Category Archives: books

The Days the Earth Stood Still 2020.04.05.0800

This is the first in a series that I will entitle as above.  Because this is lasting days, weeks, perhaps even months.  It is now about a month since the call for people to quarantine themselves.  All over the world.  People have posted many photos of empty streets in major cities.  Hence the second part of the title.  The entire Earth stands still, these days.

I am a registered nurse, and am considered Essential Person.  Thankfully.  I am so very glad my husband encouraged me to go into nursing rather than the field I first thought of, computers.  Although, I guess they are also considered essential?

There is a meme going around Facebook.  It shows Katmiss from the Hunger Games with her hand up, three finger salute:  May the odds be ever in your favour, to those living in the Essential District.  That is me.  I live in the essential district.  And while I am not always working directly with those known to be infected with Covid-19, I work with those who have, and what about those who don’t know they are carriers, or who are young enough to not have many symptoms, if any at all?

I heard of kids calling this the “Boomer Remover.”  Stupid kids.  They don’t know nor care that the fastest growing segment is the 20-44 year old population.  I’ve also heard about kids coughing directly onto older folk who are trying to protect themselves as they do their necessary grocery shopping.  I will tell you right now, if you do this to me or my family I will press charges.  And I will use the words “Weaponized Bodily Fluids.”  Why else would you intentionally cough on someone except to get them infected?  To scare them?  perhaps that is the sole reason.  But we grammas don’t know you are NOT infected.  So.  There is your one warning.  Don’t.  Just don’t.

Currently, I am sitting at home, working on my genealogy, when I had this urge to write about this.  I encourage all of you to write about this because in 20 years, the kids and grandkids will want to know.  Get your experiences down so future generations can witness second hand what we went through — what we are going through.  We are living in history right now.  This is my attempt.

I went to Walmart two days ago.  Yesterday, the news came out that two employees were down with Covid19.  I was in there with gloves, mask and a shawl that covered me front and back.  I doffed everything before I got into the truck again, but still cannot prevent touching the bags, touching the card.  I think next time, I will take my can of Lysol spray in, spray my hands and the card reader, and tell the clerk to not touch the bags — except she has to in order to open them up.  And she handles my foods to scan them and put them in the bags.  Oh, well.  It was a nice thought experiment.

I have to say that at Walmart, no employees wore masks.  There were no Plexiglas screens up to protect the clerks from jerks who breathe on them.  I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone who worked there came down with it.  I don’t know what else I can do to protect myself.  I bought probably everything I needed (except hand soap and dish soap) for at least two weeks, so I don’t have to go back again.

I admit it.  I am scared.  I am scared of the virus, but the statistics don’t seem to be so bad as to warrant the mass world-wide hysteria.  What does seem scary is the government.

  • The Democrats tried for 3.5 years to take Donald Trump down with no success.  Got to be a physical coup on him which he thwarted.
  • Once the Covid19 came out about January, there has been precious little from the democrats about taking Trump down.  Why?
  • Some say Bill Gates predicted this virus months ago.  He is now part of a group which say they are close to a vaccine.

I think I am becoming more fearful of the vaccine.  What else will they include in the vaccine?  I am paranoid, now, so bear with me.  I can see them putting something into it that will become like a tracker.  Technology is already around in the form of nanobots.  I predict they will demand everyone in the world take this vaccine, and if we do not, we will not be able to associate with others, we cannot get food nor medicine.  The checkout counters and medical units will be able to scan you for evidence of these tracker things.  Does this sound familiar?

Enough of the paranoid venting for today.  There is nothing I can do about it, so I have to let it go.  I still have to live my life, pray I can visit my grandkids, and stay safe.  Wear masks.  Wash hands.  Don’t touch face.

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Kid Friendly Digital Activities Part 3

Kid Friendly Digital Activities Part 3


Next up — listening to a good book.  Mostly excerpted from Mighty Mommy, with my own two cents thrown in for good measure.



In Getting Kids to Read Over the Summerthe NEA states that children, especially those from low-income families, can lose up to three months of reading progress over the summer months.   “There are tons of books that students will fall in love with that can be used as hooks to the academically required books.”  — Mighty Mommy

Introduce your child to the Wide Wonderful World of audio books.  Your grandkids (and you) can listen here, you can listen there, you can listen anywhere!  Listen in the car, listen while doing chores (Gramma can have the kids do chores, too.  It’s good for them — but that is for another post).

Mighty Mommy suggests a resource called Reading Rockets, “a national multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read (Butler, 2017).”

In their article Listen and Learn with Audiobooks parents can glean some great advice on how to help kids take advantage of the wonderful world of audio books this summer and throughout the school year.  For a wide-variety of interesting audio books for the entire family visit Macmillan Audio (Butler, 2017).


How to choose the right story?

You want to start with familiar stories, ones you’ve already read aloud to them.  This way you change just one variable, the reading voice.

The format you choose should be easy for you both to use.  Most Grandmothers are familiar with the most obvious choice, Books on CD.  Some public libraries “carry Playaways, which are books pre-loaded onto MP3 player available for checkout. (Walker R., 2017).”  Doesn’t that sound cool?  Sort of like fast food for the ears.  My library system provides audio books through the service called OverDrive from which one can “borrow” the audio book by downloading it for a specific time, usually 14 days.  I personally don’t jump with joy over this format because it meant that I had to sign in to my library, then download and join in to OverDrive, and I have to listen to it through that app only.  But, I do have access to free popular books, as long as they are actually available.

The titles you choose should be ones recognized as High Quality.  Talk with your librarian for suggestions, or check out suggestions from Notable Children’s Recordings from the American Library Association or Reading Rockets’ Favorite Audio Books.  You should probably get input from your kids so they are more likely to actually listen rather than poking the toy dinosaur into his brothers’ ear.

Other online ways to obtain audio books include Audible and Tales2Go where you can subscribe to a very extensive catalog of audio content.  Both sites are paid subscription sites.  I can vouch for Audible, find they are good, but personally I cannot afford it.  Tales2Go subscriptions are primarily for Brick-n-Mortar schools as well as Homeschools with varying plans.  BUT, there is also a subscription for individuals, from 99$ for an annual subscription, 40$ for three months (enough to take you through the summer), and a monthly subscription which you get from the Play Store.

My personal favorite is Lit2Go, from Florida Center for Instructional Technology.  This is a free site (what’s not to love about free?) which includes downloadable MP3, of course — we ARE talking specifically about audio books.  But the site includes downloadable PDF form so you can print if you need to, or read from the screen.  Many stories also provide teacher notes and learning objectives, which make these stories that much more valuable.  However, my suggestion is to not go too deep into the teaching part.  The kids will learn much just by listening to good stories.  The vintage images from these classic public-domain books are priceless.

What to do (Walker R., 2017)

  • Listen to audio books together.

  • Offer some background information or a preview of the story to help your child focus his listening and more easily follow what’s happening in the story.

  • Feel free to stop listening. If an audio book isn’t engaging, try another!

  • Keep your young listeners in mind. While kids can listen on a higher level than they can read, some stories may be too complex for young listeners to follow and enjoy.

  • Don’t let audio books take the place of you reading aloud to your child or telling them stories. 


Here’s another free site.  Librivox  has loads of public domain books read by volunteers around the world.  My experience is largely great, although I have found some readers I just cannot listen to.  Often, you can find the same book read by a volunteer whose style is more compatible.  If not, then try the next suggestion ….

How about this idea?  Record yourself reading to the kids.  You need a quiet place to read out loud, a microphone you can find from Walmart or Amazon, and an app that will record your voice in MP3 format.  You will want to give life to the characters, using different voices.  Don’t be afraid to be crazy!  The kids eat it up, ask me how I know!  The crazier, the better.  And, don’t be afraid you will look stupid.  Your kids won’t know what hit them, just be you!  They love you no matter.




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Usborne Books & More


Highly educational, but far from dry. These are the perfect books for Gramma to read to her kidlets. They have lots of interesting pictures, fun facts in short bites, a wife variety of topics, and written for a wide range of she’s. There truly is something here for everyone. Over 1400 books, and most of them are under 10$.

Check them out.


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Posted by on 19 January 2015 in books, education, Grandmothers, learning, Usborne


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Gramma Nettie helps change the world

Grandmothers!  Do you know how important reading is?  No, I don’t mean the mamby pamby stuff that we do because it keeps the kids occupied for a time.  I mean real reading.  Real books that cause children to think, to learn and to try new things.  This is the stuff geniuses are made of!

RedBoy learns about sharks

RedBoy learns about sharks. He is happy. Really!

Jim Trelease is a retired school teacher.  His research has become very important.  He discovered that Phonics is the “how-to” mechanics of reading. But children tend to stop reading for enjoyment before they are even graduated.  Our job is to instill the “want-to” joy of reading. His brochure “Why Read Aloud to Children?” is a great tri-fold primer to get started.  The link is here.

Suzuki’s method of teaching violin is to have the kids listen to music over and over and over before they even touch a musical instrument.  Trelease, without realizing it, says essentially the same thing.  The child learns to speak by listening to words over and over.  The child learns to read by listening to books read to him over and over.

Did you know that the children lose interest in reading for enjoyment about the same time the adults stop reading aloud to them?  This happens about middle school.  But this is when reading aloud SHOULD continue! Children read books at one level.  But they understand books at about two levels higher.  Reading upper level books gets the kids used to the different way the language works, and introduces new words they would never hear, otherwise.

Trelease cites the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study which found that those Kindergarten children who had been read to at least three times per week were at least twice as likely to score well in reading readiness. Did you know that a good childrens’ book is three times richer in vocabulary than the spoken word?  Reading aloud gets those words into the kids.

The Huffington Post had an article about the American Academy of Pediatrics policy on promoting literacy.  AAP wants Pediatricians to encourage parents to read aloud to their children, calling it critical they do so. Gramma Nettie can help by offering books that are designed for parents and grands to read to children of all ages.

The Usborne Lady


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