Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Something So Simple. Yet So Difficult

Last week, the director of the Literacy Council in my county asked me to tutor a single mom who wants to pass the GED.

My first thought: How awesome is that. She wants to pass the GED. Good for her. Of course I want to help.

The director then said, the woman needs help in math.

My first thought: how hard can it be? I taught third grade math.

Are you laughing? I would too...if it wasn't me.

I researched the GED test (which I have never taken) to find out the highest level of math tested and rolled up my sleeves. 

Our family room library has LOTS of books. Some from my college years. I dragged out the math books and chose one for review. Last night, problem 16 threw me for a loop. 

My gift is tenacity. Incredible, nothing can distract me from whatever is plaguing my mind until it is solved tenacity.

Problem 16 was the age old, two consecutive numbers problem. This particular question wanted even integers only and the product had to equal 288. All I needed was the set up. Solving would be easy. I went to bed thinking about problem 16.

I woke thinking about problem 16.

I showered, dressed, made and ate breakfast thinking about problem 16.


YES, the answer came. X(X+2)-288 = 0 All you math persons are nodding. Of course. 

One minute later I had the answer: 16 and 18. 

I felt like I'd won a gold medal when checking the back of the book for the answer.

Something so simple. Yet so difficult.

This experience was exactly what I needed before meeting my tutoring client this Friday. It placed me in her shoes and will hopefully help me to be a better tutor for her.

Header Photofor today's post was made in Canva

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: TutorAndHelpOthers

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Mary Vee -Rock climbing, white-water rafting, and hiking top Mary’s list of ways to enjoy a day. She was homeless for a time, was a teacher, a missionary, and married an Air Force vet. Mary has been a finalist in several writing contests and writes for her King.
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Photo to the left was taken at the top of the Eiffel, Paris, France.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Scavenger Hunt-Hidden Treasures-Summer Idea

Here is a fun summer idea for any number of persons. 

Go on a city scanvenger hunt. Choose one or more unusual items, google all the venders that typically have that item and hop in your car or on your bicycle.

The day was Monday, hubby's and my anniversary.

We had an unusual cake for our wedding. One that had to be specially ordered. It was banana nut.

We've asked bakeries if they made the cake for years. The answer is no.

So, we set out with a list of twenty bakeries that took us to parts of our city we hadn't visited.

Many were the old parts of town with brick roads. 

The interior walls separating stores are still the exposed brick.

Workers at the bakeries recommended other bakeries not on our list, so we added them.

We walked tree lined streets. Met people sitting outside shops reading newspapers. The original kind. Ink on paper. And found many shops that we will visit next time.

Look at the cool antique cookie jars on the upper shelf.

Of course we stopped in a used bookseller. Isn't it wonderful Can you smell the dust on the books and hear the clock ticking? I love this store.

Two days later, my daughter had some free time. We drove into the city, parked the car, and had a wonderful time in this store alone. It has a few less books, and our wallet is a little lighter, but it sure was worth the trip.

What city is near you? Perhaps there are interesting sections you haven't visited yet. 

This post has been brought to you by the one word: HiddenTreasures

 The Link for my books is: Mary Vee Books

*If you would like to see patriotism on American soil and how they help those in need read Daring to Live.
*If you would like a Rocky Mountain vs Chicago --McCoy vs Hatfield story read Christmas with the Enemy
*If you enjoy fantasy, adventure, quest read Fire and Thorn
*If you would like a short novella how a community comes together to help one in need read Anders' Redemption

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Those Who Became Naturalized Citizens This Week

The final step in the long process to become an American citizen is taking the oath. A ceremony is scheduled for a large group of applicants to take this final step together.

This week, seventy individuals from fifty countries dressed in their best and brought their friends and family to the event.

The Gerald R Ford presidential auditorium was filled to capacity with several individuals standing in the back.

I went to support a dear Guatemalan friend.

Unlike the movies, the seventy enthusiastically stood for the anthem and boldly sang, spoke the pledge of allegiance, and waved handheld flags during the ceremony. 

The presiding judge said they had the freedom to walk up to the platform to accept their naturalization paperwork or remain in their seats to have the papers brought to them. All seventy individuals, including a man who could barely walk, stood when his or her name was called as though winning an Oscar or an Olympic gold medal. They proudly walked the ramp to the platform, smiling and waving their flag, shook the judge's hand, and proudly carried their papers across the platform and back to their seat. 

Their joy knew no bounds.

Sure would be nice if everyone had a chance to attend one of these ceremonies. 

The newly naturalized citizens cheered when the judge said, "Welcome home." 


This post has been brought to you by the one word: Citizens

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Amazing New App That Lets Us Help The Blind

Technological advances have come a long way to help those who are visually impaired. Those devices are used only by the individual, which is great.

The Be My Eyes app won two awards for technology in 2018 and they need our help.

Say this individual goes to the store and the items have been moved or a new item has been introduced. He or she is unsure which to buy.

This new app lets them connect with a volunteer at a moment's notice. They turn their phone screen to the store products and ask their question. Perhaps they might say, "Which one is ... brand." 

The price is great. The app is free.

My daughter has signed up for this app. She is excited to have her first opportunity to help someone.

Here is the link for the explanation of the app. The link will direct you to FB:  Be My Eyes - Helping the Blind 


You can go to the app store and find the app on your own.

What I like about this idea is it gives me the opportunity to help someone in a very practical way. If I am available, I answer my phone. I listen to the question and do my best to help. That simple.

I should mention that over a million have signed up to volunteer which shows it success already. Does this mean you aren't needed? No. That one minute when someone needs help they might call you.

So, what do you think? 

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: HelpingTheVisuallyImpaired

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

SummerTime Beach Book Ideas

Pacific Ocean
Photo by Mary Vee

One of the favorite summer pass times for readers is finding and reading the perfect book on a beach. 

Sitting under a sun umbrella with a coating of sun tan lotion, readers turn pages to the beat of waves rippling on the shore. What could be more peaceful?

There are so many stories available, how can we choose?

Here is a fantastic resource:

The Grace Awards website features noteable books throughout the year. 

This week, board members for the site are hosting a Fiction Spotlight called Summer Book Bash 2019. They selected twelve books designed specifically for readers such as you. Any of these stories are perfect for taking to your favorite relaxation place. 

Photos of the books, links, and blurbs tell why these books are the perfect choice for a beach towel on the sand read. Best news of all: the featured books are on sale, most at only $0.99! 

I saw most genres represented in the list. 

I'm leaning toward the mystery ones: A Dangerous Deception, Roadkill, or Courting Danger to start. Let's see. If I read one book a week and there are twelve books. I think I could read them all before Autumn.

Please note, some of the books are on sale this week only while the others remain on sale for the summer. So you might want to go ahead and get your copy, make a TBR (to be read) pile, then choose a book to read first.

This link will open in a separate window. SO after you look at the list write in the comment section below which book captured your interest. 

And...if you have read any of these books, let us know!!

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: HappySummerReading

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Coffee Shop Lure

Lindt Coffee Shop
Paris, Photo by Mary Vee

Writers learn early on the importance of writing about what you know.

This doesn't necessarily mean we are experts in the topic we include. But we have dabbled in or research a plethora of resources which enable us to seamlessly take a reader to the location, or communicate the experience.

Today, my main character sits in a coffee shop located on a narrow, windy Paris street a few days before Christmas. 

During the late spring, summer, and fall seasons, tables and chairs clutter the sidewalk outside this shop. It's considered prime seating. Ambiance worth every penny because in the distance, the tip of the Eiffel reaches above the buildings.

Not on this day, though. 

Inside the coffee shop, locals take chairs from other tables and huddle together. They reach past their knees for their cup of latte, take a slug, and put the cup back. The topic of conversation is undefined, much like oil and water, swirling from one issue to another.

At other tables, couples sip their beverage and look at the newspaper oblivious to the boisterous conversation only a few feet away.   

But, my main character sits alone at a table near the shop's glass window front. He drinks his coffee and watches for her. 

The missing woman he'd been hired to find. 

He has no proof she is even here other than a few interviews that gave him pause to think it.

He drinks his coffee and watches. And waits.

The patience of a hired detective.

My character is not sipping the delicious coffee I experienced in the Lindt coffee shop. I was given a chocolate spoon to stir my coffee. And it was DELICIOUS!

What is your favorite coffee concoction? 

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: CoffeeShopInParis

Friday, June 21, 2019

Exciting New Reading Invention Releases This Year

Photo by Mary Vee
Due to modern technology, blind students are using Braille less. Audible advances enable these individuals to hear stories and informative text easily. 

Educators are finding that these students have become deficient in spelling, composition, and are limited to only that which is produced audibly. 

Here is some amazing facts about Braille.

The inventor of Braille, a fifteen-year-old boy names Louis Braille, took his idea from a night code communication used by the French military. The code enabled leaders in combat to read messages at night without a light. 

At age three, Braille suffered an accident when playing with an awl in his father's workspace. The incident blinded him in one eye that became infected and spread to his other eye, leaving him totally blind.

Louis Braille's was smart. He earned scholarships to attend the Royal Institute for the blind.   In those days blind students read by moving their fingertips across raised letters, a tedious method.

Using an awl, Braille created raised dots in patterns. Overtime the series of dots opened the world of language, music, and math for the blind. The code has been universally adapted for all languages.  Click here to watch a short, amazing video on this topic: BBC Braille

In recent years, young blind people have preferred to listen to audio, turning away from reading with their fingertips. Educators noticed deficient scores in areas of composition and especially spelling. 

Rising to the challenge, a new Braille eReader will reach markets this year. It enables students to read faster, has more information in a smaller space, and is exciting students to once again read. Here is another amazing video with this latest update presented by BBC Braille Technology  

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: Read