Question 1 –
What vegetable was traditionally carved long before pumpkins?
Turnips Beeetroot Cabbage Potatoes
And the answer is . . . TURNIPS!
I can’t imagine hollowing out any of these vegetables, but evidently back in the 18th century (the 1700’s) pranksters used to hollow out turnips. Then they’d carve scary faces into them and turn them into lanterns. Some people said those faces represented evil spirits. Others said the faces kept evil spirits away.
Question 2 –
So where did those first jack-o-lanterns come from?
United States Ireland France Transylvania
And the answer is . . . Ireland!
Here’s the map of Europe. Do you see, France and Romania? They’re both in purple.
d you eliminate Transylvania? It’s not even a country. It’s actually in the center of Romania.
Ireland is in yellow, and the Irish were the ones who started making jack-o-lanterns out of turnips. It’s based on this old Irish folk tale . . .
Stingy Jack tricked the Devil out of his soul, but the Devil got even. He made Jack walk through the underworld with a lantern. It was really a turnip, held on a stick, lit by coal.
The Irish started making their own lanterns using a big turnip or potato. When immigrants came to the US, they brought their lanterns with them.
We switched to the pumpkin, a much bigger and better vegetable! The US isn’t on this map. You’d have to go west from Ireland across the Atlantic Ocean to find the US.
More Info: www.history.com
Part 2 – The Roots of Halloween
Question 3 –
Who is at the roots of Halloween?
The Celts (Kelts) The Romans
Question 4 –
What’s the name of their original festival?
Samhain (sow-in like cow)
Question 5 –
Why did they need this festival?
To speak with dead ancestors
To make predictions for the future
The answers . . . The Celts were at the roots of Halloween. If you look at the map above, they originally came from Ireland, the United Kingdom (England), and France. The first photo is a wooden Celtic figure.
Their Festival was known as Samhain. It started the night of October 31st, when the fall harvest was ending. The Celts believed that ghosts returned to cause trouble and damage their crops. They also believed those ghosts made it easier for the Druids, the Celtic priests, to predict the future. A Druid is in the last picture.
The Druids made huge bonfires. The people burned food and animals in them as sacrifices to their gods. The Celts wore animal heads and skins. They told fortunes for each other. Their festival helped them survive a long, cold winter with no grocery stores or new crops till spring.
The sacrifices, are now our treats. We exchanged the animal heads and skins for costumes, and the fortune telling became the trick part of Trick or Treat.
Tricks have mostly disappeared, but early Americans used to celebrate their harvests by telling ghost stories and fortunes, or by singing and dancing. Maybe with Covid this year, we should go back to those roots.
Please check out this source. It has a short video, 12 seconds, plus 4 sets of photos with the ghosts of Halloween past.
Part 3 – Halloween and Pop-Culture
Question 6 –
Which weighed more?
The Titanic OR One year of trick or treat candy
Question 7 –
When did kids trick or treat for coins, toys, and home-made sweets?
30’s & 40’s 50’s & 60’s 70’s & 80’s
Question 8 –
What is the most popular Halloween song of all time?
Dark Masquerade Farewell Forever Monster Mash Awaken
The answers . . . I can’t believe it . . . Halloween candy! The Titanic weighed a mere 100 million pounds, and it was one of the biggest ships of all time!
Every year we buy about 600 million pounds for one Halloween. That’s six Titanic’s! We must love our kids and their candy!
In the 1950’s and 1960’s kids got coins or toys or home-made sweets. I trick-or-treated in the 60’s, and I never got a single toy. Not one! Candy was cheaper to give away. When I started, we got regular size candy bars. When I finished, people gave out the miniature ones.
Home-made treats – I didn’t get them very often. By then more and more moms were working and didn’t have time to bake. Besides, would you rather have a chocolate chip cookie or candy? I’d pick candy every time!
By the 70’s and 80’s people started putting bad things in the treats. I remember hospitals would x-ray candy for kids. It’s a sad day when you can’t trust Halloween candy.
The most popular Halloween song – THE MONSTER MASH! Perhaps you’ve heard it! I have – ever since 1962 when I was 3 years old! It’s been a Halloween hit ever since for Bobby “Boris” Pickett.
Here’s the link for an animated version of Boris’ song. I remember the stairs and the blinking eyes from my childhood. Enjoy!
Read and Write - I’m always reading. I pick Young Adult/Adult books to read for fun on my Kindle. They can be new or old. It doesn’t matter.
With children’s books, I only read new ones, and I read them as a writer to stay current with the market. I pick out 4 picture books and a chapter/middle grade book a month from my local library.
I don’t read them just for fun. I read them to understand how to write for kids, to learn how to put in the content they need. It helps me build words and sentences into stories.
I also enter each one in my book log. I write about what I like/ don’t like. My Log is where I find the titles I review for My Reads. I look for books that match up to each new blog post.
I’m always writing! I write in segments for my website each night. After I finish a post, I pick a book to review. It’s one of the things I’ve done over the past four years to build a platform as a writer.
During the day I write as much as possible. I hate days with appointments. I never get as far as I hope. I always want more.
My favorite writing days are when I can stay in my PJ’s most of the day, and I can focus on the words. It’s heaven!
I never expected to have 3 WIP’s (Works in Progress) at the same time. Two of them are scheduled for March 2021. The third is due in October.
It’s funny to say a book is due, but in some ways it’s like birthing a baby. You have to give it enough time and nourishment to grow into a story you’re willing to put your name on.
Here’s what it looks like when I write. I find a comfy spot and sit with my laptop. I used to write in a room by myself. If there was any noise, I’d put on headphones. The bad part – it isolated me from my family.
I still write in a comfy spot, but now the TV is on. It’s background noise. I half listen, but my attention is focused on my writing. The best part – my husband can be in the room, and I can be part of the family.
Take Classes, Market Ourselves, or Our Books - When I was teaching, this is what my classes looked like. Well, if I only had 15 in my room. Most years I had between 20 and 25. The first year I had 30. YIKES! That’s a lot of kids to divide my time between. If each kid could talk for 1 minute, they could each speak twice in an hour. Most people don’t think of class size that way. Teachers do!
When I took classes, to help me teach or write better, I used to have to physically go into a class. That’s lovely if it’s only 30 minutes away. Once I traveled 15 hours to do a weekend of classes at Highlights, you know the magazine company! It was great, but expensive – time and money-wise.
I’ve also taken classes or done critiques online. I’ve never had a critique partner in my home town. Writing for kids is not something done in Wapak or Auglaize County, Ohio. I’ve had critique partners in Ohio, in Tennessee, across the country, and a few that were international. I’m in two online groups now, and one of my partners is originally from New Zeeland. Now she lives in Canada. The kidlit world is a small one after all!
Since Covid reared its ugly head, online is the only way things are done in the kidlit world. I went to my first national conferenc SCBWI in LA because of Covid. I would never pay airfare and hotel to get there, especially when my learning curve as a writer is still high.
Right now I’m working my way through the Northern Ohio SCBWI conference, online. I had 13 videos I wanted to watch. I have 3 left to see by the 19th. Only 2 days left, but if I don’t make it, that’s OK. I did the ones I wanted to see, FIRST!
Marketing is as unfamiliar to me as this illustration is. I’m a second grade teacher. That’s my wheelhouse, where my skills are.
Marketing, when you get down to the nitty-gritty, is about getting people to do what you want. I understand that – I am a teacher! But I don’t understand how to sell my book, or me as an author. That’s way over my head, like 100 feet deep!
But I am excited about marketing this year! I’m working with a hybrid publisher. It’s a little of self and traditional publishing smushed together. So far, I LOVE working with an editor. I love pushing my work to be better.
Soon we’ll start working on marketing for this new book, and you’ll HEAR about it. They’ll do part of the work. They’ll also guide me on how I can help. I’ll watch, take notes, and apply those things to NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM. I can’t wait!
This part of marketing, I DO understand! I know shopping, and one of the best places to sell Neil is at a museum gift shop. Neil was once sold at two museums – The Armstrong Museum in Wapak and the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. I’ve been trying to get it into a NASA Museum in Virginia. I was close – till Covid hit. Now it’s time to try again. Christmas is coming, and Neil’s book is a perfect gift for aviation-loving kids!
Part 1 – Celebrating a Socially Distant Halloween Trick or Treat
Project #1 – A Halloween Candy Slide
Trick or treat, anyone?
If your community is holding one this year,
here’s the perfect way to use social distancing, with PVC pipe. Here’s a basic supply list:
PVC pipe Spray Paint Cheese cloth
Skull Skeleton Acrylic Paint
Tools: glue gun scissors Hacksaw.
To get started, click on this link. It’s my source, and it also starts with a video: https://www.instructables.com/Halloween-Candy-Slide/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email
You might watch this video before trying this project. I added in photos and quick directions below to help you decide if it’s right for you.
1. Cut the pipes into the right lengths. 2. Assemble the bases.
3. Add the lips. 4. Paint the stands. Theirs is in black, but you could
use white, or, a different color.
5. Add the slide. 6. Decorate! You can use skeletons, witches, or
whatever’s on sale. Happy Trick or Treat!
Project #2 – A Halloween Cooler – OR – Walk by Candy Containers
I was looking for another socially distant way to pass out candy, and I think this could work. The project is done as a cooler, but I can imagine a string of pumpkins sitting at the end of my driveway. Let kids take one or two treats out of each pumpkin. It would be cute, fun, AND SAFE!
Here’s my source link, but no video. It doesn’t need one.
I’m sharing some steps with quick basic directions to help you decide if this project’s for you.
1. Draw a line to help you cut the top of your pumpkin. Cut, then scoop out the pumpkin pulp.
2. Repeat step 1 with the side of your pumpkin. Then give it a bleach bath.
It will keep your pumpkin from rotting for as long as possible. Then decorate.
3. Line your pumpkin with plastic wrap. Add ice if you need a cooler.
Add treats if you’re using your pumpkin as a candy dish.
Now, get ready . . . get set . . .
GO Trick or Treat, 2020 style.
Part 2 – Three Cute Costumes
#1 – Paper Butterfly This is one cute costume whether you follow the directions on the site, or make up your own. Here are photos for the wings, abdomen, and head.
Costume 2 – Spiderboy/girl What kid wouldn’t love this costume? The spider legs are black socks stuffed with newspaper. You hold them in place using cardboard and a black bag. His mom used face paint for his mask. She made two sketches before actually painting his face. You could do the same with a real mask. Link: https://www.instructables.com/Spider-Costume/
First sketch Second Face Paint
Costume 3 – Shower Anyone? Try this one! The other two shots show the tricky parts, the framework. Link: https://www.instructables.com/Shower-Costume/
Looking for something unique, try this one: https://www.instructables.com/Toilet-Costume/
If you still didn’t find a costume, try this link: https://www.instructables.com/howto/costumes/
Part 3 – Snack Time!
Snack 1 – Broomstick Anyone? If a picture’s worth 1000 words, these two equal this recipe. All you need are some pretzel sticks and cheese. The strip that goes around the cheese, is Nori (seaweed), but you could substitute anything long and stringy. Licorice could work, but I don’t know how it would taste. Link: https://www.instructables.com/Witches-Brooms/
Snack – Sand-witch? These three pictures are worth a recipe too, but I’d click on the link for some of the details. The author gives you a list of possible foods for each piece of the witch. She also has some basic patterns to help you cut your food. Finally there’s a video from Susan’s mother. She invented the sand-witch to get Susan to eat. If you want to be as cool as Susan’s mom, try red food-coloring in your milk, and you can pretend to be a vampire too!
Snack 3 – These eyes have it! WOW! They do! Would you believe that these eyeballs are made with fruit? I didn’t – till I read the recipe. The other ingredients hold it together. Click on this link, and then have some fun!
Part 4 – Projects Please!
Project 1 – A Haunted House This project came from a Kindergarten teacher.
She started with the letter H, made from strips of construction paper.
You’ll need black markers next. Add the roof, then the sides. Doors and windows come last.
Finish by drawing in the other details. Miss Kelly has her kids draw with pencil, then color in with marker. Link: https://www.instructables.com/Arts-and-Crafts-for-the-Letter-H/
Project 2 – Pastel Haunted House I love each and every one of these houses. They’re all different!
1. Pick two watercolors. Then mix them together on your page. Let it dry COMPLETELY.
2. Draw lightly with pencil. Put in everything you want – Graves, Trees, Bats, Moon, a Ghost. Don’t forget a house with doors and windows. Everything you draw will be colored in yellow, or black.
3. Start with your yellow Pastel. Don’t overdo it. Keep the focus on black. Let the yellow pop out.
4. Finish up with black Pastel. You’re done when your paper is filled by paint or Pastels.
Project 3 – Blockhead/Headless Robots Too cute! But you need to be old enough to use an Xacto knife, or have a parent do it for you. Click on the link for directions and for PDF’s to download and print out. The robots come in 2 sizes, with and without color.
LAKE FUN came out on May 9th.
On the 19th, Vivian Kirkfield helped us celebrate with an Amazon review, a birthday post, and an interview about how this story came to be. Click on the link, and you can read it too.
Valerie Biel welcomed us to her website on June 3rd. She started with a LAKE FUN review and ended with the Super Six – six of my favorite things.
In-between she asked how I got started, the choices I made in LAKE FUN, even my first job. Click the link, and you can find out more about us.
Here’s Valerie’s link: https://valeriebiel.com/blog/lake-fun-you-and-me-book-review-and-interview-author-rinda-beach?fbclid=IwAR2PcwtJonwPOQdiqWxjuLagGGcbDCZ8mJyur2J9pvdwUOG-YtvJZGaxi9
June McCrary Jacobs posted our interview on June 8th. Scroll past the ‘About the Author and About the Book,’ and you’ll see my favorite illustrations from LAKE FUN. Keep going, and you’ll find my favorite part of the interview – 10 Behind the Scene Facts About the Book. You won’t see them anywhere else, altogether like this. Click the link, and enjoy!
Here's June's link:
Welcome to Math is Everywhere, and Kaitlyn Sanchez’s interview from July 10th. She had five questions about LAKE FUN – my inspiration, why I made it interactive, my favorite thing to do at the lake, and my hope for this book. My last answer made her LOL. Kaitlyn asked if I could fly a kite or have tea by the fire with my favorite author, what would I pick? My answer – neither! You’ll have to click to read the part that made her laugh!
Here’s Kaitlyn’s link: https://kaitlynleannsanchez.com/2020/07/10/author-interview-and-giveaway-about-lake-fun-interactive-book-by-rinda-beach/
Podcast #1 –
Welcome to http://www.jedlie.com/, the online home of Jed Doherty. I’ve been on his program twice. It’s nice to see what he really looks like.
Jed and I sat down to talk about LAKE FUN, and our chat went live on June 21st. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed talking to him.
Here’s Jedlie’s Link:
Podcast #2 –
Hello from https://conniebdowell.com/, Connie B. Dowell’s home page. Our podcast went live on June 24th. The next 3 paragraphs from that link . . .
“Hello from the road! The Dowell family is taking a very careful, socially distanced trip to see my parents…and basically not leave their house the whole time we are there. Wish us luck! We have packed so, so, so many disinfecting wipes.
Today, we’ve got a repeat guest, children’s author Rinda Beach. This time, she’s talking about how she created her latest book, Lake Fun for You and Me, which is both a picture book with a story and a journal with prompts for kids to write and draw about their own lake experiences. If you’re writing a book with an interactive or journaling element, this is the episode for you!
Finally, as I recorded my intro and outro for this episode, I thought I’d be back next week with a regular episode, but as I coped with work and travel, I’ve had to reassess. So, I’ll be taking my first week off of podcasting since last year. Talk to you all again on July 8th!"
Here's Connie’s link: http://bookechoes.com/2020/06/24/writing-a-book-with-a-journaling-element-with-rinda-beach/?fbclid=IwAR2PcwtJonwPOQdiqWxjuLagGGcbD
Part 1 – My August Schedule
This is my August post schedule. I don’t put dates on it because I pick them as I go. I skip around.
I have a letter first, a short title idea, and a number. The number comes last. It tells how many days I spent on the post, and I don’t know that until it’s done.
S- Instructable ideas 4
B- My book pages + 2020 PB 2 + 4
M- Social media friends 5
I- N. Rhine Westphalia 4
19 Total so far in August
Part 2 - The letters stand for:
I – Inspiration S – Share M – Me B – Business
'I' is for Inspiration.
These posts come from the things that I want to write about, for a story, for a post. I look for people, places, and things that inspire me. My last ‘I’ post was about North Rhine Westphalia. If I hadn’t traveled there in 2007, I might not have ever become a writer, or I might have waited till I retired from teaching.
I forgot . . .. I waited already. I had a story idea when my kids were in elementary school, but I put it off. I didn’t think I could teach all day and take care of my family at night. When I went to Germany, I had one kid in college, a senior, and a sophomore in high school.
PS – I still haven’t written that first idea, but it’s in my list of titles, waiting to be told.
‘S’ is for Share. These posts come from things I see online, in the news, from small town Ohio and Tennessee. I pick things that interest me, that I want to share. I write for the kids I know – the ones in elementary school, their parents, and their teachers. I look for things I’m interested in. Kids usually are too. I also look for things they study in school. Then I try to expand on it, or give it a new spin.
My August ‘S’ post highlighted one of my favorite websites, Instructables.com. I love the range of topics they cover from food to technology. I found my wind tunnel project design on Instructables. The kid who designed and wrote it was a 7th grader. He just graduated from college, and now he designs robots in California. I hope you’ll take a look at Instructables and let it inspire you too.
M is for Me! I pick things that I think you’d like to discover about me, the things I do, the places I travel. Basically, I write about what fascinates or horrifies me.
But I have to be careful. I have a husband, 3 adult children with 2 spouses, and a granddaughter. I want to tell you all about them, but they don’t. They want to keep somethings private, like pictures. I won’t share those on my website or social media because they don’t want me to, and I have to respect that.
My last ‘M’ post was about my social media friends, how we find each other, and how we talk. I also wrote about what happens when someone crosses into my personal space. There was no social media when I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s. Computers were as large as a couple classroom. My kids grew up with them. It’s like breathing for them, and they were my first social media teachers! Without them I wouldn’t be on Facebook! Really!
B is for Business I didn’t realize in November of 2016 that I’d become a business woman. That’s when my website went live, and I learned how to write blogs and book reviews. I didn’t earn a dime, but I built my writing skills each night. I also built a platform. It was the one small step I could take towards getting published, the only one I could control.
Every 4th post is about my business. It started with the website. Now I have two books from Beach Girl Press. That’s me! My last ‘B’ post was about freebies on my website. I have a coloring page and bookmark for Neil, and a journal page and bookmark for Lake Fun. I hope someone read the post and got one freebie, maybe all 4. If I sold a book, that’s even better!
I also write for my debut group, 2020 PB Stars. I highlight their books, and I hope they’ll highlight mine.
Part 3 – What’s Next in August? When I started this post, I had days to fill in August. I had to decide what to do and fast. Can you guess where I started? With the four pillars. I jot down ideas when I get them under the right letter. Here are the number of ideas I have for each pillar.
I – Inspiration S – Share M – Me B – Business
7 4 3 7
End of August/September
S- Elvis & vaccines B- how I find/track posts M- being stuck I- Kobe Bryant
Can you tell where I started? Yep, with finding and managing posts. I’m almost done. My last step is my book review. Now, to find the one that fits this post! Then – time to start the next one. I’m torn between Elvis and Kobe. Both of them just had trivia questions that will help me get started. We’ll both know Monday night!
Where did I find the 4 pillars? From Deb LaFlamme. She’s a marketing guru and my teacher. Her pillars guide my blogs. They have for a year or two.
What I love about them is that they challenge me. They make me stretch to offer you more. Thanks, Deb!
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.
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!