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

March Playlist

Hello!

Welcome back to another monthly playlist! I hope you are doing good, and finding your isolation comforting and possibly a little fun here and there.

I started this month on the right foot, as for the last four years, March has become more of a sadder time for my family and I since my papaw’s death. I try not to bring it into my playlist but it’s like my brain likes to have softer sounds around. The first week was nothing but Ingrid Michaelson, Plumb and a little of Dido mixed in there too. If you were to see the collection of songs I put into my Spotify playlist, the first four songs are all in gray/white so I’ve been secretly calling it the “gray” playlist.

Towards the middle of the month though, I found upbeat tunes and wanted to listen to some of my favorite albums, ones that I knew I liked all the way through and this brought me back into my rock phase for a little bit. I listened Halestorm, Icon For Hire, and Within Temptation. I also realized I still had a three hours worth of old school hip hop music videos I could be watching on my DVR, and I started adding some of my favorite tracks like “I Do!” by Toya, “Right Thurr” (Remix) by Chringy featuring Trina and Jeremaine Dupri, and “Snap Yo Fingers” by Youngbloodz featuring Lil Jon, Sean Paul, & E-40.

How about I just give you my Top 20 songs instead of talking about the process? It might be less boring for you too!

Open Hands by Ingrid Michaelson featuring Trent Dabbs
Chocolate & Ice Cream by Plumb
I Choose You by Sara Bareilles
You Will Become by Glen Hansard
Fire Breather by Laurel
Beautiful With You by Halestorm
Don’t Think I’m Not by Kandi
Queen by Loren Gray
Good In Goodbye by Madison Beer
Say So by Doja Cat
Baby, I’m Back by Baby Bash featuring Akon
A Mili by Lil Wayne
Carry On by Ashanti
AM To PM by Christina Milian
Imagine by Ariana Grande
Our Last Gloomy Dance by Diabulus in Musica
All Is Found by Evan Rachel Wood
Zipper by Jason Derulo
Sluil a Run by Ella Roberts
Nobody Wants To Be Alone by Christian Reindl featuring Atrel

I hardly ever play favorites when it comes to my own playlists–especially the monthly ones, but this one just feels different compared to the others. It’s calmer but you can sense the shift on where I was emotionally; for example I associate the month of March with my papaw of course, March Madness, and listening to lots of Celtic Woman. I have my mom to thank for that because a couple of weeks before my papaw died, she found PBS was airing the newest Celtic Woman concert (Destiny) and hearing them sing always gives me a sense of peace.

This month I was allowed to watch some of my favorite Disney movies, but honestly I just wanted to watch Frozen II on Disney+ and now that I have, I am sort of taking advantage of the opportunity and watching classics like Bambi, Alice In Wonderland and even the newest live action film: Aladdin. By the time, this post goes live I’d probably watched the rest! Back to Frozen though, I absolutely loved it! The wait was so worth it, and yes. I am as obsessed with the soundtrack like I am with the first one. I have already learned both “All Is Found” and “Show Yourself” like a pro! I did not know that Evan Rachel Wood could sing so good!

If you would like to check out my Spotify playlist, click here and you’ll hopefully be directed back to my profile. If not, please let me know so it can be corrected!

What are you listening to this month?

snowflake

Music Monday | 10 Years Of Apperciation!

Howdy!

So, I have some exciting news to share with you today.

Last year, I celebrated 10 years of blogging and talked about various disability topics. It was fun and I seriously thought I was done and was going to have a nice break for a while, but then back in February, I realized I have been a high school graduate for ten whole years! If you feel old, don’t worry I’ve never been more afraid of sliding into my thirties this much in my life! Although, I don’t think they are considered “old” (hell, I don’t even think fifty or sixty years old are elderly anymore!) but everyone close to me will certainly feel their age and I don’t necessarily feel that bad about that! 😉

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If you have been following me for a long time, you might remember my ‘Tune Tuesday’ summer posts I did for a good three or four years in a row. They were about music from all around the world. It was exciting to share with my family, friends and audience of new and old acts are based in places they’ve never expected before. Some people were really surprised by this and it made me really happy! I hoped I gave everyone a shot on discovering something different each week!

Unfortunately, I am not comfortable to mess up my new schedule just so I can publish on Tuesday, but I had a clear version of everything coming together nicely (we’ll see about that!) so I thought about using the start of the week, like my A-Z challenge and I have seen other blogs use it before and it’s even trended on Twitter in the past! The last two Mondays’ of the next six months will be called ‘Music Monday’.

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Now let’s discuss the theme of this new journey.

I’ve been getting the idea to go this route back for a while. I know I don’t talk about this a lot, but after I graduated from high school I was supposed to study Audio Recordings, and hoped to become a record producer one day.

One of the classes I had to take was one called “music appreciation”. Now, I have to remind you of the fact that I only lasted about a month or two, before I quit the whole thing, so I don’t really remember the main objective of the class itself. However, I feel like it would have talked about finding the genius in various genres and the masters that created each piece. If it ever turns into a special on PBS, I would probably end loving it!

I have selected 12 people that have inspired prior to making the decision to study this and the others were found while I was doing my own course into appreciating all forms of music for the last ten years. I am hoping to explain a little more into why I gravitated to discover something different and how I evolved with each new act I collected overtime.

I am really excited to do this series and hope you enjoy every post that I publish in the next couple of months.

Who are you hoping to see included in my new series?

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.