Coronavirus | When Does The Cycle End?

I wasn’t going to talk about this. I didn’t want to be another echo in a steady line of chatter, but I have realized two things about this Coronavirus madness. If this panedemic has taught us anything, it is that we truly are as human beings are only concerned about ourselves and the cliche phrase “history repeats itself” rings true to our new reality.

Before I get too far, I should mention that I hardly watch the news. Honestly, I don’t have to, social media is doing its best that it is plastered in every newsfeed, tweet, and vlog. I understand the panic and worry over your financials; I may be a disabled, but I’m not an idiot! I feel for every person who is sick in the hospital forced away from their families and the ones who are upset about the fact that everything is being cancelled.

For the past two days, I have been going through our DVR watching documentaries that I had piled up for a number of weeks. The two I want to talk to you were broadcast on PBS and a part of it’s American Experience program.

The first was about the outbreak of Influenza in 1918-19. I knew from the time it started it was an older episode because of the quality of color on the screen. It was talking to people who were infected or had members of their own family and possibly friends that were diagnosed with it and died.

It featured a lot of elderly people talk about their childhoods before and after the sickness creped into their cities and towns. What really pulled me in was when the narrator explained that it didn’t start with children and their weak immune systems. Instead it was the soldiers in the army camps that were being taken out first. You have to remember that at the time, World War I was going on and the need for young and healthy men were desperately needed to help fight the cause overseas.

Unfortunately, the war wasn’t the only killing machine out there. When Influenza appeared in the spring of 1918, there is a possibility that 500 million people worldwide came down with the deadly virus. Once the war was over, the men who came home were “healthy” to the naked eye but the disease lingered in their bodies to spread into their families and friends who were happy as clams to have their loved one back. All of a sudden the happiness was shattered when more and more people were being knocked down by the symptoms of the virus. The world was put on pause, and businesses and whole families were put on lockdown.

At this time, radio was the only way people could have contact with the outside. There was no TV for young children who were either bored or sick in their beds. They got by with doing chores, schoolwork, and played with their siblings in their rooms. To me, it is a surprise the stock market didn’t crash when the virus showed up because nobody would go anywhere. They were too afraid to!

Even though mainstream medicine was popular in the homes of American people, some could be superstitious and say that God was punishing them for their sins. Satan was there to claim every single person affected with the influenza. However, like with most sicknesses, as quickly as it came in, it disappeared! It had ended just in time as World War I was over and soldiers stationed in Europe were allowed to return to their homes again. Everyone was back to their old selves like nothing ever happened.

The next morning I woke up, had breakfast and started watching my second documentary, this time it was about polio. Since this epidemic happened in the 1950’s, the talk about it was discussed a little bit more compared to the influenza outbreak. I heard it through both sides of my grandparents when I was younger. I never heard much talk about it while I was a teen and honestly neither one were discussed in school. You would hear someone talk about a fraction of what happened and that was pretty much it.

So, when I saw American Experience was going to re-air the episode about polio or infantile paralysis I knew it would keep me entertained for the lack of a better word.

Where the influenza had been affecting anyone from the ages to 20 to under 50, polio began to infect children the most. Adults were also struck with it too, such as future President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt or FDR for short. He was the one that everyone talked about in my family. I think it was to possibly show me that at one time we had a disabled President.

Anyways, the program was focused more on the relationship with FDR and his friend Basil O’Connor. He was put in charge of running the President’s fund and resort for more research done on polio. As influenza came and went fairly quickly, polio dragged on and on, infecting as many people as it could at various ages. Polio was known for headaches, dizziness, and eventually the loss of movement, which explains the technical term ‘infantile paralysis’.

If you have ever watched the episode of The Waltons, where their mother becomes diagnosed with polio. In the beginning you see this strong young woman become affected by a dark shadow one day. She could no longer control her arms or legs. She could no longer go outside by herself because it made her unable to walk or do anything by herself. This was common to everyone who had it. They could be permanent paralyzed and at the mercy of their families for support. Although for Mrs. Walton regained the usage of her body at the end of the show.

After Basil O’Connor met Jonas Salk, he began to look into the science behind this nasty curse. In 1953, it was announced that Dr. Salk had discovered the source of the problem and gave treatment on a number of people to test it. A year later it was said that the vaccine had worked and they moved to have it be given to everyone in America. Forty-four years later, it was said that polio had became extinct

Yet here we are again, in our own crisis, dealing with a brand new illness with really no end in sight.

History will continue to repeat itself over and over, to show us what we need to see again. When each sickness rolled into town, people seemed to be kind and stayed at home. They followed quarantine rules and religiously practiced social distancing, so to not affect anybody else with the virus. So, as we keep modern day Americans, Italians, English, etc keep gathering together for fun, we are only making everything worse.

I know you’re bored. I live at home, and rarely get to go out when the air is clear. It’s been over two weeks since I have seen my sister, brother-in-law and little nephew. Yes, I have seen and talked to them on FaceTime, but I love being face-to-face with people. So I ask you to please do everything you can to help eradicate this new virus, so we can go back to our normal lives and forget about it just like our ancestors did before us.
Thank you!

Book Review: “Women Of Scotland: A Journey Through History” by Helen Susan Swift

Howdy!

Recently I was scrolling through new free books on Amazon and I came across this little beauty. It is called Women Of Scotland: A Journey Through History by Helen Susan Swift. I am prone to love books directed towards women and their everyday lives, and it doesn’t matter on the time period, I just like to learn what they were up to; so when I read the description of this, I became even more curious to learn about them.

I actually wasn’t going to do this review, but I wanted a nice get way to talk about my reason to why I decided to read this book. I just figured I could kill two birds with one stone! So, let’s get started with my explanation and ultimately talk about why I enjoyed this, but still gave it three stars on Goodreads.


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A historical survey of Scotswomen from earliest times to the 21st century. This book looks the huge number of women who have been the driving force behind this small but dynamic nation from the dark ages to the present day. As well as warriors and scientists, fish wives, seawomen, the factory workers and authors are included.

taken from Goodreads.


For Christmas, my dad received the AncestryDNA kit. He’s always talked about doing it, but is really paranoid about these things. However, once he did it, it was like he was a kid again, all excited and giddy with every new notification. It was so adorable!

He has known about the Scottish and Welsh roots, but wasn’t really sure about the percentage. Once the results were ready, he found out that he a greater amount of both heritages but with the addition of Irish, British and Germanic, which we are still unsure about anyways, so if you know this means, please explain it to me so I can tell him too!

For me, I have always felt more Irish than Scottish and that was the big reason why I decided to get this book, because I thought maybe it would inspire me to accept this easier. In the beginning, it really helped and I was even saying to my mom, “these are my ancestries and I am descended from these strong women!” So, it became a great investment in both ways as my dad was discovering his family tree and I was learning more about the history of Scottish women.

*****

I feel like I should mention that I got this, a little bit before he received his results back. So, whether or not he was right about his family folklore (because we found out another tall tale was wrong!) I think I would have continued to read it. I say “I think” because there were some chapters that were incredibly boring…

Since this book was about women, the author really dug deep and found some extraordinary women and girls to discuss in each section. We start off learning about the Romans, Vikings invading early Britton. As it continues talking about the Celts and their ways, like how they revered the women from their beauty to rules of marriage, divorce, and ownership over lands.

One story in particular that I remember in a chapter was about Lady Devorgilla. The name differs but the way Helen used was “Devorgilla” so that’s how I’ll call her. I don’t really remember much, because of the amount of other’s stories I learned while reading, but she was the mother of a King of Scotland. She created a college located in Oxford (Balliol College), an Abbey called “Sweetheart Abbey”, and a notable bridge called Devorgilla Bridge.

One interesting fact that I just adored was that even though she was betrothed to her husband John Balliol from a young age, she clearly loved him dearly! After he passed away, she commissioned an Abbey to be made so she and the nuns could endlessly pray for her husband’s soul. She apparently had his heart embalmed and locked away in a casket so she had a piece of him every day and night. This is why the name of the Abbey, is “Sweetheart Abbey”.

There were a lot of individual stories included in the book. Since it literally goes in order of history, you have many tales of medieval royal women. She does talk about Mary, Queen of Scots, but tries not to dedicate too much time to her which I liked a lot because I hope to read a book dedicated to her only. However, there were also just ordinary women included too. Some who maybe made a name for themselves outside of Scotland.

As you come to the 19th and 20th Century chapters, you will learn about women who did not abide by the rules of the time. They traveled all around the world like the men of the time. One by the name of Helen Gloag was an regular young women wanting to explore new worlds but her boat was captured by pirates and was forced to change course to Morocco.

At the point, the sexes would be separated, while the men were killed the women on the ship were sold as slaves and she was brought to the ruler, Sultan Sidi Mohammid ibn Abdullah. He obviously liked her unique features and took her in and eventually married her, thus becoming an Empress of Morocco.

The chemistry between them must been mutual as they had two sons and she was able to write to her family back in Scotland about her new home. She was also able to persuade the Sultan to release any person captured by the pirates that came into their kingdom. When her husband died, she was removed of her place and title as one of the Sultan’s older sons had his younger half brothers killed and there’s a possibility that Helen lived the reminder of her life in exile as she disappears from history afterwards.

These women were wonderful to learn about, but I did give a three star rating on my Goodreads profile for a reason. It was because there were like four or five chapters in a row that discussed how women dealt with life as a peasant I guess, and I do feel awful about this. I really didn’t like the discussion about how women were treated during the times of war, although learning that some wives and entire families would flock among the camps of soldiers! Imagine bringing in a new baby to an actual war zone?! The other part was when we got into the lives of fisherwomen and working in the salt mines. It just wanted to drag on and on, but I am glad I continued though.

A part of me thinks this is a great book full of references a person could use if they are after a Women’s Studies degree. It has a lot of material that could be useful for feminists, as it talks about the Scottish suffragettes in the later chapters. It could also be a great motivational book, as it really helped influence me into thinking I am a strong woman myself, and since I am descended through many of these different women and their histories, I definitely felt influenced but loved as well.

Have you read “Women In Scotland” by Helen Susan Swift yet? If you have, what were your thoughts about it? Did you have any favorite stories too?

snowflake

Dear Papaw IV

Dear Papaw,

It is me again.

I decided to do this letter while I sat on the edge of my bed staring at my fairy lights hanging down around the only window in the room while listening to sad love songs. They’re bright like your spunk, and I miss it dearly. I’ve been looking for an endless supply of laugher as it has become the best form of medicine for me lately. I am also finally understanding why you liked to sit in the quiet. It’s hauntingly peaceful.

Lots have happened since I wrote to you last, and I’m sure you know everything. The new house. Dad’s watching basketball again. He watched majority of this season, going between Butler and IU. There were a few times that we both agreed you would be furious about, especially since each team had a good start but once the conference games began all heck broke loose. And then to top it off, the Coronavirius outbreak. We were furious but yet not surprised by the cancellation of all games–men and women! They even cancelled my NBA games! Last Thursday, we had a Butler game (which is how I found out about the NCAA announcement) earlier in the day and then I was suppose to have both Rockets and Lakers games. I hadn’t watched a game for about five days and the one time I was ready, this happens!

Emily has graduated and hoping to start her journey to get her master’s degree. And you were probably apart of the journey with Brittany to visit nana and everybody up north last fall. Thank goodness I did not throw up in her car! She probably wouldn’t let me back in that car again… I’m hoping you’ll be part of the mini adventure coming up too. No pressure or anything, because you know how loud we can get sometimes!

You would love to hang out with Nolan. He is fun but has a lot more energy than anybody else! He is interested in cars and trucks. We haven’t exactly introduced trains to me yet. He has his own sound effects that are absolutely adorable! He can say several words, I think the last count was over 40! Apparently trying to say “Meggie” or just plain Meghan is a little harder to do, but I am a naturally patient person so I will wait for the day he comes out of his mouth and when that day comes, I’ll probably cry right in front of him!

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Another thing he loves is music. I don’t know whether or not you’d be proud of an almost two year old knowing all of the words to “Cool” by Jonas Brothers. I mean, they’re no Stan Kenton, but he does sound cute whenever he does the chorus. Oh, and the dancing too! He definitely has some rhythm in his bones, even if they like hurt every other day. I think you’d wonder why he has pains like an elderly person (this was as good as you’re going to get. I mean, I could have said someone in their 80’s, but I think nana would feel offended!) but also still feel bad for him. He’ll be the only one in his age group, who will know every time the weather changes.

Okay, I think I am done ranting about things. Although, I think you like hearing how things are going lately. If I can remember, maybe I’ll write to you again on your birthday. We’ll have to see how everything goes first. I wonder if you’ve become a patient person. It seems a bit weird saying that out loud, but I am a little curious.

I hope you’re doing very well wherever you are right now. Keep watching over everybody if you can. We love and miss you lots. Bye.

Your granddaughter,

Meg-han.

Life Lately | Tulips, Royals, & Blog Schedule

Howdy!

It has been a LONG freaking time since I’ve done one of these blog posts. I always tell myself I need to do more of them or at least have mom buy a thick spine journal so I can get things out but it never happens!

Here’s the interesting part of this, I thought about writing this first than getting to work on Friday’s post, which will be a diary entry directed to my lovely papaw. For today, I am focusing on good things–not saying talking about/to my papaw isn’t good–and I am hoping to unleash a lot of things that have been roaming around in my mind lately! It will be separated by three sections so I hope everyone enjoys themselves and give me your thoughts at the end.

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Spring Is Coming!

I like winter, and always have, mostly because snow makes me happy although I never go out and play in it or run through with my wheelchair. This year, we haven’t had a lot of snow and like my mom mentioned to me the other day, she said since we didn’t have a bunch of snow like in previous years, the bugs will be awful because they didn’t necessarily die. I am okay with the occasional fly or in our case, ladybugs but yeah, I could do without the wasps! I’m not a fan of bees either, but we need them to survive apparently!

One thing that I definitely missed during the colder months is my mom buying flowers for our house. I guess we kind of got into a routine of having new flowers throughout every two weeks. I am actually fine with fake flowers, but having something like fresh flowers can really help your mood. At least, it has in my case when my mom bought me some very beautiful tulips one day.

I am not just obsessed with sunflowers, I like a variety of flowers like daisies, roses and tulips. I do talk about my love of sunflowers quite a bit and because of that nobody really knows about the others. So, after my mom found out that I adored tulips, she found these $12.99 tulips in a fairly large vase. My dad didn’t really like the price of them but since then we have all become a little obsessed with them. They change every day. They continue to flourish but we’ve been watching one of them because it’s been a little overzealous on how high he becomes that for a while he began to lean down and we have started to make jokes about it like “I’ve stood up all day. I need a break!” My mom and I can be a little weird sometimes

Since having the flowers in my room, I have been looking forward to spring. My room is located by all of our trees and I have really missed the greenery that surrounds me, but I have enjoyed seeing the moon through my window at night.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

I know you’re probably tired of seeing everybody discuss the royals right now. If you want to ignore this section, you can. I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about the drama, but I do want to talk about my thoughts on it.

I have been following the British Royal Family since The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were married, so around 2011. My mom has been reading up about them since Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer. And yes, she absolutely hated Camila, The Duchess of Cornwell. I actually do not, mainly because I am a supporter of Anne Boleyn, as she was also a mistress to a senior royal.

For the case of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, I always felt they would be different. They would move into the modern world as royals, but I did not think this would happen at all! When The Queen gave Harry and Meghan the title of “Duke and Duchess of Sussex” was interesting because the last time a royal was given this peerage was Queen Victoria’s uncle Prince Augustus Frederick. Although he had the title of ‘Duke Sussex’ neither one of his wives were allowed to be called a duchess, but what is interesting is that they were not given permission of the crown which at the time of his first wife, George III was still alive. Prince Augustus and his first wife welcomed two children, but were not recognized so they were not awarded any titles as their many cousins.

Prince Harry asked the queen for permission to marry Meghan, but their son Archie does not carry the title of Viscount like say Harry’s uncle Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex’s son James, as he is known as a Viscount.  I understand their right to want to lead a more private life for Archie’s sake, but the separation of leaving as senior royals threw me for a loop! To me, I think this would have been easier on everyone if Harry declined the title of Duke when he and Meghan first married.

When Anne, The Princess Royal first married her first husband, he was offered a title but declined thus their children: Peter and Zara, along with their descendants do not have royal titles. A lot of people will say this happened because Anne is a woman, but at the time of the marriage, Charles was not married at all. She was the only child of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh to wed. Here we have Prince William as the oldest son of The Prince of Wales, married with three children. All three were present when Harry and Meghan married, so why didn’t he say no? A part of me wonders on the fact of possible backlash to the world if Meghan, a biracial woman, wasn’t allowed to be called a duchess. Shrugs.

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The Blog Schedule

After what happened while I was doing my A-Z Disability Challenge series, I honestly wanted to give myself a massive break. Since I can’t stop blogging, I figured I needed to find a solution to make it easier and also keep it fun for the both of us. Once January began, I took off for two weeks and do other things that were not related to blogging. It was relaxing, but I did not envision to keep this trend alive for as long as I thought I would. However, I have quite enjoyed myself in these breaks, mostly because I can focus my attention on reading my books in my off time.

The schedule (including a post for Mon, Tues, and Wed) will continue this way until I decide that I need another week for more posts. As of right now, two weeks is doing really good for me. I am still skeptical of this, but I am getting the hang out of it.

I think I am done writing this post now. I thought I would add a few more things about my life, but as I said above, I also have my papaw’s letter to do as well. I think I will include bits about my nephew Nolan in there because I know he’d enjoy it. Well, I hope you are having a great week!

snowflake

Book Review: “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio

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Howdy!

In February, I read only three books.

Ride Me Dirty by Vanessa ValeJane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone and Wonder by R.J. Palacio

My tastes in books at the moment has been very interesting, I’m not really sticking to one genre but then again if you know anything about me, you’ll know this is completely normal because I can be completely at peace when my music is on shuffle. I figure going this route will help me stay motivated to read more and maybe keep it entertaining and so far so good!

This book was my final “disability” read on my list and I’m glad I read it, but I am somewhat surprised by the fact that I gave it a four star rating on Goodreads. I enjoyed reading it. I thought it was really good, but I just didn’t think it deserved five stars.

Hmmm…


13510287“I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.

WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

taken from Goodreads.

The story of August “Auggie” Pullman was beautiful! I loved his attitude and surprisingly his hobbies like Star Wars. Although, I have to say, I don’t know anything about that fandom. Honestly, I am more into the “newer” Star Trek world of Captian Kirk and Spock. Anyways, I loved that there was still a silver of a young child in him, but as you continue reading the book, you also discover there’s a mature side wanting to come out too.

It was a bit difficult to see him as a middle schooler, because where I’m from, when you become a fifth grader, you’re still in elementary so I had to get it into my brain to not create this avatar character younger than he is in the book. Another part of this process was when the term “dating” come up and oh my gosh, I had so many flashbacks going on, it was nuts! I fully agreed with Summer’s mother, fifth graders are too young to start dating or anything else in that realm.

We talk about Auggie’s life in his perspective first, but then we come to a stop and there are a few parts for some of the close characters that August is surrounded by and I feel like these were my favorites because of course, everybody is going to have another perspective of a certain person, but you never get to really know what they are thinking about them in real life. So, the fact that we see Via, Jack Will, Justin’s telling us their thought process made it more interesting for me. It actually brought me back to the time when I first met my friend Haley in kindergarten, because for me this was the first time I was around a group of kids all day long, so they were allowed to get to know me but the only person I remember who had a good experience was Haley. She thought I was the coolest thing in the world and I still appreciate everything she ever did for me back then.

One of the other things that is discussed is these precepts in Mr. Browne’s English class. I thought it was only right to end this post with one of my own. Actually, this is a quote that I used for my senior year in high school to go underneath our pictures in the yearbook. It was:

Why be different when you can be so much more?

At this point in my life, I wasn’t comfortable with my body, disability at all. So, I still don’t fully understand why I would come up with such a thing. I came up with it on the spot too! It was crazy, but the real question is now that 10 years have passed, do I believe it? In a way, yes I do. I am different, but I am more than my disability. I am a woman, who thinks for herself and enjoys things like any other person. I am just me. I think Auggie could believe it too. He is more than what is going on with his face. He is more than what other people may think of him. He is just himself.

I think I might’ve figured out why I gave it four stars. At the end of the book, Auggie does understand that he is just an ordinary guy and is perfectly fine with it. He is also looked upon others as an inspiration. He did do an extraordinary thing and even though he was happy about it, as the reader I didn’t much care for the ending of the story. It was exactly like it was supposed to be, a happy ending with a greater reason behind it. I expected it to happen and I’m sure others did too, but because of that, I was immediately offended. So, I left out a star and I know, people will say something about it, but this is what I feel and what entered me emotionally while I was reading it.

How you read the book “Wonder” yet? What were your thoughts on it? Let me know below! 

snowflake