Giggling While Learning: Holiday Gift Ideas!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! This year my holiday gift guide is filled with family friendly items that will keep all ages entertained and learning for hours and hours. (Remember – never stop learning!) Some of the ideas are new games or books from first time authors, while others are “staples” in the toy bins and play closets of millions of households.

New games that teach and entertain!

Brave the winter elements and play an older game with a newer twist – THE GROUND IS LAVA! This game is great for reinforcing the “art” of turn taking and gross motor skills. Plus, it has the extra benefit of mentally helping people by encouraging them to become ACTIVE.

The publisher summarized this dynamic game as follows:

Many people know the impromptu game of shouting out “LAVA” and everyone jumping up into nearby objects to get their feet off the ground. Endless Games created a format where players continue to imagine the floor is molten hot lava, but added play patterns using a spinner for color call-outs and having players jump along foam game pieces in order to reach safety. Challenge cards that enforce activities that can make it difficult not to fall into the lava come into play when landing on certain tiles.

Taking the game outside adds another format to play. “Tiles can be placed farther apart. Patio furniture and natural objects, like rocks and trees, can provide touch points or obstacles,” Turtle explained. “It’s very interesting to see the ways that kids are using their imaginations and being active with the game play.”

Endless Games also offers these fun games are available on AMAZON. Click the photo or the description below for the Amazon link to learn more.

CAMERA ROLL – a game that aligns with today’s teens and adults who list Instagram as their favorite “hobby”. Seriously, this game is a great gift for the teen in your life. Social skills and great conversations can result with this game.

JEOPARDY CARD GAME (regular and junior editions)- The popular game made famous by the late Alek Trebek. Great as a stocking stuffer and a travel game. Making my list two years in a row.

WHEEL of FORTUNE (regular and junior editions)– Perfect for teaching predictive spelling and word usage. This game is fun and teaches the basics of spelling without your kids even knowing!

HORROR TRIVIA (I and II – for those who love to scream their answers!) I have this on the list – just because…

PASSWORD- This is an older game revised. The concept of guessing words within a certain time limit based on verbal clues continues to bring a whole lot of the fun factor. If you to like to compete – this game is for you! Another language based game that helps kids to describe – great for growing vocabulary knowledge and literacy.

DROPSY OOPS I did it again may be the theme of this game? Seriously, this is a funny game where balance is everything! Adults will like it, too.


New from Board Game GeekFREQUENT FLYER!

A game for families who love to travel! Covid has limited our ability to travel, but, not our wanderlust! So, here is a way to satiate your cravings for exploring new places from the comfort of your home. (Better yet, learn about each place, make a list, and go travel there in 2022!)


BOOKS! BOOKS! BOOKS!

A book is a gift that can help a child learn about the world beyond their homes, ignite a sense of exploration, or teach skills – such as how to cope during tough times. The children’s books by Familius Publishing are some of my favorites! This year they have a very solid collection of Christmas-themed books. Check out these very creative and beautifully illustrated selections.

SANTA.com – OMG this book is so cute! What made me a big fan was not only this modern version of a classic Christmas story but the gorgeous illustrations that POP from the book’s pages! A perfect book for both boys and girls who are imaginative and love to read and be listen to stories. (Suggested age range: 3 and up)


The Christmas Train is the perfect gift for a toddler or preschooler. The story AND the book both unfold in front of your eyes! Bright and cheery illustrations with a holiday-themed short story. (Don’t tell the neighbors – but I bought their little ones this book and a similar themed book as a set.)





LITTLE ELVES VISIT CALIFORNIA! How many holiday books teach geography and state facts? This one does (and Familius offers other states such as Missouri and Colorado! (Age range: Preschool and up)


FAMILIAR GAMES REVISITED WITH A PURPOSE or JUST FOR FUN!

Family Favorites also include these games (with a little info about which skills they develop that may help your child’s development/academics).

GAMESKILL DEVELOPMENT
CANDY LAND
SORRY
TRIVIA PURSUIT for KIDS (or adult version)
Turn-taking/ Learning colors, basic counting, basic reading skills, and Trivia Pursuit expands beyond the basic fundamentals of learning.
MONOPOLY
YAHTZEE
CONNECT 4
CLUE
MEMORY
GUESS WHO
Verbal Comprehension/ Verbal Reasoning Skills / Numerical Reasoning/ Prediction Skills/ MEMORY

SCATTERGORIESClassification and categorization of items/ words

Just in case you were wondering what I did with all these review copies I receive…

Games and books reviewed here were received from the publisher. I have donated them to charity so that disadvantaged youth can enjoy their holiday season.
Whatever you celebrate may this holiday season be filled with positivity and hope for a better 2022.

We. Have. NO. Children. To. Spare.

I am writing this on a quasi-cool September Los Angeles day.  Schools are back in session. Kids are playing outside with their neighborhood friends.  All while the work of the devil, aka Covid 19, continues to snatch our children.  

If you think that kids aren’t getting Covid 19, becoming very ill from the disease, or dying – stop reading unless you wish to be educated with some hard facts. 

And, if you are unvaccinated because you think “it won’t happen to me”, ” vaccines are a political ploy”, “I refuse to support Big Pharma”, ” The shot will change my DNA”, or any other stupid and non-educated reason –  you may want to stop reading because I am tired of your rants and you will probably disagree with mine.

But, if you are one of the people who believe in science, know that we have to protect our children at all costs –  even if that  means being a little inconvenienced or fall slightly ill for a day or two due to a vaccine – then by all means – read on! 

You see, I wouldn’t care if adults received a vaccine – or not – if it wasn’t for the millions of unprotected children around the globe. Who the heck is looking out for THEM?  Science is.  I am.  Are YOU? 

Your non – vaccinated self may decide not to hang around with kids – but are you having a beer with their parents? Going to the local football game with their teacher? Attending a concert with their bus driver? Or just hanging out in your cushy office for your co-worker to bring it home to the sweet newborn baby that he is bragging about being “just so perfect”?  Your germs may seep their way into another grown-up human and make their way to mini- humans.

And while the vaccines aren’t 100% protection – No vaccine can guarantee that – the Covid 19 vaccines will stop kids and adults from DYING. 

So until EVERY child is vaccinated or this insidious disease is eradicated – do the RIGHT thing. Get vaccinated. Funerals of children are the worst of the worst. Scratch that – all funerals are awful!

By the way here are some lesser known facts to combat the fiction about vaccines.  

1) mRNA (the stuff that is in the vaccine by Pfizer and Moderna) also is being tried for anti-cancer / cancer treatments. Hmm.. how many non- vaxx Covid19  folks would run to get an “anti cancer” vaccine?

2) For the people who say it is against their religion – keep in mind that Pope Francis and the Vatican support the vaccinations for Covid 19 and even created this video.

3) Can you try to become pregnant or be pregnant and get the Covid 19 vaccine.  The CDC issued this statement – the short story – yes. 

4) While we are on the subject of “sex” … can the vaccine ruin virility or fertility?  Well guess what ?- Having Covid 19 could ruin your sex life- but the vaccine – nope. Read more here: https:///covid-19-could-cause-male-infertility-and-sexual-dysfunction-but-vaccines-do-not-164139

Yippee! You read to the end of my educational post about vaccines laced with a hefty dose of ranting.

Sorry for any grammatical or spelling errors – must have been the vaccine that took away the part of my brain for literacy. (Hmmmm)

Need some more reasons to get vaccinated? Go walk around your block, visit a park, or look into the eyes of your child/ grandchild.  

Thank you. Respectful comments welcome. Disrespectful comments will be deleted.  

Tips on Traveling to Kauai, Hawaii During Covid (Plus photography)

Kauai is one of my “happy places”! Unique topography juxtaposed with a “tropical attitude” makes this Hawaiian island a true treasure. I have traveled to Hawaii several times and prefer Kauai to the other islands because of the “old world” feel it exudes. However, traveling during the Covid pandemic made this trip much more challenging than any of the previous. Because many are finding Hawaii, including Kauai, a preferred destination for their own vacations, I have decided to share a few travel tips here. Need some enticement to visit Kauai? I added photos, just in case!

TIP 1: If you are traveling from the United States be sure to consult this page at least one week prior to leaving on your trip: TRAVEL HAWAII . Also, check with your airline carrier.

International travelers should consult this website: https://travel.hawaii.gov/ – for pertinent information well before they plan on arriving in Hawaii.

SCREENSHOT OF https://travel.hawaii.gov/#/welcome page. Please click to read the complete details from this website.

TIP 2 – Make Reservations Well in Advance of Traveling

From cars to restaurants – be sure to make reservations well in advance to ensure that you have transportation (if needed) and also a place to dine. Popular restaurants, such as the Beach House in Poipu, are booking far in advance! Rental cars are a premium on the island and many are resorting to TURO to get around the island. For your personal safety please be sure to rent from only reputable companies. Note: a car is needed to visit many of the island’s favorite spots- such as Waimea Canyons.

TIP 3- Stay at a place that adheres to Covid 19 safety/ cleaning regulations.

TripAdvisor is very good at giving salient information regarding the reputation of hotels and vacation rentals in regards to their following Covid 19 sanitization protocols. Keep in mind, however, that this information is provided from the hotel or rental company and not vetted by TripAdvisor. A sample of what you can look for in the hotel description is below.

TIP 4 – Look for activities outdoors – without crowds!

While we traveled on a semi-crowded plane to get arrive in Hawaii – we didn’t feel the need to continue to be with “others” during our stay. Therefore, we opted for outdoor activities that were sans crowds or in some cases, even anyone else! When going to the pool we picked times that were not popular and if a group of people decided to join us in the hot tub we smiled and exited.

Most of our dining was outdoors at tables spaced fairly far away from other patrons. We stuck together on tours and didn’t do anything that entailed being with another group (such as any boat tours). While big group activities can be fun and a great way to meet people from all over the globe – we decided that now was not the time to be making friends! And, masks were mandated everywhere we went!


Below I listed some activities that you may want to consider if visiting Kauai:

  1. Go when not busy to the Kauai Coffee Estate. Lovely to walk the farm area and free samples! Plus a super yummy gift shop!
  2. Visit and if inclined, hike, Waimea Canyon State Park. Also, there is a delightful gift shop and restaurant within the park. Check it out for great coffees and perhaps you will have the pleasure of meeting David Parsons III as he sings a few groovy tunes!
  3. Visit Wailua Falls (hiking availabe there, too)
  4. Visit the Wailua State Reservoir -off the beaten path.
  5. Find quiet at the Sacred Forest – a great place to meditate and see some amazing trees!
  6. Eat in quaint town of Waimea at Island Tacos or the Shrimp Station. Both are family favorites! If in Kappa go to the Kountry Kitchen – another favorite (The Salty Monkey breakfast is a must!)
  7. Hang out at several beaches and relax far from others – there is plenty of space for all! Each beach has its’ own “personality” – so sampling a few is well worth it.
  8. Enjoy an ice cream from Lappert’s while walking around Princeville or Poipu (there are ice cream shops in both towns).
  9. Kauai is the garden isle – visit the many botanical gardens sprinkled throughout this region.
  10. Step back in time at the Kauai Museum on a rainy day or whenever! It is packed full of great Hawaiian artifacts, cultural information, and a fabulous gift shop!
  11. Drive from shore to shore. Be sure to bring your camera, swimsuit, sunscreen, and a towel! (Not to mention hand sanitizer and wipes.)
  12. Learn to kayak, paddle board, or surf! The ocean and rivers await you!
  13. Check out the local newspapers (or websites) for area cultural events such as Hula presentations or lessons about Hawaiian culture and the language!
  14. Lastly, rise early to see glorious sunrises and stand alongside the ocean shore to see the amazing sunsets!

As promised… here are some of my favorite photos (please do not copy or “hijack” – thank you!)

POIPU BEACH, KAUAI


WAIMEA CANYON STATE PARK, KAUAI


WAILUA FALLS and WAILUA HOMESTEAD (including the SACRED FOREST), KAUAI


KAUAI BEACHES

Refinishing Furniture – Lessons I have learned

Have you ever seen something and thought to yourself, “I could do that!” A long time ago I had ideas on creating crib toys with black and white graphics – but no sooner did I have my prototype completed a toy company beat me to it! I also thought of play centers for kids that were both educational and fun – lost out on that too – remember Discovery Zone and Gymboree?! Now, I decided I am going to join an already established community of people who refinish used furniture and morph it to look vintage or retro. I have spent quite a bit of the past months scouring over Pinterest and online magazines. I have visited resale/consignment shops and creative art centers. I am gleaning from various resources a plethora of fun ideas.

Enough reading – time to sand, prime, and paint!


TIP 1: Collect common sense and useful resources on how to refinish furniture.

Tip: Not all furniture uses the same materials or steps in the process of refinishing. Taking an old broken cabinet from a garage sale and painstakingly going through the process of repair, preparation, painting and, finishing – takes time. It is not a few hours of just slapping on paint.

I decided to go to the ReSTORE, owned by Habitat for Humanity. This is how one can buy get gently used furniture that isn’t too worn and also give back to the community. Here I bought my “practice piece” for $10 and one that I am most likely will just resand and use wood stain finish.


TIP 2: When you pick a piece of old furniture to “redo” make sure it has “interest” value.

For me, this means that the furniture has some cool features such as interesting etching in the wood, an unusual design or shape, and/or hardware that is really groovy!

I got this piece during my second visit to a second ReSTORE and bought it because 1) it was made by Ethan Allen 2) The handle knob was cool and visually interesting. Scroll a bit more to see how I transformed this sad little table to something a really “groovy”!


TIP 3: Add some pieces to your collection, but remember you only have so much space and time.

I spotted the piece below on the left at an Estate sales website. The lady asked for $75. I offered $10. We settled on $15. Now it sits in my living room. Milk paint on the top with a polyurethane finish. Resanded and refinished the wood on the sides and painted the interior of the drawer. It is pictured here drying in our very used and crowded garage. I could have picked up three or four more pieces in the set. I opted not to do so because I wanted to be selective. One was enough.

Until the next day.

That is when I picked up the lovely side table with drop leaves (right). Sure it needs some TLC – but I can’t wait to “sand this baby”! (Aww I am talking “DYI” speak!)


TIP 4: Let other’s know about your new creative venture and maybe you will make your hobby profitable.

I have been working out of our garage. So far, just by having people walk by – I have sold two pieces. One isn’t even started yet!


Below is the little Ethan Allen table that was kinda “sad”. Slide the arrow in the middle of the images below to see the “before” and “after”.

Here are the steps:

  • Sand the top wood with very light sandpaper. Preferably using a small electric sander.
  • Paint a primer coat (white) over the wood and let dry completely.
  • I used Benjamin Moore paint (eggshell) in the color WROUGHT IRON. I painted three coats on this piece. Thanks to the people at my local ACE hardware for being great resources and my “support” team for picking great colors!
  • I then used a furniture wax for painted furniture to give it a bit of sheen.
  • The old knob, which I liked, but didn’t think matched well with the new look, was replaced with this one from Home Goods. (Came in a set of four) I think this new knob gives it a more contemporary look.
  • Lastly, I lined the inside of the drawer with contact paper that does not stick (in case the new owner doesn’t like it and wants to replace it).

Voila! In a day or so this table will be ready for a new home (obviously not completed yet!


gold, black and white knob
The knob

I will be posting on my Facebook Louise Sattler Consulting updates!

A Call to Action That Cannot Wait!

What’s in the trunk of your car? Today, a friend showed me her organized car that was stocked with items that would be useful to have during almost any emergency! While I had to admire her amazing packing skills – I also had to admit that I was not quite as “disaster prepared” as I should be. Shame on me! Especially since I have penned many articles on this subject! So, when I arrived home, I started to assemble my “to-go kit” for my car and update the emergency containers I have at home.

We cannot stop natural disasters, but we can arm ourselves with knowledge: so many lives wouldn’t have to be lost if there were enough disaster preparedness. 

Petra Nemcova (Brainy quotes)

This year has been one for the record books! Devastating fires have erupted across the western states. Temperatures are well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in areas that have not experienced triple digits in a long time, if ever. The hurricane season seems to be wreaking havoc with floods and tornado activity as a result. And then there is the very real possibility of an earthquake. Some may even say we are “long overdue.”

So how does one get ready to either evacuate or shelter in place? I found a comprehensive safety preparedness list to share that also has additional resources. It was compiled by the National Fire Association and their website is really chocked full of great information. They also offer tips for helping individuals requiring special assistance. Read more here.

Making time now to prepare will probably save you aggravation later!

This is my list is of things to place in your car or in an easily accessible box. Remember these items need to be available in one place so that they easily can be carried to your car or outside your home in a moment’s notice. In a disaster, rarely are you give the luxury of time to get all your items assembled. Sometimes people need to leave with just the clothes on their back. And, remember to have an emergency plan in place and practice. Be sure your children know how to evacuate and where to go if you are separated.

  • Flashlight with a spare set of batteries
  • CASH!
  • Medications for a week (or more)
  • Water and cups to place water in.
  • Change of clothes
  • Emergency supply kit (bandaids, eye wash, etc.)
  • Hygiene and personal products
  • Cell phone / computer/ tablet (have ready to go)
  • Phone charger / computer charger
  • Pet supplies
  • Flash drive with important documents, family photos, and any other non-replaceable items. Take a video of your home and place the video on your flash drive. Then BACK UP YOUR VIDEO to an “online” cloud like Google Drive or iCloud. These small devices are CHEAP and also can be the difference between being prepared and having hours or days of aggravation and grief over the loss of favorite photos, etc.
  • For children, their special toys, deck of cards, or small games to keep busy.
  • Earbuds or earplugs.
  • Sanitary wipes, masks, and gloves.
  • Special foods if your family members have allergies. And just in case: Cereal bars or energy bars.

SHELTERING IN PLACE

If you are sheltering in place – be sure to have all the above listed items (just in case you need to evacuate) AND enough food and water for 14 days. Canned or dried goods are best. Items most recommended are cereals, cereal bars, canned beans, tuna, peanut butter, crackers, and for your little ones baby formula (if needed), and don’t forget your fur-family members – pet food.)

Words Disaster Preparation Resources in a box that has a link to more resources

CLICK HERE FOR FAMILY PREPAREDNESS VIDEOS

Recommended Related Articles

From this blog – articles and resources for your family and schools.

Watch This Red Cross Video to help be prepared

Digital Trends offers suggestions on best IOS and ANDROID apps for disaster preparedness and response. Read more.

Smoke alarms for the Deaf Community – Read here.

Drop - Cover - Hold words in a box from ShakeOut.org
SHAKEOUT.org – EARTHQUAKE PROTOCOL

Does “It” Feel Over?

I, like so many, thought we turned the corner with Covid 19. Until yesterday. That is when I watched a ton of media newscasts about variants, boosters, fast increase in cases and sadly – deaths. Now – I feel confused. Are we not “OVER” the Covid 19 pandemic or is there MORE to come?

Am I the only one who is waiting for the “other shoe to drop”?

As I watched reporters discussing tropical storms, global events, and the sad news of the collapse of the Surfside apartments – they seemed to “squeeze in ” information discussing the Lambda Covid 19 variant that is predicted to overtake the already present and highly virulent Delta strain.

I didn’t need to know that there was a Lambda variant. Or any other. What I needed to hear was that the disease was no match for science and we were all going to kiss the enemy good-bye – once and for all. Instead, I now know that I will have to “just suck it up” and learn to live among the beast as “the Covid” is not going away.

But, what if my “uh-oh” feeling is truly founded versus. me acting a bit paranoid? Despite my being fully Moderna vaccinated, should I start restocking my shelves? Do I need to rush and travel to see family and friends before another lockdown? Should I eat out every single day until the doors close to restaurants?

Or, should I just go on living with the attitude that all will be OK – hope for the best – don’t worry, be happy!

I just can’t be practical, nor can I shake this funny feeling I have been experiencing since yesterday. It feels very similar to the one I had early March 2020 – that something is “lurking”among us. A premonition. A “funky” feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Back in 2020 when I first had the veil of dread envelope me – I rushed to the local Target and stuffed the cart full with paper products, canned goods, and lots of pharmaceuticals and vitamins. My thought was that we could live on tuna, cereal, and bottled water for at least a month with all I bought. (Why did I think we would have no water – it wasn’t a hurricane!!)

Over 16 months later, I find myself fighting the impulse to run out and retrace my path from the front of the Target store to the checkout!

So, tell me friends – what are you feeling these days? Am I being silly or sensible? And, if you are non-vaccinated – do you think you will “give an arm” anytime soon? (Please!)

Respectful comments always welcome!

The Decided Heart Effect with Natasha Sattler (author of Shit Adults Never Taught Us) and Louise Sattler.

This past Friday, my daughter and myself were guests on the syndicated podcast The Decided Heart Effect) with hosts Hilary Bilbrey and Sonja Montiel. So, in lieu of a written blog I would like to invite you to watch our interview.

We covered a multitude of topics from parenting to mental health issues. And, we discussed Natasha’s newest book – Shit Adults Never Taught Us. Would love to know your thoughts on what we discussed?!

To order the book referenced: Shit Adults Never Taught Us CLICK here>>> ORDER

Renting an RV – Insights from a Novice Camper

Hubby turned 60 this year. So, for his birthday I thought it would be super fun to rent a recreational vehicle aka – RV- and hit the freeways to explore the “trailer camp life”. After much research we opted for a national RV rental company that had many options. We decided on a 25 foot Class C.

The Class C means you drive your “house” around wherever you go. There is a full queen size bed, bathroom, dinette and galley type kitchen with a stove top and microwave. Plenty of storage below the main living unit and air conditioning.

Finally, the day arrived. I was envisioning myself being nominated as “Wife of the Year” for organizing this experience – 72 hours of “camping” RV style. Not to mention that until this day- I had never gone camping. Nope. I had resisted this kind of vacation for a very long time. Basically, I hate bugs. But, I was willing to be brave and “rough it”.

Hubby and I ventured out to get the RV only to discover that the rental company’s definition of being cleaned and made Covid safe and ours were VERY different. Also, we discovered minutes into the drive for our three days of vacation that something was amiss when the engine light illuminated followed by the driver’s side mirror nearly falling off. After an hour wasted for repairs, we were “back in the RV mode” – at least until the next set of “woes” happened.

While driving there were unexplained rattles and clangs that meant we couldn’t carry on a conversation without shouting. By the time we arrive at Santee Lakes Recreation Park (near San Diego) – we both were up to our eyeballs with aggravation and headaches.

But, we remained optimistic. That is until the toilet overflowed. (See below about my recommendation for Clorox and plenty of towels.) When we went to open a window to “air out” the unit – part of a window fell off in Hubby’s hand.

I don’t want you to think that our vacation with this RV was a completely awful experience. To the contrary – as we were able to stay near a beautiful lake, see the stars, Venus, and Mars at night, and listen to ducks and birds chirp most of the day. We met some charming campers, spent time poolside, and had clean showers and toilets. (Trust me- I am simply not tall enough to have used the RV toilet comfortably and was too scared to turn on the shower after the toilet fiasco.)

Since, we were in San Diego county we took advantage of going to Trevi Hills Winery (beautiful location), stopped at a brewery located in Little Italy, and walk historic Old Towne. All very charming and places I had never visited before. Highly recommend San Diego visitors to spend at least one day exploring the downtown area.


Sometimes surprises happen while on vacation. In fact, if you were to survey hubby, our friends who joined us, and me – I bet we would unanimously say that Jons Kebab House in Lakeside, California was the VERY best place we stopped along our travels. While I cannot pronounce what we ate, I can say that it was simply DELICIOUS!

Now this eatery is the epitome of NO FRILLS. You either get take-out or sit on picnic benches in a covered patio to eat. We did the latter. The owner came out several times to see how we liked the food. He even offered to recook anything we didn’t find suitable or bring us a new dish! Our wonderful host treated us to lentil soup, cups of tea, and for Hubby a surprise rice pudding to celebrate his birthday!

If you are in the San Diego area – go off the beaten path and eat at JONS KEBAB HOUSE!!


Tips from my 72 hour RV education

There are a few lessons I learned in a very short amount of time during our RV adventure. Especially the must haves to bring along. Here they are in random order:

  1. Pack only food that you know you will eat. We brought bags full. We took bags home.
  2. Pack plastic or recyclable everything. No real dishes. No real silverware. Tupperware and plastic baggies, however came in very handy.
  3. Bring clothes for cold and hot weather.
  4. Clorox (Liquid and wipes) plus lots of towels.
  5. Sunscreen, bug spray, and lots of bottled water are MUSTS.
  6. RV with people who are compatible with your vacation style. Or at least your compliment. We were lucky to travel with good friends who are experienced campers. They also were very patient teaching this rookie about RV life.
  7. Do a cost analysis. The rental of this RV for three nights was not cheap. Plus, we negotiated monies back for all the mishaps we had. Consider it an experience or lifestyle. But, don’t fool yourself – RV life is not about saving money. (Example: Our RV gas tank held 50 gallons. Gasoline cost $4 a gallon. Do the math!)
  8. Get the RV “oops you dinged our very large and expensive vehicle” insurance plan. Just in case –
  9. Of all things you pack – make sure to bring your sense of humor.

Now the million dollar question…

Would I vacation by RV again? Yes, I would – but very differently. I would not rent from the same place, nor the same kind of vehicle. I would consider renting or finding a used MEERKAT TRAILER to tow on the back of my car. It is lightweight and compact . Once you arrive at your destination you have your car to explore the area without bringing along your bedroom. You also are forced to only pack essentials as it is a mere 13 feet from end to end (including the hitch).

As I end this article I invite you to share your insights and wisdom about RV life. Respectful comments always welcome below.

Happy. Summer!

What If We Paid Teachers Like Reality TV “Stars”?

Imagine how the world would be if teachers were paid on the levels of trending models, reality TV show performers, or athletes! How every time a teacher walked up and down the classroom sparks of adoration would happen with whispers of encouragement from the students.

Now, of course, this may seem absurd. Even as I am writing this blog I am rethinking if this could EVEN be possible. But, I have written about the non-glamorous, but the valiant career of teaching before and will continue to write on this subject after this article is completed. No surprise to readers of this blog that I am passionate about giving recognition and thanks to the scores of teachers who work tirelessly on behalf of our children.

Before 2020, there were legions of people who thought that teaching was one of the “easiest” jobs one could have. After all, isn’t the job of educators to only work a few hours daily, and then they just “rinse and repeat”? Plus, there were the ongoing assumptions that summer break was indeed that – time off without any need to prepare, take coursework for continued certifications, and etc. Newsflash – good teachers never stop wanting to improve their skills to help their students.

It took a pandemic to change many minds about the “art of teaching”. Newfound respect was formed about the real work involved with teaching our kids. So many “Ah-Hah moments” happened when parents were thrust into dual roles. It was tough. But, with every difficult lesson comes an increased level of understanding and insight. I hope that one of the lessons learned was that teachers are not paid commensurate with their true worth. They should be revered like our “supermodels” and “elite athletes”!

Yes, this is a huge shift in our collective psyche. And, probably wouldn’t even be a consideration if it weren’t for the Covid 19 pandemic. I simply ask that you please allow this blogger to dream of a world where this is possible.

For many who are reading this article, you have assumed the role of teacher this year as a pandemic brought virtual or hybrid education to your home front. I commend you for your efforts and I bet you were much more successful than you believed. And, for the teachers who made the best of a horrific situation – kudos as you the true “reality STARS”!

Thank you for reading. Respectful comments always welcome below.


Read more on this subject here