. If you left home without one or wore it the wrong way, you were arrested for disturbing the peace and fined $5. The officials believed they were 99% effective against the flu.
But gauze masks aren’t that effective. You can see through them, so how could they possibly stop germs? It’s more likely the low rates were caused by quarantining the naval bases before the flu arrived. Then the city closed schools, banned social gatherings, and close spaces like theaters. It sounds like they followed the St. Louis’ plan.
San Francisco believed in the masks so much they blew the whistle on November 21st. People could finally take off their masks without being arrested. A newspaper reported that the sidewalks were “strewn with the relics of a tortuous month.
Sadly their luck changed in January 1919. The third wave hit, and business and theater owners believed those masks would keep people safe. They fought and kept their buildings open. The result – San Francisco had some of the highest death rates in the US.
That same 2007 study said that if the other restrictions had held up, they could have reduced the death rate by 90%. My source for this article, with its great photos: https://history.com/news/spanish-flu-pandemic-response-cities
My conclusions as someone with two strikes (I’m old, and I’m a diabetic) dealing with the Coronavirus for its first wave, maybe more – I’ll wear my mask whenever I go out. I’ll also maintain my social distance. As this first wave ends, I’ll go out more and more, but if there’s a second wave, I’ll head back to that mask and social distancing. I love people, but I also love life! I have a granddaughter, and I want to watch her grow up. I want to dance at her wedding, even if I’m only swaying on my feet.
Hello! Welcome to my website, in screenshot form. It went live in 2016, right after the November election. There are 6 buttons for you to check out, but I’m most active on two, the Blog and My Reads.
My blog is different from the other writers I know. Maybe because I’m a retired teacher. I wrote the content I wanted when I was still teaching, but I wanted to reach beyond second grade.
I wanted to write about the things teachers and kids are interested in, the things they have to learn. This photo came from a blog I did last summer. It was a timeline from the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, pre-launch to the end of their world tour.
This spring I finally reached my target, with teachers using my work. I know the Coronavirus forced them to look for material online so I invited 24 teachers from 2 school districts to use me and my writing vault as a resource. Six took a chance on me, and I’m grateful!
Four of them had specific topics they needed. I looked through my vault and sent them links for the posts that best fit their curriculum.
The other two decided to open my vault to their students. Their kids can pick any post to read, then write about. It’s easy peasy for teachers, plus kids get choice too. I’m thrilled!
Welcome to my vault, AKA Pinterest. If you click on this link, I hope you can find what you’re looking for. If you can’t, email me, and I’ll do the searching for you.
If you look across the first row, you might see some things you want to read about. I pulled four posts to show you features straight from the vault.
My first board – Pictures & Text – Earth/Space Science. The post title, Tales from Wapakoneta. When my book came out last summer, I heard lots of stories from hometown friends about Neil. This photo is from story #5. You’ll have to read to discover why Neil is holding a paper airplane. You can also find this post on my History/Social Studies board. When posts fit in more than one place, I list them on Pinterest for you.
Look to the board to the right – Pictures & Text – Economics/Social Studies. The title, Dogs? Do Sports? Really? This came out a few weeks ago. Someone sent me an article about doggy sports. I shared the link, then wrote my own post. It fits on two other boards – Life/Science and Language Arts.
This came from the third board – Pictures & Text Government/Social Studies. It’s broken down into six sections. This photo came from Citizenship Skills. The title, The Power of Kindness, Especially Now. You’ll also find this post pinned in the Economics board too.
The Golden Arches – I had to – from the Pictures & Text – Geography/Social Studies. You’ll find it in the International Maps and Culture section. The title, McDonald’s Trivia. I had a ball writing it, and I think my readers did too. My website numbers stayed high that week!
Finding content on my Pinterest board is like a treasure hunt. You have to look; then hope you find it. My next big business project. . . adding in SEO words. I hope to make it easier for you to find the things you need. I can’t wait to take my class tomorrow!
SEO Words – The Next Frontier – This diagram shows exactly how I feel about them. When I started this post, I thought I understood Search Engine Optimization Words.
I used them with my debut book, NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM. Amazon does too. Here are a few of their SEO words. You can use them to search my reviews:
Wind tunnel Neil Armstrong
Moon landing Must read
Rinda Beach Anniversary of the moon
I thought SEO Words for Pinterest would be the same. Sort of yes. Sort of no. I discovered that I can put something SEO-ish in before posting my blogs on Weebly, but I want to know exactly what that looks like.
I also discovered that I can put SEO words directly into Pinterest, but I don’t know where. I feel like I’m in the deep end of the pool, but I forgot how to swim. I found a friend who’s going to explain a little more to me tomorrow. Fingers crossed! I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks if I learned the SEO stroke.
Cover Image – LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME
I picked the lake for the cover. It’s the star of the book so it will stretch from the front to the back. The left half will be the back cover. The right, the front.
Imagine the front – the title in a fun font – with a trio of images.
The back – the blurb below will take center stage on the lake.
Blurb: This book is part story – part souvenir. Follow Zoe and her family on their lake vacation on the left side of each page. On the right side, there’s room for you to record your own lake vacation story. It’s two stories in one book.
Happy reading, writing and illustrating!
If you’d like to read LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME before it comes out, email me! You could be an ARC Reader. ARC stands for Advanced Reader Copy.
I’ve done this for a few friends, and I love getting sneak peeks at their manuscripts. In return I wrote honest reviews of those stories. That’s basically a few sentences telling if I liked their manuscript, and why.
If you’re interested in doing the same thing for me, please email. I’d love to give you a sneak peek, and an honest review would help LAKE FUN to be seen on Amazon.
I only get out once or twice a week now because of the Coronavirus. But when I do, I’m so happy to see people again. I never realized how much I need social interaction. Now the only place I get it – the grocery store.
I probably look a lot like these people, happy! But now at the store, I don’t see whole families. You might see a mom or a dad, but not both, and never ever, kids. They’re safe, at home.
It doesn’t matter who I meet. I smile more than I did before. Driving home I wave at people in my neighborhood. I never did that before, ever!
You’ve seen people stocking shelves in the grocery. Now they’re on the front lines, fighting this virus. Without them, the shelves would be empty, and we’d be hungry.
Those workers don’t get paid much, but they’re earning a paycheck, helping me. I smile, say hello. Sometimes they make room for me to pass by. I return the favor with a thank you. I appreciate that small kindness, but even more, I appreciate the work they do in a dangerous place – the grocery store. Who knew?
So far, my grocery store people are all safe and healthy. I’m glad! I would feel awful if someone got sick, helping me.
This picture reminds me of another grocery story. I saw a family – a toddler, a big sister, and a grandma. I love watching kids, and I miss seeing them.
The toddler put something in his mouth from the cart. No one noticed, except me. It didn’t look dangerous, unless you thought virus. I did, so I said something. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t.
I love seeing people I know at the store. We used to stand a couple feet apart, like this. It was how social distancing used to work, but not anymore.
Six feet is the new recommendation. If I took 2 steps, and the other person did too, that would be about right. Just think of it as 6 steps, or two arm lengths of space between two people, but our hands would never touch.
It doesn’t feel as friendly, but it is. It keeps both of us from getting the coronavirus, colds, or even the flu. It is the kind thing to do.
Checkout is my last chance for social interaction. When I do it myself, there’s always someone ready to help, someone I can say hello to. I do! It will be another week before I’m at the grocery again.
When I’m in the checkout line, I talk when it’s my turn at the register. If someone’s ahead of me, I wait my turn, 6 steps/feet behind them, no closer. Whoever thought of using tape was a genius! It’s way easier, and more accurate than guessing.
I love to listen to the conversations around me. Sometimes I even join in. I bet that’s a surprise! I’m a writer so ideas are everywhere. But the real truth – I just love listening to people, learning from them., and it’s better than being bored.
There’s also something else involved, a Harry Potter thing. Talking to a cashier or another customer is honoring them with your attention, your respect. When you don’t talk, it says the opposite, that they aren’t worthy of your time.
That doesn’t feel kind, or friendly. J.K. wrote that you can judge someone’s character by the way they treat people below them on the social ladder. He’s right!
But for me, there’s also something else. Standing there is just plain boring. I’d rather have fun and enjoy the people around me. I hope they feel the same way about me too!
This isn’t me. I haven’t worn a mask yet, but I think it’s coming. As Ohio opens up for business again, I bet there’ll be more germs around, and I’d rather be safe than sorry. I already have 2 strikes – I’m old, and I’m a diabetic. So – I’m going to play keep away from germs. It even sounds like fun!
It also makes other people feel safer. I can’t spread my germs to them, or, pick up theirs. Being safe, being kind are good things.
Plus I can shop for masks at local shops. Imagine – finding one in every color, every pattern so my mask matches my outfit like a great accessory.
I found some spacey material to make my own mask. I hope when I finally wear it, it can advertise my debut book, NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM.
Maybe I can find something lakey for my next book, LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME. Here’s a sample of the cover art. A friend added the title to the front and a blurb to the back. It’s almost ready to submit to the printer. Here’s a sneak peak . . .
Actually, yes they do! I did a post about working dogs in December of 2018. Here’s the link: http://www.rindabeach.com/blog/working-dogs.
Jo, an editor from Jen Reviews, liked it and asked if I’d add a link to her article on sporting dogs. I did! I also wrote that I wanted to do a post about them, and now I’m finally doing it.Here’s Jo’s link: https://yourdogadvisor.com/dog-sports/
There are seven sports, just for dogs, up first is one of the best-known sports, agility. A picture is worth a thousand words so let's start with a few!
1. Agility - look closely. Do you see the word agile? It means that you move with quick, easy grace. When I look at the dogs and their people, I definitely see agility!
These photographs all come from agility courses, but they look more like obstacle tracks to me. Which path would you take – a regular race, or an agility course?
If you picked agility and have a dog, try this! Start with a few easy obstacles. Be patient. Go slow, and treat your dog and yourself along the way. BTW, the best treat of all – you’ll both get fit.
If you don’t have a dog, I’d find a dog-owning friend and offer to help them with the obstacles.
2. Flyball – I had never heard of it before, but it’s the dog world’s version of the fast and the furious. Look at the pictures first. Then I’ll tell you what I discovered about it.
Think of Flyball as a doggy relay race, fetch style. There are 2 teams of dogs. Each one has a lane with 4 evenly spaced jumps. The smallest dog determines the height of the jumps.
At the other end of the course is a box. When the dog jumps on the box, it releases a ball. The dog catches it and races back through the 4 jumps to its owner.
Pictures still the action into a freeze-frame. If you really want to understand flyball, click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIFLlEGhNu0
Flyball is too fast and furious for me, but if you liked the video, test it out with your dog. If you both like this version of fetch, google ‘flyball equipment for dogs.’ Here’s one I found with both DIY and purchase links. http://flyballequip.com
3. Nosework – or Scentwork. I hadn’t heard of this one either, but it’s exactly what you think it is. A dog is given a scent to find, and off they go to ‘sniff’ it out.
Nosework started as a sport in 2006 so it’s relatively new. Dogs learn to find specific scents. In competitions clove, birch, and anise oil are usually selected, sealed in a tub, then put in a secret spot in a room or garden. The winning dog finds and tells their human first.
I couldn’t find a ‘nosework’ photo, but these give you the idea. It’s a great sport for all dogs, from puppies to seniors. All you need is something scented, and lots of patience. Don’t forget positive reinforcement with treats, toys, and lots of praise.
4. Obedience Trials – I’ve heard of this one! There are 5 basic commands every dog should know, and they’re the foundation for obedience trials.
Obedience trials have 3 basic levels: novice, intermediate, and advanced. The American Kennel Club does too, but they use slightly different names, and they have A and B levels. I think that means they really have 5 or 6.
Your dogs will determine how many exercises you have to do, as few as 5. Sometimes on the day of the trial you find out which random exercises you have to perform. My source below listed 14 exercises that include heel, sit, down, recall, and retrieve.
If you’d like something a little more relaxed, look up rally obedience. You get to take your dog around a course walking them in heel position, and you can give them verbal cues. If I had a dog, I might try this out.
5. Heelwork to Music & Canine Freestyle – I’ve heard of the heel command, and I have pictures below, on and off leash, but I’ve never heard of heelwork to music or as a doggy freestyle event. That sounds like something you’d see at the Olympics for ice skating or gymnastics. I’d love to try it, if I only had a dog 😊
If you’d like to see how beautiful this heelwork can be, click on this link:
This is how my dog danced, but canine freestyle is so much more! It's amazing!
If I had a dog, I’d also have to make sure I didn’t trip over the dog or my own feet, no LOL!
6. Canicross – I had no idea what this was, did you? I’m glad I had a source to read. It said canicross was running across country with your dog, and the dog gets to lead. Mine would have loved it. I wouldn’t – I would have had trouble keeping up with her!
Canicross was invented in Europe because dog sled mushers needed something to keep their dogs in shape during the off-season. Instead of pulling the sled, they pull their human around.
7. Dock Diving – Now this I could figure out, easy peasy! Diving off a dock, right? Except of course there’s a little more to it than that. Like, why is there an arrow in the picture below?
Dock diving is a newer sport – it started in the late 1990’s. Here are just a few of the regulations: A dock must be 35-40 ft long, and 8 ft wide. You can use a pool, pond, or lake, as long as it is at least 4 ft deep.
I found 3 different competitions: 1. Big Air (the length of the jump), 2. Extreme Vertical (how high a dog can go), and 3. A Speed Retrieve (a dog swims out to retrieve an object). There are also different ways to measure distance. Some measure from the dock to the tip of the dog’s tail. Others go onto where the tail meets the body, and diving competitions end where the nose hits the water.
Oh, that red arrow, it uses digital frame technology. I guess there’s no need to argue with judges, but you could with the judges who manually measure the distance.
Dock diving looks like a lot of fun! It’s too bad when I had a dog, I didn’t have a dock. Now I have a dock and no dog. Maybe someday
Finally, thank you to Gemma Johnstone at Your Dog Advisor for such a great article. I enjoyed reading it and learning about sporting dogs. Another thanks to Jo at Jen Review for emailing me about this story. It’s great, and I enjoyed writing about it!
Article Source: https://yourdogadvisor.com/dog-sports/
This is me with Merrill Rainey at the Marvelous Midwest SCBWI conference last May. I asked Merrill in 2018 about finding an illustrator for my debut book NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM. He loved the idea, gave me great advice, but couldn’t do the illustrations himself. His story – his agent would have had a fit! I believe it . . . I can’t afford Merrill’s prices!
But at the conference I got this illustration of me . . . FOR FREE! On Saturday night, the conference set up a carnival midway with games, and prizes, and charicatures. Guess who did mine!
I still have it. I just gave it a frame, and a home at my lake house.
I found the perfect frame. It’s a dark hunter green. I put Merrill’s caricature inside and closed it up.
Now it’s easier to read the words, ‘It’s THE POOP DECK!’ There’s a story behind them. While Merrill was busy drawing me, I was telling him about the darn ducks at the lake. They think the boat dock is their personal poop deck.
NOT! It’s THE boat dock. I’d love those ducks if they would just stay in the lake. They don’t, and when they land on the dock – they POOP! Someone has to clean it up, and sometimes it’s me.YUCK!
So that’s why Merrill added in the caption, but I edited his words because it’s NOT the poop deck!
Here’s the display I promised you in the title. I took the first photo a few months ago when I added Merrill’s caricature. The ducks and the giant wine bottle were already there.
I got the idea when those darn ducks decided my dock was their poop deck. I added Merrill’s caricature third. I never see possibilities right away, but as soon as I did, I framed his work. It belongs at the lake with those ducks!
Last week I had another great idea. I thought about the hidden compartment and how fun it would be to put something inside. I looked around our lake house and found these two characters. One is a doll made with buttons from my favorite antique shop. The owl came from a critique partner’s store. He’s so cute he didn’t even have to give a hoot to come home with me!
There’s room in the bottom for two wine glasses. I thought about putting them in, but glass breaks so I didn’t. Also I have a new granddaughter. I’d rather put in things that she can play with. How fun would it be for her to open the bottle and find treasures inside, just for her!
These are images from an interview I did with Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez on December 19, 2019. Her article focused on how I wrote and self-published my debut book. She finished up with a very nice book review for NEIL ARMSTRONG'S WIND TUNNEL DREAM.
Click on this link, and you can read our December interview:
I was thrilled to be part of READING, WRITING & STITCH-METIC’S 2nd birthday. It’s June McCrary Jacob’s website. She picked her top 5 posts from last year, and I was honored to be NUMBER 4!
June asked me two questions: 1.) What lessons did I learn from writing and publishing my debut book? 2.) What is my next project? My answer included the first illustration from my new book coming out in May, LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME.
Click on the link below and scroll down to NUMBER 4 for my interview. https://authorjunemccraryjacobs.blogspot.com/2020/02/mmgm-2nd-blog-birthdaycelebration.html? fbclid=IwAR0_TFw9MTH2f4C_q8HEEVFta3_BZyEBh6eAzzQtljzUrALYTj3OLweVZnY
Thanks to my critique friend Karen O’Leary, you can listen to the first chapter of my book for free. She recorded it on her website, Time Out With Bear. The price - 7 minutes and 21 seconds to listen to the recording.
Two confessions - first I finally listened to Karen’s recording tonight, and I loved it! It came out around Thanksgiving, and I’m sad to say I didn’t make time to listen back then. Karen even added in sound effects! My favorite . . . my words made her giggle, and she didn’t mean to. Making someone laugh is a great thing!
My second confession – I like hearing Karen read my words better than hearing myself do it. I don’t know why. I listened to the computer read them millions of times before I finally published them. My best guess is the writer in me is listening for mistakes on the first page or two. After that I can relax and enjoy reading aloud to kids. When I hear Karen read, I just feel the joy of listening to my words read back to me. It’s lovely!
Here’s Karen’s link. I hope you also take a little time to check out her other read alouds. Karen has some GREAT titles!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!