World Environment Day 2020

World Environment Day, celebrated each year on June 5th, is a day set aside by the United Nations to bring attention to a pressing environmental issue. This year, the spotlight is on biodiversity!

The variety of animals, plants, fungi and micro-organisms that make up our natural world work together to provide everything we need to survive: food, clean water, medicine, and shelter. Some people are not aware that a loss of biodiversity is just as great a threat as climate change to our world today. The loss of biodiversity can lead to a loss of services that nature provides that are essential to the functioning of our society and economy. As an example, most people are familiar with the loss of bees and pollinators and its potential negative effects on our food supply.

As natural historian, Sir David Attenborough, said at the start of Our Planet documentary, “Never has it been more important to understand how the natural world works and how to help it.”

Fundamentally, biodiversity is the key to the future of humanity.

We are lucky to have a walking trail that goes through the woods with a wetland ecosystem close to our house. Unfortunately, that means an abundance of mosquitoes. On our walks, we have seen beavers, deer, and ducks. The kids love seeing the wildlife and the changing water levels with the seasons. They don’t seem that keen on my mini lectures on ecosystem management. I like to hope that some of that knowledge is sticking.

Wetlands are important ecosystems! Wetlands help to sequester carbon, improve water quality, control erosion, helps to maintain stream flow and catches overflow, and provides a habit for many types of endangered and threatened flora and fauna.

On social media, you can join in on World Environment Day by using the hastags, #WorldEnvironmentDay and #ForNature

Biodiversity World Environment Day

Our Quarantined Life

quarantine update header

Here we are.
Ending the 11th (or is the 12th) week of physical distancing/quarantine measures.
We have come to accept that this is the new “normal”.

How I’ve been holding up

Not well.
I’ve been battling with the worst case of hives ever.
After suffering for two weeks trying all the over the counter anti-histamines available, various anti-itch creams and lotions I went to see my doctor. My doctor assumes its due to stress and seasonal allergies. I was given prescription strength allergy medicine and a topical cream. A week later I was back in her office. After blood work came back normal, I was put on a week of prednisone and stronger cream. The hives themselves are now gone, but I am still just as itchy. I still wake up scratching myself to the point of bleeding in the middle of the night. So now it’s back to the prescription allergy medicine, but twice a day AND Benadryl at night. My doctor made me promise to get a minimum of thirty minutes of relaxing alone time. HA! Every couple of days I’ve been able to squeeze in an oatmeal bath and watch an episode of Battlestar Gallactica.
Alone? Not really. I am “Mom-ed” the whole time. At least my skin is getting some relief… right?
Every time I get the slightest itch I slather myself in Aveno Eczema Relief lotion. I am making myself some sweet violet and dandelion skin oil and balm to help with my skin.
I am the most moisturized person in all of time and space at this point.
Lady Cassandra, be jelly!

Alas, I have ended up with cellulitis from scratching my legs.
Antibiotics, more topical cortisone creams, anti-bacterial topical creams, and even more allergy medications.

Mentally . . .
A few break downs here and there.
Mostly related to being overwhelmed by starting back online classes.
There were some severe technical issues on the university’s part. I wasn’t able to get my books on time as they weren’t posted until after the classes started. I am the type of person who prefers to read a week or two ahead and really know what the prof is talking about.
I am catching up.
It doesn’t help that the summer term is a very condensed term.
I also never thought I would admit this, but I miss my bus ride to school.
Turns out, that was my me time.
Just me (well strangers on the bus too) and my podcasts or my books to catch up on reading. I miss the walking to the bus stops and campus.
At the same time, I do like being to wake up and attend my lectures in my jammies.

How about the kids?

They’re alive.
So yay!
To be completely honest… way too much screen time.
School has reopened for the middle kiddo, but it’s optional.
For their mental health we decided to keep them home.
The wee one’s preschool is closed for the foreseeable future. They’re private so they aren’t eligible for government subsidies to cover the extra cost for teachers.
No grade 6 graduation and no preschool graduation. I think the lack of preschool graduation bothers me the most. We’ve decided to slowly introduce the kids to homeschooling as they predict the second wave to hit us in September. Something to at least keep their minds engaged and earn their screen time.

The Pets?

Hermione, our usually independent and sassy cat has become very stressed and needy. She has started meowing excessively at night and carrying her toys around. She usually avoids us, but has wanted all the pets lately. We purchased an interactive feeder to keep her and Asimov entertained.
They have both taken to sitting on my school work … while I am trying to work.


Slowly Re-Opening

Quebec is slowly re-opening.
Inter-regional travel is allowed.
We can now leave our city.
Non essential stores with doors to the outside world are re-opening.
Hair dressers are set to re-open between June 1st and 15th depending on their location, as long as they have an exterior door as a main entrance.
On private property, you can gather outside. A limit of 10 people from a maximum of 3 households.
Some provincial parks are reopening, although they are encouraging people NOT to travel to them. Same thing with cottagers. You can travel to check on your cottage if you HAVE to, but you are asked NOT to stop in the small towns on the way.