Most everyone has heard the flight attendant tell them to put their own oxygen mask on before helping others. The same goes for parenting—your health and well-being is important so that you can nurture your child. Self-care is not selfish or indulgent—it’s how we keep ourselves well to ensure we are physically, emotionally, and mentally capable of being there for our young children.

Each year, the Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority’s Veterans Memorial Park is the site of a Memorial Day program in Veterans Memorial Park to honor military veterans who have died while serving in the U.S. Military. But given the ongoing threat of COVID-19, this year’s event will not take place for the first time in many years.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent break from school, the Tuscaloosa City Schools system is trying to help students find new ways to learn while they’re away from the classroom. One such way is a reading service known as “Sora” by OverDrive 

Sora is the student reading app, which provides free, 24/7 access to eBooks and audiobooks for grades K-12. The idea, according to Rock Quarry Elementary School librarian Amelia Pilsch, is to engage a student’s mind through reading.  

The City of Tuscaloosa will reopen the in-person Farmers Market at the Tuscaloosa River Market beginning on Saturday, May 23. 

This week's Humane Society of West Alabama Pet of the Week is Amber.

Hi all. Given that we’re all at home these days, I suspect we’re cooking more than ever. If you want to give your kitchen a bit of a break, whip up this cucumber, tomato, and onion salad. It takes just minutes, and it’s a true classic on any Southern table. If you have some cauliflower on hand, try dressing it up a bit by baking it. The cheese, sour cream, and onions really add a wonderful compliment to this veggie.  

I hope everyone is doing well and taking a little time to gather around the dining room table as a family these days. Great cooking just makes everything so much better.  

Bon Appétit! 

Cucumber, Tomato, and Onion Salad  

  • 3 cucumbers, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick 
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped 
  • 1 onion, sliced 
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar 
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh, coarsely ground black pepper 
  • 2 tsps. salt 

Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours. Serve chilled. 

Loaded Baked Cauliflower 

  • 1 large head cauliflower (cut into small florets) 
  • 2 Tbsps. melted butter 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 2/3 cup sour cream 
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream 
  • 2 cloves minced garlic 
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 6 Tbsps. bacon bits (cooked) 
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion 

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with butter and season with salt and pepper. 

In a small baking dish, place cauliflower in a single layer and roast in over for 15-20 minutes, tossing halfway through.  

In the same bowl used for the cauliflower, mix sour cream and heavy cream until smooth. Then stir in garlic, half the cheddar cheese, half the bacon bits, and half the green onions. 

Remove cauliflower from oven when done roasting and add the sour cream mixture. Stir to coat. Return to baking dish and top with remaining cheese and bacon bits.  

Bake for 5-10 minutes or until cheese melts.  

Top with remaining green onions. 

Serve immediately. 

 

 

Every American has been impacted by the CODIV-19 virus and our national and local response to it. The last several weeks have created a great deal of unexpected change and uncertainty in a very short period, which can leave any one of us feeling a bit unnerved. 

Though circumstances can seem daunting, each of us has dealt with difficult and uncertain situations at other points in our lives. One of your strongest assets in dealing with the suddenness and comprehensiveness of this change is knowing that, though the nation going through it all together is something that has not been experienced since WWII, you as an individual have survived and conquered other trying times, perhaps even on multiple occasions.  

As the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold, University of Alabama junior Michael Arundel was at home on spring break in Chicago. That’s where the 20-year-old got the idea for Leave It To Us, a non-profit organization that helps shop for senior citizens – who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus, and thus not always able to brave the stores for food.

Leave It To Us took off quickly, and Arundel put together an initial group of volunteers to help shop for the senior citizens – by picking up their grocery or pharmacy order.

  1. Bonding – When you sing to your baby, they bond with you and your voice. Singing makes yours the first and most important voice in her life. Your baby learns that you LOVE him.
  2. Transitions – Babies feel safe when life is predictable. A song for waking up, sleeping, and other routine transitions and activities helps them know what comes next.
  3. Language – Language is in itself musical, and when you sing and speak, your baby learns about words, language, and communication. Through your singing, baby’s language comprehension begins.
  4. New words – While you sing and hold your baby, you introduce new vocabulary. When you hold up a stuffed dog as you sing about a dog, baby learns to associate the name of that toy with the words you sing. When you sing about parts of the body and kiss your baby’s feet or tickle his tummy, he learns new words.
  5. Rhythm and rhyme – Music includes rhythm and rhyme, again, part of our language. In time, babies will recognize rhymes and rhythms.
  6. Play – Singing is one of many methods of play and “sing-play” is a fun way to interact with babies.
  7. Family fun – Singing is a great way to involve older siblings in welcoming a new baby to the home. Singing to and playing with the baby builds a bond between siblings. Make singing a family activity.

Senior students in the Tuscaloosa County School System have already participated in virtual graduation ceremonies. Now, they will be able to receive their diplomas during graduation celebrations in person.

“I’m sorry son, I just don’t have time to do that right now.” How many times have we uttered some form of this phrase to a family member? Now insert the quarantine. Many of us are flooded with more home hours than we ever thought possible. I find myself asking, “Now what? How do I begin this trend of quality time? Why does this feel so unnatural? Who are these kids? Who am I? What store is running a great deal on tablets?”  

All these questions have raced through my mind at some point since March 16. Maybe you’ve experienced them as well.  

This week's HSWA Pet of the Week is Dezi. Dezi a 4-year old female corgi mix with a long body and short legs. She is fully grown at 26 pounds, proving that good things come in small packages.

Even if you’ve kept your toddler away from news about COVID-19 in the media or from overhearing adult conversations, they are bound to have questions. Here are some age-appropriate responses to the common questions a toddler might have. Most importantly, remember to keep your answers simple and age-appropriate.

Shelton State Community College’s (SSCC) @theDome summer 2020 programming will temporarily move online with its STEM Academy and ACT Prep.

Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority announces that it will open six of its seven Activity Centers on May 12, with limitations. The McAbee Center will remain temporarily closed as its primary identity is as a Senior Center.

Effective May 11, 2020, the City of Tuscaloosa will abide by the State Health Officer’s Amended “Safer at Home” Order as issued on May 8.

There are plenty of Monday morning quarterbacks to go around. 

At the time this masterful composition was being carefully constructed (mid-April), the common theme among the talking heads was whether or not the President, the Governors, the Mayors, the (insert elected official you randomly want to blame here) acted swiftly enough to the Covid-19 outbreak. The simple answer is likely “no.” But as always, the simple answer almost never covers the complexity of the issue. And in this case, it doesn't even come close. 

I don’t know about you, but the extended time at home sure has put food on my mind more than normal. Sure, I’ve enjoyed making from-scratch biscuits for my family more often, but there’s something to be said for enjoying the atmosphere of our delicious restaurants in Tuscaloosa and Northport.

I don’t normally like loud places, but I promise you once this quarantine is over, I can’t wait to eat in the hustle and bustle of DePalma’s, Avenue Pub, and FIVE restaurants. And trying to balance seeing patients from home while wrangling a boisterous toddler is making me more antsy than ever to get out of the house.

I know I’m not the only one. So, I decided to chat with some other Tuscaloosa folks to see what foods they’re eating and what they can’t wait to eat soon.

This week's HSWA Pet of the Week is Maddie. She was adopted from the HSWA as a kitten, but was recently returned after 18 years when her owner fell ill.

First and foremost, I hope you and your family are healthy and safe – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Throughout this global coronavirus pandemic, the stock market has experienced the wildest roller coaster ride in history. The S&P 500 Index recorded its fastest fall (22 days) of 30% or more in its history. The Volatility Index, or VIX, which represents the market’s expectation of 30-day forward-looking volatility, recorded its highest reading ever on March 16 and remains much higher than normal. Not only have we seen some of the sharpest down days in our history, but we have also seen several of the sharpest up days. Just when we expect the stock market to zig, it zags, and vice versa. The fact is, we cannot control how the stock market, or the bond market for that matter, will perform and what other investors will do. 

How can you avoid financial motion sickness which can lead to hasty investment decisions? What can you control? 

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.

 

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