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About Rachel

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  1. Jacqueline Woodson writes a lot of middle grade books, the ones I have read are good, especially Brown Girl Dreaming. Cry, the Beloved Country is really good! The author is white although South African. Becoming by Michelle Obama, although non-fiction is really good. Condelezza Rice’s autobiography is also really interesting. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson is fabulous. He is a black attorney from the north who moved to the south and started the Equal Justice Initiative which works with those who were wrongly imprisoned, often on death row, due to non-existent or poor legal representation. If you would like something on civil rights, Martin Luther King Jr’s autobiography read by Lamar Burton is really, really good. There are recordings of the speeches Dr. King gave interspersed throughout. I agree with CuriousMom that Maya Angelou is a great writer but many of her books have graphic scenes in them.
  2. I’ve not seen one but I have definitely heard a pair. A couple weeks ago I took my kids on their very first backpacking trip. My two boys slept just fine but my daughter was nervous and had trouble sleeping. She woke me what felt like every 10 minutes. I was laying there awake after the most recent disturbance and heard the “Who cooks for you call” nearby, then heard a response off in the distance. Then a minute later heard it again closer. It was really neat. Then suddenly the two birds came rushing through our campsite and seemed to land in the same place very nearby. They made this most awful sounding monkey sound several times over what felt like an hour but was probably a minute. My 7 year old sat up during the middle of it and sleepily told me, “I do NOT like that sound”. My daughter didn’t sleep much at all after that while my 12 year old slept through it all. 😆 We think it may have been some sort of mating ritual but aren’t certain. Now my 7 year old keeps talking about wanting to see more monkey owls. We had a great horned owl that would come to a tree in our yard for 3 winters in a row but he didn’t show up this year. We think our yard was just part of his territory, he was really impressive.
  3. I can’t believe it has been 5 years! I would love to send him a card.
  4. If you have Amazon Prime you can find songs online, I created a list of school songs that we use during our morning time. The Classical Conversations President song is available. We like the Macho Nacho song for states and capitals. There are many other options though. Seterra is a good quizzing program online for geography. Edited to add this video, they have a world map video too.
  5. Kuman has good maze books. Instead of writing in the books, I have my kids a button to push through the maze.
  6. Fill the sink with water, give them a couple cups and maybe a strainer. When you dry up your floor, it will be cleaner than it’s been in a long time. 😊 You may just want one kid doing this at a time.
  7. My husband flew in the first part of March, he said entire airports smelled like disinfectant and that he saw the plane, being wiped down. He said it seemed much cleaner than normal, he sent a picture of his plane from CT to Detroit, it was almost empty. My brother flew home from another country in late March, he witnessed much the same thing. He said no one sat next to each other on the planes, they weren’t empty but not crowded either. Frontier was running a deal where you could fly for just the cost of airport fees, you may have to join the discount program. The border from LA into TX is definitely closed. Two of my cousins live in TX and commute to LA. Initially they both had difficulty getting the right paperwork to get home from work even though they are considered essential workers. People are being turned back by TX police. I’m sorry for your loss. I certainly understand your husband wanting to be there for his brother.
  8. I’m very sorry for your loss! I’ve had three miscarriages (10 weeks, 10 weeks, 17 weeks) and healed differently physically and emotionally each time. Within 4-6 weeks I was feeling mostly normal each time though. It’s hard to know the difference between grief and pregnancy hormones plus you have the added craziness of the world being upside down right now. As for nausea, it usually was gone within a couple weeks. I wish you the best during this healing process.
  9. I think sending the kids to the grandparents for awhile makes a ton of sense if your husband deploys. For what it is worth, my grandfather had a serious (and contagious) health issue while a full time student, full time worker, and the father of three young kids. My grandma was a full time student too. They sent the three kids to stay with their grandparents for about 6 months. After my youngest brother was born my mom suffered from severe post partum depression, my sister and I went across the country to stay with my grandparents for 6 weeks. In both cases, at the time we didn’t really know why we were going to our grandparents for so long, but look back and have fond memories. In both cases it was doing but was best for the kids. I’m sorry this is such a stressful time for you, hang in there!
  10. If I was looking for a dining table on Craigslist similar to the one you linked, I would expect to pay $250-$300 without chairs or benches. With chairs or benches I could see paying up to $500. Of course this depends on where you live, and the condition of the table.
  11. I saw that this morning, it is heartbreaking. The son of a good friend of mine has the same type of epilepsy. Charlotte’s Web has literally been a lifesaver for him.
  12. I’m sorry! We have a large car manufacturer in our area that directly employs 10,000 people. That plant is shut down through the end of April. Many people like my neighbor have plenty of PTO to help out financially, but eventually that will run out. I haven’t heard about all the area feeder plants in the news, but I assume they are also shut down by default. This affects so many people!
  13. My husband’s company has laid off some people, 27 in his division of 400. Everyone else has a 10%-15% pay cut going into effect at the end of the month. Overall considering the size of his company it could be much worse. It’s hard to say if this is due to coronavirus or the oil price battle between Russia and Saudi Arabia though. I’m just thankful he has a job right now, it could be so much worse. My SIL is in another state, her hours have been reduced by 25% and will likely see an additional 25% cut soon. They had to lay off many people at her nonprofit, she said it keeps her up at night even though those workers were able to be paid for a month and will qualify for unemployment. None of my other family members have had job loss or pay cuts, yet.
  14. This list sounds a lot like my backyard. The Carolina wrens were around all winter but this morning two visited the feeder at the same time, that was a first. Two tufted tit mouses (mice?) visited the feeder together too, then later a saw two mourning doves in the tree, it was like all the birds decided to pair up now that spring is here. I’m jealous of the bluebirds, we have them in this area but not our yard. These aren’t song birds but we have a pond behind our house that’s gotten mallards this year, first time in 8 years. Every night about an hour after dark they get really noisy.
  15. My mom has a round scar in her arm from childhood, she was vaccinated in the US. I think it was for small pox. My dad is 4 years older and doesn’t have one. I have a friend my age who has a scar that looks just like it but she is Czech.
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