March 11, 2020

Coronavirus 2020

Prohibited from entering the country or systematic quarantine, several states limit their access to travelers from France. With the increase in the number of cases linked to Covid-19 in France, several countries around the world have implemented entry restrictions on their territory. These measures mainly apply to travelers from countries or regions considered to be at risk. For the moment, few countries are taking this type of measure, which ranges from a total ban on all foreigners to a tightening of entry conditions.

India no longer issues visas to nationals of more than one country (including France, Spain and Germany) and cancels valid visas. Travelers of French nationality or coming from French airports are no longer admitted to India. In view of these measures, it is recommended to postpone travel to India until further notice. The visa for travelers arriving in India before March 11 remains valid.

From Saturday March 14, all persons (residents or non-residents of Hong Kong) declaring to have visited the French regions of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and Grand Est in the last 14 days must be placed in confinement for 14 days in dedicated government centers (no home confinement possible), say the Hong Kong authorities. All those arriving in Beijing from abroad will now be placed in a 14-day quarantine for observation at home or in a place provided for this purpose. These containment measures have so far only concerned travelers from South Korea, Iran, Italy and Japan. Remember that trips to China are always not recommended, unless there is an imperative reason. The main tourist spots are closed and international air connections are greatly reduced.

The United States is starting to get affected which adds to their concerns with the environment. In California Oakland dumpsters are getting used to help clean up some areas to lower the risk of contagion. The country is concerned that the disease could spread like gun powder. .

Travelers who have stayed or transited for more than 6 hours in the last 15 days in a list of countries including France, Germany and Spain, are refused access to Israeli territory, as well as to the Territories Palestinians. In addition, several airlines are reducing their service to the country. Air France has for example abolished its direct line between Paris and Tel Aviv until March 28 inclusive. People from so-called risk areas (including France) are subject to compulsory isolation for fourteen days, in accordance with a decree published on March 5 by the municipality of Moscow. Concerning French nationals planning a temporary displacement in Russia for professional or tourist reasons: we strongly recommend them to postpone their trip, at the risk if not to be subjected as of their arrival to 14 days of strict self-isolation. Group trips organized by travel agencies from countries affected by Covid-19, including France, are no longer allowed. In the case of an individual stay, the French must respect self-monitoring for 14 days and report to the authorities if symptoms appear, according to France Diplomatie.

Also the Government of Nepal has decided to temporarily suspend, from March 10, 2020, the issuance of visas on arrival in its territory for citizens of certain countries including France. Visa applications are now to be addressed exclusively to the consular authorities of the country of residence.

Update on April 15th


Things have gotten worse in the past month or so!

The number of cases and also the number of deaths have kept on increasing every day, in the USA and in the world. We are now near 3 millions cases in total and over 200,000 deaths overall. And the situation is not improving at all!

The confinement has some beneficial effects though, with a reduction in pollution. The Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic is causing an unprecedented crisis, but it is bringing respite to the planet, with a drastic reduction in greenhouse gases. A real calm, but which should only be temporary. The world is rediscovering open landscapes and perspectives that pollution had sometimes made us forget, whether in Asia or in Europe. In Greece, the Acropolis of Athens rises clearly above the sea nowadays. A depth of field that tended to fade on days of pollution. The Gateway to India, in New Delhi, has never been so highlighted by a clear blue sky, like the presidential palace, which finds its contours in one of the most polluted cities in the world habitually. With the confinement of more than 4 billion human beings, pollutant emissions have decreased considerably in a few weeks in proportions rarely seen.

Between 5 and 9 million deaths are attributed to pollution each year. Even the Himalayas have been visible for several days from the Indian plains, unheard of for thirty years. However, what will remain of this improvement after the confinement? Will it be short-lived? To have an impact on global warming, in particular, it would be necessary to maintain this drop in activity for years, estimates expert climatologists. A respite for a time, therefore, while air pollution would kill 5 to 9 million people worldwide each year. When the economy kicks back with a vengeance, pollution will be back at its previous levels or higher. No amount of junk removal services deployment will ever eradicate the waste created by human beings unfortunately! But let's at least hope that this coronavirus crisis will help increase public awareness of how much we are polluting our planet.

Update on July 5th


Three months have passed since my last update, and the situation with COVID-19 keeps on getting worse.

Sadly the United States is the country with the worse number of cases and number of deaths and the situation does not seem to improve. I wonder how far this will go.

What to do with your green waste during containment

Your green waste should not be disposed of with your household garbage as it is wet waste which interferes with the proper functioning of incineration. You must store them in your garden while awaiting the reopening of recycling centers and the resumption of collections. Otherwise, find out how to transform them on site!

Use your green waste directly in your garden

Compost your waste. If you have a composter, keep your green waste to feed it in small quantities of brown matter (branches and hedge trimmings crushed or cut into small sections, flowers and wilted plants, dead leaves) and green matter (weeds , vegetable waste, mowing in small quantities). However, care must be taken to keep the correct balance of your compost. Find all the tips in our composting guide. And take advantage of services like the ones offered by Oklahoma City Dumpster Rentals Center, to find out about all the initiatives near you.

Maintain your plantations

You can easily maintain and enrich your plantations using the mulching technique, by covering the soil with plants or ground material (obtained by grinding plants and wood). Whether in the vegetable patch, under a hedge, in a flower bed, at the foot of fruit trees or shrubs, this technique helps reduce weed growth and protects from drought or frost and maintains humidity.

Fertilize your lawn

What if, instead of throwing them away, you leave your grass clippings in place? With this technique, "mulching", mowing breaks down naturally and enriches the soil, fertilizes the lawn and limits the growth of unwanted weeds. A mulching kit can be installed on your mower or you can simply raise the cutting height of your mower to around 6 cm and remove the collecting container.

Grow your vegetables and flowers

Use your garden waste to grow your vegetables and flowers, even if your soil is rough. This is the principle of lasagna gardening, for which you can also reuse your boxes (even less waste!).

Do you want to grow potatoes? Just put a few sprouted ones on the ground and cover them with bowls of the grass from your garden, or even other plants. The potatoes grow like this and can even be harvested 90 days later. No need to dig up and uproot the whole plant, you just have to lift the plant mantle and take the necessary number of tubers.

Offer insect hotels

You may have seen wild bees trying to nest in the water drain holes in your windows. What if you made them a hotel (with a warm, south-facing exposure)? All you need is a log and a drill, or a bundle of hollow stems. For the log, make non-through holes with a drill between 5 and 9 mm in diameter. For hollow stems, collect them in bundles and close their rear ends. The back of the hotel should be closed: it will be warmer, more solid and more peaceful. The front face can be usefully protected by a mesh. If you want to learn more about biodiversity in Cergy-Pontoise, visit our Nature in town blog.

Burning is not playing

Finally, remember that it is forbidden to burn your vegetable waste in the open air in your garden! In case of non-compliance with the ban, it is possible to alert the town hall’s hygiene services. People who burn green waste in the open can be fined up to $450. If its neighbors are bothered by odors, they can also incur liability for odor nuisance.

January 13, 2015

Our First Foster Care Placement

Yes, you read that right...we have our first foster care placement! This last week has been a whirlwind and I still can't believe we have a baby girl at home now. 

As I've previously mentioned, we recently got certified to foster, but were going to wait until we move (this Friday!) to open our home. We had said we'd do ages 3 and under, and figured we would get a toddler so didn't want them to have to move again shortly after being placed, so we all decided it would be best to wait til we move to open. We didn't anticipate getting an infant, which the moving wouldn't effect as much. 

Our previous case worker had left our agency right after Christmas, so we had a new case worker whom I hadn't even met yet. The plan was to touch base after we moved and were settled. 

But then last Monday I got a phone call that changed everything. :) I was rocking Maeva for her nap and my phone rang. I thought it was something about the closing of our house, so I went ahead and answered it. Turns out it was another case worker at our agency who had a potential placement she wanted to run by me. I told her we were only open for respite at the time, but was curious what it was. She gave me what little details she had and I told her we'd pray about it and let her know ASAP. 

When I hung up, I immediately started praying and crying because I knew this was what we were supposed to do and it was all a little overwhelming. I was still rocking Maeva and she said "Mama can I pray for you?" So of course I started crying even harder as she said her simple little prayer that blessed me more than you can imagine. 

I should back up and say that the night before, Patrick and I had prayed together that the Lord would stretch us in our faith in the coming year and use us however he see fit to glorify Him. Note to self: He answers those prayers really quickly. ;) Totally kidding but it did make me realize - this is what we asked for. We would be moving in about a week, had done zero packing, and were going to bring a baby with special needs home from the NICU? Almost everybody we told looked at us as if we were crazy. But thankfully we had an amazing family and group of friends supporting us in prayer and encouraging us along the way. 

But I can tell you - I have NEVER felt such a firm direction from God in my life as to this is what we were to do. Each day I spent at the NICU, I learned more about her medical conditions. If it were me in my own strength? I would have been running for the door. I am not medically inclined and it's overwhelming to think of doing all these things while caring for a 2 and 4 year old. But the Lord continued to remind me - you are not alone. Be obedient and I will sustain you. And wow has he ever! 

I called the case worker back Monday afternoon and told her we were interested. At this point another family was still deciding, so they would have the first option for placement. If they said no, the case worker was going to contact me. I never heard back that night, so the next day I texted her to see if she had an update. She still hadn't heard so we continued to wait. 

That night our church had a worship night specifically for those fostering & adopting, or those considering it, and for those wanting to support people who do in prayer. Our church has multiple campuses and this wasn't at the campus we normally attend, but thankfully a friend mentioned it to me. So we went, and it was wonderful. The worship was amazing and as we were singing"Oceans" I looked down and both Maeva and Manny were raising their hands singing, and I started ugly crying. (The first of many) I felt the Lord then confirm to me that even though we hadn't heard anything, we would still be offered this baby. And we were absolutely to say yes. 

On Wednesday morning, I had decided I would wait until noon to text the worker again for an update. But I didn't have to because about 11:45 she texted to say the baby was still available and are we interested? And so the rollercoaster ride began! I spent the next several hours on the phone with different case workers and learning next steps. We planned to go meet her that evening. 

The first night Patrick and I went to visit her in the NICU was so surreal. We showed our ID's, and they gave us a name tag that said "Parent". And it hit me like a ton of bricks. This sweet baby needed us to love her as our own. They told us to go in back, and we were like  - where do we go?? We were clueless, so they gave us her room number. We walked on back, and when we entered and saw the cutest little baby lying there all by herself in this big hospital room my ugly cry came forth. Again. ;) 


This is the first time I held her. :) We spent a couple hours with her and learning more about her from the nurses and when it was time to leave, I already had a hard time leaving her by herself. Yes, she'd been there 2 months and been just fine. But she quickly stole a piece of my heart and I couldn't wait to get back in the morning. 

I have lots more to say but I am out of time. I had to come to the new house to meet a delivery guy so I'm posting this from my phone. But they're done now, so I need to head home and start packing!! Hopefully I will be back soon to share more. I wish I could share her beautiful face but unfortunately I can't. She is definitely a little miracle and I'm thankful the Lord has blessed us with being able to care for her! 

January 3, 2015

Christmas Card 2014

I meant to post our Christmas card for Faith's Christmas Card carousel and time got away from me (so predictable!) But better late than never! 

This was the first year since having kids that we didn't do professional pictures. My mom took the picture on the front when we were at the beach this summer, so I just decided to use it and do something different for the back. 


Since I kind of fell off the blogging wagon this year, for the back I decided to do a little newsletter type template I found online. I always love reading updates from people when they include them with their cards, but have never done one before. 
I know this is late, but I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! :) 

November 25, 2014

Free Christmas Printables: Deer Head & Fair Isle

Last Christmas I changed up my mantle decorations, and designed a couple of prints to go on it. I never had the chance to share them, so thought I would this year! I didn't take a picture of my mantle fully decorated (that I can find anyway), but I did take a few of the deer head print up close, probably to send to my mom for feedback I'm guessing. :)

I printed mine as 11x14 prints at SAM'S for less than $2 each. Dollar Tree has 11x14 black frames, so I just bought 2 and spray painted them gold and also added a coat of the glitter blast gold spray paint.   
As you can see, the deer head has a glitter look to it, so you can print it and call it good, or if you're feeling feisty, you can add some actual glitter to it once you print it. I just covered the deer head in regular glue, then glittered it. I decided to do the red nose separate so it could be removed, and I also thought it might be easier to glitter that way. So after I glittered the whole deer head, I cut a small circle out of cardstock, and covered it in glue and red glitter, then taped it on to the deer head. My reason for doing this? Well, Manny was (still is) obsessed with deer, moose, etc., and I knew he wouldn't want me to take this down (I was right) after the holiday season, so I took the red nose off and left it on our mantle.  
 
Again, not the best picture because I just found a picture of the kids where you could see the mantle in the background and zoomed in. But it gives you an idea of what I did with it in my regular decor. I would take a better picture, but I've since taken it down because I had to re-do the mantle since the realtor is going to be coming soon to take pictures of this house we're in because the owner is going to put it on the market since we're moving out soon. Never a dull moment here! :)

If you'd like to download either print, I've included them below in 3 sizes: 5x7, 8x10, and 11x14.


Tis the Season! :)

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