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Everything posted by Storygirl

  1. Is there a way for you to choose to work in the office while he is not there? For example, if you work one day a week, instead of doing that, go in every day when you know he will be out for lunch. It seems the current thinking is that prolonged exposure increases the odds of getting the virus, so being with him for an hour or two every day might be better, health-wise, than being with him for one day for 8 hours. Or if lunchtime chops up your day too much, show up an hour before you know he will arrive, then leave an hour after he gets there, so you get two hours of work done each day but only one with him in the room. Just throwing out some ideas.
  2. The fact that DS16 plays percussion does seem like beneficial right now, for the reasons mentioned previously. He stands at the back of the band, so no one blows on him when playing their instruments. Oh, I didn't mention in my other post that DS16 plays his bass guitar for marching band season and stands at the front with the marimbas and other non-marching instruments. I never would have thought that bass guitar could be a marching band instrument!! He switches to drums for the concert band season and also plays the drum set in the high school jazz band. Band and music are extremely important to DS16, because he is talented as a musician but has LDs, so the academics of school are very hard for him. I am hoping that the school finds a way to still have a music program in a safe manner. One thing about percussion -- it's loud. Which may not be a great choice if your household has to remain quiet during the day. Electronic drums are an option and can be played quietly with headphones. For bass guitar, there is a lot of technique to learn. However, a beginner can self teach and pick out the bass line in a song, if they have the ability to play by ear, so there is a kind of instant gratification. The guitar is more complicated, but plenty of people do self-teach it. Again, if your son can play by ear, he could probably get a start on either the bass or the guitar by watching lessons online.
  3. DS15 plays sax in the school band but loves the guitar. He started on electric guitar two years ago and now can play acoustic guitar, as well. He plays his guitar in the school jazz band. He has a group of friends who were starting a garage band before the shut down. DS16 has played drum set for five years. A few years ago, he said he wanted to learn guitar, so we had him learn bass guitar. He is talented at both, and his bass teacher has commented that his background in percussion helped him with learning bass. Both of my boys love music and practice for hours daily, so playing instruments has been a big benefit to them during this time. We do worry about what will happen with school band in the fall (and with choir, which DD14 participates in). They take their lessons at the local location of a national music store change. It took the company's management a few weeks to adjust to the quarantine, but they now offer virtual lessons with their local teachers through Zoom. The virtual lesson are working surprisingly well, though of course, it may be harder to instruct a beginner online. You could see if there is a store near you.
  4. We had some steak in the freezer, so we decided to eat it for lunch, before DD18 headed out to work. We had root beer floats (an easy treat, and it's been years since we've had any), and I made a strawberry cake for us to have this evening after DD gets back home. We will have Costco frozen pizzas for supper, I think, because I need to make some room in my freezer. So I spent some time in the kitchen this morning. I just finished giving DS16, DS15, and DH their first haircuts since March. I used to cut the boys' hair, but haven't since they were about 10 years old. So I have experience doing it from long ago. This was the first haircut that I ever did for DH, and it came out well, if I say so myself. I should take the dog for a stroll around the neighborhood. I'd like to play a game with whoever is willing. And after our pizza, we will probably watch a movie as a family. So far I've had several votes for 13 Going on 30. My adult niece asked the family over to her house for a cookout, but we declined. Although I'd love to see her family and my 86 year old dad (who probably attended), it's too risky.
  5. It is expensive to try to replicate what they do on HGTV. We just did a kitchen remodel, so I've been paying attention to what the designers say building a new kitchen will cost, and it is always less than what it costs in real life. As they walk through the house, they will say, "This kitchen remodel will cost $18,000;" or "We'll have to spend $9,000 to gut this master bathroom." Those kind of figures are low compared to real life, unless you plan to do it yourself. On the other hand, they sometimes put in things that are more expensive than I would pick. On one of the Property Brothers' shows recently, they mentioned that the new quartz kitchen counters cost $8000, and I paid a fraction of that for ours. I think that the shows must fund some of the project; for example, the stars will be paid by the show and will not take a general contractor fee. As for Joanna Gaines -- I really like what she did for the houses on her show. But when I checked her design book out from the library and paged through it, all of the pictures were very much the same, making the book rather boring. All of the tv show designers have a personal design aesthetic that you can see dominating their projects.
  6. I also think that people need to be aware of their local school regulations. If a high schooler is pulled out to homeschool, can they re-enroll a year from now, or does it mean committing to homeschooling all the way through? I actually don't know what the rules are about that, here, so if I needed to seriously consider homeschooling, I would need to find out.
  7. Our school does not have a plan in place yet but has announced that remote instruction will be an option for those who don't want to come to the building. My youngest three will all be high schoolers in the fall. I did homeschool them for most of the elementary years and would not go back to it (there are reasons that we switched to brick and mortar school that remain important). My kids want to go back to school, and as long as I feel that our district is doing its best to keep people safe, we will send them. I'm hoping it will be a half-home and half-at-school hybrid, which should work for us. Our public school did a decent job with remote learning, although it did vary by teacher, and DH and I had to step in and teach the kids some things that they normally would have received instruction for in class. I probably should say that most teachers did a good job giving assignments; there was very little actual instruction provided. Having more videos of lectures or virtual class meetings would have been helpful for instruction, and I would hope that teachers will be better at delivering content by this fall, since they know they have to be able to offer remote learning to students who need/want it. Two of my kids have LDs and IEPs, so I would say that choosing something like online public school would be our back-up option, but I actually think that would be a worse situation for them than the remote learning that our current public school has been able to offer. Socially, my kids are doing unexpectedly well with staying home all of the time for these past months, but doing it for another year would not be good for them (personal reasons I won't bother to go into). I think that seeing their friends in the classroom will be less risky, health-wise, than if they socialize on their own outside school hours, because there will be structure and guidance at school about social distancing.
  8. DD18 wears only one mask per shift when she is working at her fast food job, so I don't anticipate that she will change it often during the day. I think that most college students will only wear masks when the school requires it and will not wear them for socializing in the dorms. I don't like that idea, but I think that's how it will probably go, based on what I see going on around us now. If high school students are not wearing masks (and I think they are not, unless required), college students won't, either. But I will still send plenty for DD18, as I mentioned in my previous post, because I also don't think she will do laundry often or would hand wash her masks. She is actually very good at doing laundry and taking care of her clothing at home, but I'm not counting on all of her good habits to persist in the dorms. So I agree with you to a point, @athena1277 But I think that there will be required mask wearing in certain areas of most college campuses, so I think students will still wear them and need them outside the dorms.
  9. Home Laminating--Worth it? Recommendations? I recommend that you don't try it. Once your doors and windows are sealed over, it will be too hard to get in and out.
  10. I had this conversation with DD18 just a couple of days ago. I was thinking 14 masks, so that she has enough to last without doing laundry every week. The ones we have so far fold up very small, so 14 of them wouldn't take up too much room.
  11. OP, I'm really sorry about the strife with your husband. My family is not planning any vacation this summer, and we usually do go somewhere. Our extended family is just a couple of hours in-state, and we don't know when we will see them again, which is hard. I'm not sure we will see them at all this summer, even though we usually have several family gatherings. I would not go to the event that you describe. If your husband and kids decide to go without you, I think you should try to find some way to do something fun for yourself while they are gone. Something that will build you up, so that you don't spend as much time worrying. (I would worry).
  12. I googled to be sure, and it seems Ohio state parks have been open for awhile (May 7), and camping is open this weekend. It looks like parts of Hocking Hills are still closed until mid-June, while they are working on some of the trails, but other parts of it are open.
  13. Yes, the hands-on aspects are hard to learn, if you can't get near people! I don't know how much of that is in the Intro to Exercise Science class that she will take her freshman year. I'm hoping that an intro class would not be as hard to adapt, but there are a lot of clinicals during the junior and senior years. Hopefully there will be a vaccine by the time our daughters get to that stage of their experience, but who knows?
  14. DD18 plans to attend her university in person. I talked to her a bit about a gap year, but she was never very interested, and she is the type of person who will love being on campus and would wither if she didn't get to go. Although I personally have qualms about her going, she is committed, and I have accepted it. We received an email today saying that her college will have all classes available for in-person, as well as asynchronous and synchronous online options. They want individual students who have circumstances change mid-term to be able to continue with classes they have started. And it also gives them flexibility to respond and switch to online classes as an entire school, if it becomes necessary again. They said they are changing things in the cafeteria (small school, so only one main cafeteria) to allow for social distancing and will maximize their options for students to have single rooms. They will not, of course, be able to give every student a single, but (they didn't say this) if enrollment drops, they would have more space than usual. I do wonder about move-in day, because having so many families passing in the halls and setting up things in rooms will provide particular challenges. There will be a parent question-and-answer phone call with administration sometime soon, and it's something to ask about. DD will major in exercise science, which includes sciences with labs, and close contact with classmates, so it will be interesting to see how those classes adapt. I like the idea of having a long break between Thanksgiving and New Year's, but her school is not planning on changing the calendar (or at least has not discussed that with parents/students yet). It would be nice if she could quarantine for two weeks at home and then (perhaps) be able to see grandparents at Christmas.
  15. We generally use the Pillsbury fudge brownie mix, with canola oil. We check it two or three minutes before the minimum time on the box. The edges are crunchier than the middle but don't get too crunchy unless we leave it in a few minutes too long. In our area, this boxed mixed usually runs 99 cents, so we find it both inexpensive and reliable. DH recently brought home a pack of Ghiradelli brownie mixes from Costco, and those brownies are good, but I wouldn't say they are better than the inexpensive Pillsbury ones. I agree that that brownies can be tricky to get right, and I also have that problem with lemon bars!!! When I have made lemon bars, I often have had to cut perfect squares from the middle of the pan while throwing out the hard-as-a-rock exterior edge. Why is that??? I love lemon bars but rarely make them, for this reason.
  16. Not today, but earlier this week..... A large airplane flanked by two fighter jets flew low over our yard. I discovered it was the Air National Guard circling our city to pay tribute to hospital workers.
  17. Today was DD18's original graduation date. We took a picture of her in her cap and gown, with a mask!!!
  18. I'm really worried about our church's opening day tomorrow (which we are NOT going to attend). Today, we went to an outdoor senior recognition ceremony for graduates (DD18 is graduating). They emphasized in the invitation materials that they would ensure social distancing, but they did not. The seniors, when it was time to get out of their cars, lined up on the sidewalk, just as they would line up normally, practically shoulder to shoulder. The pastor who was in charge of lining them up did not tell them to spread out. Then there was meant to be a photo opportunity for families at the end. They said they would call people up car by car, but they did not. Instead, people just got out of their cars and went up to the building and stood around, talking to each other. We waited for people to clear out, so that we could go up for photos, but they never did. The families just stood around, chatting, right by the photo backdrop. We waited about 20 minutes, but I didn't feel comfortable going up for pictures. We had dressed up and were looking forward to a family photo, but it was not worth the risk. I was upset while watching what was happening. Perhaps 10 percent of people were wearing masks. Because we were assured that social distancing would happen and that each family would be invited to go up alone to the photo area, it makes sense that people wouldn't think masks were going to be needed, so I don't know if they left masks at home, or if the people at our church are choosing not to wear them. We had some in the car but didn't need to put them on, because (except for DD) we stayed in the car. I think there is no way that people will do better tomorrow before and after the church services. Masks will not be required. The staff evidently will not enforce their social distancing rules. The only good things were that it was nice for us to see DD in her cap and gown, the pastor's graduation speech was nice (broadcast over our phones), and it was held outside. At least the risks of spread are reduced when people are outside. That won't be the case when the church building lets people in tomorrow. Oh, and one of the pastors directing the cars was not wearing a mask but was leaning down to talk to people through their car windows.
  19. My cousin had a bingo game with extended family over Zoom. I wasn't a part of it, but I thought it was a good idea. Their family has people ranging in age from 5 to 87, and bingo worked for everyone. We have a Zoom graduation gathering with family for DD18 today, and we aren't playing games, but I think it's a fun idea that we could do another time.
  20. We got a updated message from our public school superintendent today. Administration would like to be able to start school normally in the fall but is anticipating that may not happen. So that means they may decide to offer remote learning, as they are this spring, or figure out a way to have only 50% of students in the buildings, using social distancing. There are multiple options they are considering for the 50% scenario, including having some students voluntarily continuing to work remotely or having an A/B schedule. They are sharing ideas with nearby districts, consulting with current parent committees, and will offer a parent-survey for input for all families in early June. Because they don't have final guidelines from state authorities yet (just a draft of what the state department of ed has been considering), and because our state is just opening up and no one knows how that will go yet, the school has a lot of things that remain up in the air at this time, including staffing, class scheduling, and ordering materials. Remote learning worked very well for my kids this spring, but they would want to return to school. I like the idea of having them at school a couple of days a week and doing remote learning the other days, depending upon how that would be set up. I think that would work fine for my kids for academics, but they are in art and band and choir, and those things are questionable. I haven't seen anything yet about how schools might handle electives.
  21. I hope it goes well, Spryte!! I understand the fear. Our cat died earlier this year, and it would be traumatic for our family to lose another pet. I am a worrier, so I still have some anxiety that our dog could have cancer and have it go undetected, but DH reminds me to trust our vet's expertise. Winnie has has several scary health problems in her short two years of life so far, so it's easy to get caught up in worry. I hop your vet can get the whole tumor, and that your guy recovers well!
  22. The vet thinks the skin issue is not likely cancerous, since our dog is only two. She thinks that the lump was a cyst, not a tumor, and that Winnie began worrying it and damaged herself with her teeth. If it doesn't heal well, she will biopsy but doesn't think it's necessary now. So Winnie has to wear her cone and take several meds, and we will keep an eye on how things go. We didn't end up trying to wash her off and tried to be careful about washing our hands after touching her. She wasn't feeling peppy enough to be out in the yard, and it happened to be rainy here today, so my thoughts about exposing her to the sun didn't pan out. Our vet has not let any people other than staff into their building since mid-March, and they are wearing masks, etc., so we think the risk of contracting the virus through our vet experience was low. It's a pretty ugly wound with a large shaved patch around it, so we still have issues to deal with, but overall, it was good news.
  23. Target is selling a pack of 10 for $15. You could see if your local Target has some in stock. Our Target has been great with the curbside service, so you might be able to do that and not even go in the store.
  24. I read the whole draft late last night. I found it interesting that the ideas outlined so far have all been mentioned by WTM boardies, either in this thread or the others. The draft ends kind of abruptly and has a lot of "we need to think about this" comments woven in here and there, so I'm sure there will be changes before anything is finalized. It sounds to me like the state board of ed was not ready to release this to the public yet but was just working on it, but they had to release it when the media requested it. I'm glad to have an idea about what officials think that things might look like, but there is also going to be a lot of variation, school district to district, so it doesn't really answer questions I have about what things could look like for my kids. I don't have a problem with masks being required, and my kids won't care, but I'm sure it will be an issue for some other people. DH is doing our shopping, and he says that 75% of people are masked in our stores. Our in-laws in another corner of the state say that 75% of people are masked in stores there. So I think the masking issue may be regional; some areas have more people that are masking, than others. So I don't have a sense about whether people will rebel against that edict or not. Public school parents may be more willing to go along than you think, because they are used to the schools setting rules that everyone must follow, even if families don't like it. We will see, I guess. I do agree that masks can inhibit communication and are not ideal for that reason, but teachers have not been able to interact much with students at all for months, so being able to interact with masks may be better for some than remote learning. I don't think flocks of people will leave the public school system over new requirements, but I'm sure there will be some. I know that my daughter's private school follows state guidelines, and many others will, as well, but there are some private schools that don't accept funding from the state and will perhaps have different rules. Private school sports teams still follow the state sports association rules, which will be aligned with whatever the department of ed mandates, so I doubt that there will be many sports at private schools, if they are not allowed at public schools. One of the things being considered in our state is to switch the fall and spring sports seasons, and private schools would have to make those kind of changes, too, I think. I don't predict that there will be a ton of variance in the way that sports are handled, so that shouldn't be a factor for school choice, but I could be wrong. Much harder to implement than the mask issue is the need to recreate the entire school system to allow for social distancing. This is going to be a very complex and intricate thing to figure out. I have a friend who is the superintendent of a neighboring school district, and I know how stressed he has been. There is so much that has to be figured out, and as soon as he makes one decision, it has a domino effect on other things. So, I'm not surprised at what was in the draft proposal. But there are more questions left open that are hard to answer. Our school district does intend to have a parent panel to provide input as they create their new ways of doing things, so I'm sure they will hear lots of different opinions. In the end, the things that they decide will upset some people, no matter what, and I'm sure the school officials are bracing for that. There is no way to make everyone happy, so I'm sure their emphasis will be on the logistics needed to keep everyone as safe as possible and ensure that children still get an appropriate education. The huge urban districts are going to have the hardest time figuring all of this out, I think.
  25. I'm sorry about the cancer diagnosis and hope the surgery goes well with a speedy recovery. I'm glad that you posted this, because our dog is going in to the vet tomorrow, due to a sore spot on her skin. She had a bump there, and now it looks different and is bothering her a lot, so I'm feeling concerned that it may be a skin cancer, and I'm worried. Our vet will fetch her from the car and return her afterwards. I hadn't thought about the virus clinging to the dog. She should be happy to run around, chasing a ball in the yard, before we bring her into the house. And we can clean her paws before she comes in. I'm not sure I will do more than that to try to disinfect her. We won't give her a full bath, due to her sore spot, and I don't have anything I think I could spray on her hair. We can make sure to wash our hands after petting her for a couple of days.
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