Oma Sue's Blog
Hi – I’m Sue Reyzlik. I recently realized my life-long dream of building a writing hut in the backyard. The writing hut serves as a creative space and home office for Oma Publishing. This blog will be intermingled with family history, varied experiences and insights on being a Grandma (Oma), creating my special backyard space, as well as, my “retirement” career as a self-publisher of children’s stories. And perhaps a little bit on the 32 years I served as Executive Director for Keep Fremont Beautiful and the wonderful people who are sharing this adventure.
I haven't written anything in awhile. You would think with all the social distancing, and staying home, that I would be blogging all the time. I'm not. I have hardly even stepped foot in the shed - which is really weird!
My granddaughter Rai has been social distancing with me since March 15th. So for the past month, it has been her and I just hanging out at the house. There is that little kitchen remodel that we started in February - so that has been strange.
The dining room and kitchen are sealed off with plastic and slowly the kitchen is getting this much needed update... but it is taking time. Now we are waiting for the counter top and then we can get the plumbing and electrical finished up... and then the appliances will be delivered - or not. We will have to see how the covid-19 is affecting the deliveries??
So much uncertainty surrounds every little task - every little order - every little contractor. I'm not complaining - just stating the obvious delays surrounding remodeling during a pandemic.
Homeschooling is something I never considered and yet, here we are. Rai is finishing off her second grade school year at the dining room table which is sandwiched in between the sectional sofa and fireplace in the living room. That is right behind the garbage can, recycling bin, container of canned food and vacuum cleaner... it is a bit messy with everything moved into one room.
I don't feel real comfortable going out in the shed and leaving her in the house by herself. And I can't work with her in the shed. The routine is different - as it is for nearly everyone!
I did get a call from Keep Fremont Beautiful asking for some advice. The annual Eco-Fair had to be canceled this year - which is sad. The Eco-Fair project is special to me - it was my baby - 25 years old this year. Each year the 4th grade students in Fremont and from the surrounding area would come to our education event. KFB would have 30 booth displays set up and the students had the opportunity to learn about various environmental issues. It is the KFB premier educational event of the school year! It is a shame the students had to miss it.
The Eco-Fair accounts for a lot of volunteer time. That volunteer time has a value of $24.14 per hour. KFB uses the value of the volunteer time as an in-kind match for the NDEE grant. When we lose 40 or 50 volunteers, each donating 6 to 10 hours at $24.14 an hour - we are losing at least $5,800.00 of in-kind match.
Anyway - it is a loss for the students and for the KFB educational organization. That is when they called for advice.
I thought about it a bit and then suggested we make an online version of at least the KFB booth displays. I volunteered to create the online lessons and Max Designs agreed to post the lessons on the Keep Fremont Beautiful Website.
So for the past couple of weeks, I have been researching, writing and compiling some basic information from the regular Eco-Fair and streamlining it into the online version. This has given me a chance to work with the new Executive Director, Casey Vaughn. She is a delight and I feel like the program is in good hands.
When this social distancing thing is all over, I hope she will come over and sit for a spell in my shed and I can bore her with tales from my 30 plus years of working with Keep Fremont Beautiful.
Nothing can take the place of the Eco-Fair, but please know that KFB wanted to make an effort to make sure the 4th graders had an opportunity to participate - even from a distance.
I hope you all are staying well and not going too crazy! I miss the normal routine but I am pretty sure I will miss this time at home when we venture back out into the world.