10 simple ways to engage kids struggling with social distancing

Here are some ideas you can implement to alleviate cabin fever


1. Start the day with meditation

Meditation and mental health app Calm released a number of quick, easy-to-do meditations and relaxing playlists. Six meditations with titles such as “A Heart Less Heavy” and “Softening Fear” will help you and your family work through anxiety and panic caused by the coronavirus.

Calm’s Sleep Stories will lull your children to sleep for naptime, with narrations by Matthew McConaughey and David Walliams. Lastly, Calm offers a number of playlists with spa-like music that soothes the mind and soul.

2. Make time for easy learning with Scholastic’s Learn At Home Program

In light of Covid-19 school closures, Scholastic is offering a free learning program, Learn At Home. The program provides four weeks of lessons timed at three hours per day for all grade levels.

Kindergarteners can learn about how plants grow, while first and second graders are introduced to weather patterns and the environment. Older elementary school students can take a virtual field trip to the Museum of the American Revolution, and middle and high schoolers can learn about chemistry through a fun lesson called “Extreme Candy.”

“We designed Scholastic Learn At Home knowing that administrators and teachers need to create extensive virtual learning plans, quickly, and that students need uplifting and engaging experiences,” Scholastic Classroom Magazines Editor-in-Chief Lauren Tarshis told The Hill. “Our hope is that even though daily routines are being disrupted and students may not have valuable time in school with their educators, together we can support meaningful learning at home while it is necessary.”

3. Host a Netflix Party for your children and their friends

Netflix Party is a Google Chrome extension that enables Netflix users to gather virtually and watch a show or movie. To get started, choose a movie, and click the “NP” logo. Once you do, the Netflix Party extension will generate a URL invite code that you can share with partygoers.

The extension also has a chat function, so everyone can share their reactions in real-time. If you’re concerned about what might happen in the chat (looking at you, tweens and teens), you can ask a parent to act as a monitor or shut the chat function off.

For small children, PJ MasksShaun the SheepThomas and Friends and Octonauts are currently Netflix’s top picks. For older children, Stranger ThingsUnbreakable Kimmy SchmidtOne Day at a Time and Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse are good options.

4. Bolster creativity and practice writing skills with The New York Times’ Learning Network

Perfect for high schoolers, The New York Times‘ Learning Network offers free, thought-provoking articles, quizzes, lessons and writing prompts. The Times covers current events, with a quiz dispelling Covid-19 myths, and basic subjects, including language arts, science, mathematics, social studies and arts.

5. Help your children battle procrastination with this Smarter Living guide

Children (and adults) may be tempted to procrastinate on important tasks while working from home. In this installment of Smarter Living, opinion columnist Adam Grant shares that procrastination isn’t a matter of laziness, but a matter of “avoiding negative emotions.”

Gleaning information from the world’s top psychologists, Grant encourages us to stop worrying about perfection, to adjust our schedules to fit when we’re naturally most energized and to consider working near someone (which in this situation, could be a spouse or loved one you live with).

For parents, this could mean allowing your night owls to tackle take-home assignments in the evening, allowing children to work in pairs, and taking time to talk about anxiety and fears they have about missing school or the virus.

6. Have storytime with celebrity guests

As reported by Inman’s Veronika Bondarenko, celebrities are bringing stories to life by hosting daily storytimes on social media. Keep an eye on Josh Gad, Jennifer Gardner, Amy Adams and Reese Witherspoon’s social media feeds for new reads. If you’re not a social media lover, then download Libby on iOS and Android to access children’s audiobooks at your local library.

7. Use YouTube to find educational videos

Although YouTube is primarily known as an entertainment platform, the site has plenty of channels that offer educational content perfect for children and adults.

SciShow Kids offers short videos for young children on topics such as “How are raisins made?” and “Why is fire hot?” Crash Course Kids offers more fun, partially animated science videos fit for older elementary and middle school students, and the main Crash Course channel covers everything from philosophy to media literacy.

Thought CafeThe Brain ScoopSmarterEveryDay, and ASAPScience and the PBS Idea Channel also have plenty of thought and conversation-provoking videos.

8. Let them play outside

If you’re not living in an area with a shelter-in-place mandate, consider allowing your children to play outside in a fenced-in backyard, or take them for an afternoon stroll in your neighborhood (remember, to stay at least 6 feet away from others). Use this opportunity to get some fresh air, or teach them schoolyard games that you used to play. Freeze tag, anyone?!

9. Loosen your restrictions on tablets and games

Inman design guru Ted Irvine suggests keeping a tablet or gaming device charged up to quickly calm anxious children. “Audiobooks and Nintendo Switch are really good things for parents to have around when the kids meltdown,” he said.

Although you don’t want to let them play it all day, have a few go-to games uploaded when you need a quick fix in the midst of a work rush. Animal Crossing, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and Super Mario Party are bestsellers.

10. Rely on your community

Although most of us are living in near or complete isolation these days, Bruch said it doesn’t mean that we can’t connect. “I’m happy to offer resources and help to anyone who needs it,” she said while mentioning there are thousands of teachers and parents who are quickly connecting via social media to conduct virtual lessons, storytimes and babysitting sessions.


Source: 10 simple ways to engage kids struggling with social distancing, Inman

6 Museums You Can Tour from the Comfort of Your Own Home This Weekend

While staying at home and practicing safe social distancing are the best courses of action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, it doesn’t mean we have to miss out on cultural landmarks around the world. Thanks to the Google Arts & Culture Project, from New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, to Rijks Museum in Amsterdam, here are 6 museums you can tour right now from home.

MoMA, New York

The first museum founded to showcase modern art, The Museum of Modern Art in New York has been doing just that for more than 90 years. From Picasso to Van Gogh, the MoMA is home to incredible pieces of history from the world of contemporary art.

Museo Frida Kahlo, Mexico City

Tour La Casa Azul, the former home of world-renowned artist Frida Kahlo – and current home to the museum honoring her life and legacy. Visible here are not only works from Kahlo, but also numerous personal belongings including her clothing and a body cast she famously painted while ill.

Musée d’Orsay, Paris

On display at the Musée d’Orsay, you’ll discover famous works from French artists who lived and worked between 1848 and 1914. Paintings by Monet, Gauguin, and Cézanne – among others – are featured on this Parisienne art tour.

La Galleria Nazionale, Rome

With just about 500 of its approximately 20,000 artworks digitized for this virtual tour, La Galleria Nazionale in Rome features everything from antiquities to seminal pieces representing the Futurist and Surrealist art movements.

Georgia O’Keefe Museum, Santa Fe

Honoring one of America’s preeminent artists, the Georgia O’Keefe Museum settled in the same New Mexican desert she once called home. It is dedicated to enriching visitors in the incredible legacy left by the late artist with its collection of her paintings; of which 30 can be viewed online.

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

One of the more thoroughly digitized experiences is Rijks Museum in Amsterdam. With over 145,000 works available to view virtually, enjoy incredible works from artists like Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Verspronck, to name a few.

Looking for more? Travel + Leisure offer more digital tours of incredible art museums



Source: 6 museums you can your from the comfort of your own home this weekend, extraordinary living blog, sothebys realty

5 Ways to Keep Your Mind and Body Healthy While Working from Home

Taking care of your mind and body should always be a top priority when it comes to ensuring that you’re living your best life, but in these trying times, it’s more important than ever. If you’re beginning to feel trapped and stagnant as you adjust to working from home, here are 5 tips to help keep your mind sharp and your body healthy from your home office.


Whether or not you currently attend a yoga class or have tried from home, I’m sure you’re familiar with the practice. A blend of stretching for the body and meditation for the mind, yoga can boost your mental and physical fitness by improving sleep, busting stress, strengthening your heart, and more. What’s more, yoga studios like Sky Ting bring professional instruction directly to you with both live streaming classes, and on demand options; Namaste.

Don’t Lose Touch

Practicing social distancing doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t connect with loved ones. Using FaceTime or apps like Houseparty give us the chance to catch up virtually – face to face. Maintaining these relationships keeps you truly connected with the world that matters.

Take a Break

Between completing your job-related tasks, trying to absorb (or avoid) the non-stop news cycle, and potentially keeping your child (or children) busy, working from home can be stressful; give your mind a rest with a nap, listening to some of your favorite music, reading from a magazine or book, or even taking a relaxing shower or bath. Studies show that even just a minute of deep breathing can relieve stress.

Plan Your Meals – And Enjoy Them

Making fewer trips to the grocery store means that you’ve likely stocked your pantry up – and being in close proximity to that stockpile might make you more inclined to snack more frequently. Resist the urge to snack by creating a schedule and prepare for meals in advance. Staying at home doesn’t mean you can’t eat well either; there are manymany tips on how to make hearty (and healthy) comforting meals.

Stay Clean

If you have to leave your house for essentials, staying healthy means sticking to a cleanliness regimen. Any time you return home, wash your hands properly – it’s also a good idea to daily disinfect high-trafficked surfaces like countertops, doorknobs, bathroom utilities, light switches, phones, gaming controllers, and remotes.


Remember that we are all in this together; sharing what works for you on social media or through conversation may help others struggling to adjust. Your network of clients and colleagues may benefit from your successes – and you from theirs.



Source: 5 Ways to Keep Your Mind and Body Healthy at Home, Extraordinary Living Blog

Take Out Blitz

Let’s show the Flathead Valley some support!

With recent dine-in options changing, many local establishments have added take out, carry out, meal kits and delivery services. We encourage you to participate in a “Take Out Blitz” to inject some business and dollars into these businesses that are impacted. If you don’t want to order take-out or delivery – go online and buy some gift cards to use at a later date when they reopen all services.




Putting Down Roots | How to Settle in to a New Home

Boca Raton, Florida | John Poletto & Mark NestlerONE Sotheby’s International Realty

There’s a difference between a house and a home. It can take time to personalize the interior of a new house with your own sense of style and décor, making it a welcoming place that becomes a family’s central hub. To help give any new house a head start, or refresh during an extended stay at home, we’ve compiled a few simple tips to make your new property feel distinctly yours.

Start Organized

Bluffton, South Carolina | Renee MeighanCelia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty

The best way to start off in a new home? Make sure you’re organized from the get-go. To make unpacking a breeze, ensure boxes are clearly labeled and organized by room, and that any furniture is placed in its proper spot from the very beginning. You’ll receive an instant sense of familiarity when you walk into your new house and see all of your belongings close to—if not perfectly—where they’re supposed to be. If you’re having renovations done, like painting or decorating, schedule them in advance to avoid chaos as much as possible.

Add Some Greenery

Riverside, Connecticut | Steve ArchinoSotheby’s International Realty – Greenwich Brokerage

Bringing a touch of the outdoors inside is a sure way to make a new space feel fresh and welcoming—and plants have the added benefit of purifying the air. To spruce up your new home, try large potted plants like palms and ferns to brighten entranceways and living rooms. And if you’re looking to instantly achieve that at-home feeling before you’ve settled on more permanent plants, add some fresh bouquets of flowers to the kitchen on your first day in your new abode.

Making Scents

Chicago, Illinois | Tim SalmJameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Smell is a powerful vehicle for nostalgia. Just a hint of a certain scent can transport us to a memory of a vacation or a moment with friends. Whether through a candle, incense, diffused essential oils, or your go-to soap, adding fragrance to your new space makes it even more welcoming. If you’re looking for new scents to christen your new home, try light florals in the living room, something fresh and herbal in the kitchen, and relaxing lavender in the bedroom to aid sleep.

Sounds Like Home

Singapore | Veniz KwongList Sotheby’s International Realty

It’s hard to resist a thrill when a favorite song comes on the radio. Bring that magic mood into your new home by listening to curated music as you settle in. Make a playlist, press play, and let the music of your life fill your new space as you decorate and adjust to your new environs. Creating new memories through sound can smooth the adjustment process.

Fill in the Blanks

Beverly Hills, California | Eric LaveySotheby’s International Realty – Beverly Hills Brokerage

Unless you’re planning for a minimalist design in your new house, blank walls can be a deterrent in making your space feel homey. That’s not to say you should rush to add permanent artwork: while you decide on your chosen pieces, adding family photos and favorite decorative items from another home can quickly make your new space feel comfortable in the meantime.

Turn on the Lights

Beverly Hills, California | Almila GozenSotheby’s International Realty – Brentwood Brokerage

Lighting is crucial for setting ambiance in a new home. Consider if you need to make any updates to the placement and types of lighting in your house before you move in, so that rooms are cozy and welcoming when you arrive. Lighting candles can also set the tone for those first special evenings in a new space.

Stock the Kitchen

Wellington, Florida | Thomas BaldwinEquestrian Sotheby’s International Realty

The kitchen is the soul of the house, so your new address might not feel like much of a home while it remains empty. Fill your fridge upon arrival, whether you pre-order for delivery or pick up fresh produce on the way. Cooking a meal in your new kitchen is also a great way to feel settled. Invite some family and friends over for a casual meal in the early days of your residence: a celebration with company can make any house a home almost instantly.

Moving into a new space, whether as a permanent residence or a seasonal getaway, is always an exciting time. You may be looking forward to a change of scenery or the chance to create more memories with familiar faces. Regardless of the type of property or how much time you’ll be spending there, these simple ideas go a long way towards making your new home feel like you’ve lived there for years.


Source: Putting Down Roots, Extraordinary Living Blog

Homeowners may delay mortgage payments up to 1 year due to virus

The move by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac came days after President Trump announced that delayed mortgage payments may be an option for borrowers amidst the coronavirus pandemic


Homeowners who are now struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus outbreak may be able to postpone their mortgage payments for up to 12 months, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced last week.

The move by the federal loan servicers came days after President Trump announced that delayed mortgage payments may be an option for borrowers amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac cover about half of all home loans in the U.S.

Individuals who have experienced a loss of income due to the outbreak may qualify to make reduced payments or be allowed a pause in payments altogether. Under the new plan, borrowers will not incur penalties or late fees, and delayed payments will not be reported to credit agencies.

“Our thoughts are with everyone who may be impacted by COVID-19 and we urge you to stay safe and well during these unprecedented times,” Malloy Evans, senior vice president and single-family chief credit officer for Fannie Mae, said in a press release. “Fannie Mae, along with our lending and servicing partners, is committed to ensuring assistance is available to homeowners in need. We encourage residents whose employment or income are impacted by COVID-19 to seek available assistance as soon as possible.”

To get the delayed payment process started, borrowers will initially only need to testify over the phone to their lender that they’re experiencing financial hardship; documentation will come later. However, borrowers are responsible for reaching out to their loan servicer themselves. Payment relief can also apply to any type of property, whether it’s a primary home, secondary home, or investment property.

Throughout the loan forbearance period, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may reassess the borrower’s ability to pay the loan to ensure the plan is still necessary for that borrower. After this period is up, servicers will develop a feasible repayment plan with the borrower, including potentially extending the life of the loan.

Some banks are also offering mortgage forbearance periods for customers during this time, although, as of now, they are much shorter than 12 months. Fifth Third Bank, for instance, is offering borrowers a 90 day forbearance period on mortgages, and Ally is offering a 120 day forbearance period for mortgage customers. Bank of America also stated it will defer mortgage payments for borrowers who request it, although it did not specify a length of time.

“We don’t want people who have been responsible in making their mortgage payments to suddenly be declared delinquent and to lose their access to credit,” Chris Mayer, a real estate economist at Columbia University’s business school, told NPR. “Let’s fight the virus, and let’s hold people harmless for something that they didn’t control.”


Source: Homeowners may delay mortgage payments up to 1 year due to virus, Inman

Mental Health During a Public Health Crisis

Practitioners are offering telehealth and suggest structured activities, getting outside to cope with COVID-19 anxiety

Images courtesy of Kalispell Regional Healthcare. 

As social distancing becomes the new norm and coronavirus-caused closures continue to rattle Montana, mental health professionals are responding to an uptick in anxiety and fear of what the uncertain future holds.

Many clinics are transitioning to telehealth, but psychologist Dr. Sara Boilen of Sweetgrass Psychological Services in Whitefish says their doors remained open, with intense precautionary measures in place, as of March 20, while she also encourages remote appointments to prevent COVID-19’s spread.

“A lot of people want to sit in our space and feel normal and kind of feel the calm and security in our building,” Boilen said.

Boilen offers video chat and phone call services, encouraging people to find private spaces, even if it’s in their car. While Sweetgrass encourages this shift to telehealth, Boilen says some people have encountered issues like a lack of privacy or lack of WiFi for video chat or cell service in their home. Others don’t like telehealth.

“Not everybody likes looking at their face when they’re crying,” Boilen said.

But Boilen says telehealth poses challenges with children’s therapy too since there’s so much playtime involved in their sessions. She’s working to address these issues by coaching parents to help their kids.

Boilen is also seeing an uptick in new patients who are experiencing anxiety in the wake of coronavirus uncertainty.

“We don’t do well with the unknown,” she said.

Dr. Michael Newman, a psychiatrist at Kalispell Regional Healthcare, also points to the anxiety associated with coronavirus uncertainty. In a live KRH Facebook video stream, Newman answered community members’ mental health questions and offered coping mechanisms for dealing with elevated anxieties.

“There’s a fair amount of anxiety going around,” Newman said. “There’s uncertainty. How long will it last? How severe is it going to be?”

Newman says social distancing should not be confused with social isolation, and while it’s important to keep a safe physical distance, people can use technology and social media to replace in-person interactions in the meantime.

Similarly, Boilen prefers the term “physical distancing” and also encourages the use of video chat, apps and technology to remain social, while limiting the Netflix vortex.

Limiting media consumption is another way to avoid anxiety and overwhelming feelings, whether it’s giving yourself a time limit or the number of times you check per day, she said.

She also suggests picking up new hobbies to distract the brain and redirect to something positive. Getting outside is another coping mechanism, although remaining six feet apart from others is advised.

“Staying six feet apart is not that hard if you’re on a trail walk,” Boilen said.

Soothing practices like meditation, yoga and cooking are other beneficial ways to decompress, she said.

Newman suggests that people get into some sort of routine, whether that’s cleaning the house or tackling house projects.

“I just want to reiterate … don’t panic,” Newman said. “Panic doesn’t get anybody anywhere.”

Sweetgrass will offer a two-week online meditation course, starting Monday, March 23. For more information, visit http://sweetgrasspsychological.com/specialofferings.

Pathways Treatment Center at KRH is open 24/7, call (406) 756-3940 for more information.

For additional COVID-19 resources, visit https://www.krh.org/krhc/patients-and-visitors/covid-19-preparedness-and-updates.



Source: Mental Health During a Public Health Crisis, Flathead Beacon

15 books to read in our age of social isolation

books: the original social distancing tool


Here’s a roundup of 15 books to read during these shutdown days — a combination of thrillers, relationship dramas, action-packed page-turners, and everything in between. Only two picks are nonfiction, chosen because they celebrate the best that humanity is capable of; the rest are fiction, because let’s face it — these days we could all use a bit of an escape from reality. Happy reading.


Last Couple Standing

Last Couple Standing
by Matthew Norman (fiction, Ballantine)
Four couples have been friends since college, getting married and having kids around the same time, as well. Now the divorces have started: Jessica and Mitch are the last ones standing. To ensure that their marriage lasts, they decide to embark on an experiment that involves seeing other people. Spoiler alert: The experiment doesn’t go well.


The Blaze

The Blaze
by Chad Dundas (fiction, GP Putnam’s Sons)
Army veteran Matthew Rose has been called back home to settle his father’s affairs after his death. He doesn’t remember much about his past; a traumatic brain injury sustained in Iraq wiped out much of his memory. On his first night back in town, he witnesses a house fire, and it turns out a young man was inside. The incident brings back memories of a different fire — and an important part of his past.


The Glass Hotel

The Glass Hotel
by Emily St. John Mandel (fiction, Knopf)
At the remote Hotel Caiette, a 5-star hotel on the coast of Vancouver, a barmaid named Vincent meets a man named Jonathan the same night someone has scrawled “Why don’t you swallow broken glass” on the lobby wall. Vincent will embark on a relationship with Jonathan, though she doesn’t yet know he’s running an international Ponzi scheme. Gorgeous and haunting. The author’s previous book, “Station Eleven,” is also incredible, but as it deals with the aftermath of a global pandemic, it’s perhaps best shelved for happier, healthier times.


After Me Comes the Flood

After Me Comes the Flood
by Sarah Perry (fiction, Custom House)
This is the haunting debut novel by the bestselling author of “The Essex Serpent” and “Melmoth,” written before she became well known. A London bookseller breaks down in his car en route to seeing his brother, and when he goes to a nearby house for help, a woman — and everyone else in the strange house — knows who he is, and has been expecting him.


A Long Petal of the Sea

A Long Petal of the Sea
by Isabel Allende (fiction, Ballantine)
An epic novel that follows two people — a young pregnant widow and her brother-in-law — over decades and crossing continents, as they flee the Spanish Civil War to a new life in Chile. To survive, the pair must get married, a union neither desires.


Victim 2117

Victim 2117
by Jussi Adler-Olsen (fiction, Dutton)
In this newest installment from the bestselling Q series, the death of “Victim 2117” — the 2,117th refugee to die in the Mediterranean Sea — sets off a chain of events in Copenhagen’s cold-cases division.


The Red Lotus

The Red Lotus
by Chris Bohjalian (fiction, Doubleday)
A couple goes on a bike tour in Vietnam, but only one comes home: The man, Austin, vanishes one night on the road, leaving only a pack of yellow energy gel in his wake. As his girlfriend Alexis struggles to put together the pieces back home, she uncovers a trail of lies — and realizes she may not have known Austin very well at all. Pretty much everything Bohjalian writes is addictive, so when you’re done with this, check out “The Flight Attendant,” among others.


The Holdout

The Holdout
by Graham Moore (fiction, Random House)
It was the most famous trial of the decade: A billionaire’s daughter vanished on the way to school, her teacher named a suspect in her murder. One juror, Maya Seale, was convinced of the teacher’s innocence, and succeeded in getting her peers to return a not-guilty verdict. Ten years later, a TV show reassembles the jury for a reunion, but one of the jurors is found dead — in Maya’s hotel room.


My Dear Vanessa

My Dark Vanessa
by Kate Elizabeth Russell (fiction, William Morrow)
Jacob Strane, a high-school English teacher, has just been accused of sexual abuse by a former student. It isn’t the first time. The student reaches out to Vanessa Wye, a young woman with a similar experience with Strane when she was 15. When she gets the message, Vanessa has to make a choice: Stay silent — she believes their relationship was consensual — or take a painful look at her past. One of the biggest releases of the season.


Oona Out of Order

Oona Out of Order
by Margarita Montimore (fiction, Flatiron)
On New Year’s Eve 1982, Oona is just about to turn 19, her whole life ahead of her. But then she wakes up and she’s . . . 51 and wondering what the hell just happened. As she grapples with this strange new world, she discovers it’s going to happen every New Year’s Eve: She’ll be transported to a different year in her life (which sounds pretty appealing right now, doesn’t it?)


One Minute Out

One Minute Out” (Gray Man Book 9)
by Mark Greaney (fiction, Berkley)
A high-stakes thriller about a human-trafficking ring that stretches from the Balkans all the way to Hollywood. When Court Gentry tries to shut it down, his CIA handlers have other plans: The criminal ringleader has information about a terrorist attack on American soil, and nothing will happen until the CIA has that intel.


Long Bright River

Long Bright River
by Liz Moore (fiction, Riverhead Books)
Kacey and Mickey are once-inseparable sisters living in a Philadelphia neighborhood ravaged by the opioid crisis. Kacey is an addict who lives on the streets; Mickey is a beat cop. When Kacey disappears at the same time that a string of murders terrorizes the area, Mickey becomes desperate to find her sister — and the culprit.


Dear Edward

Dear Edward
by Ann Napolitano (fiction, The Dial Press)
Twelve-year-old Edward is the sole survivor of a plane crash that killed his parents, his older brother and 183 other passengers. As he struggles to adjust to life with his aunt and uncle as the public face of a shocking national tragedy, he tries to navigate a world in which nothing feels certain. Trust me on this one: While it deals with a plane crash, it’s really a celebration of life and feeling connected to other people.


The Splendid and the Vile

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family and Defiance During the Blitz
by Erik Larson (nonfiction, Crown)
If ever there was a time to be inspired by the fortitude of the human spirit, it’s now. Author of “The Devil in the White City” and “In the Garden of the Beasts,” Erik Larson weaves a fascinating yarn out of every topic he turns his attention to, and his latest book — a terribly moving tale of Blitz London and Churchill’s campaign to persuade the United States to enter the war — is no exception. Exquisitely researched and described, this tome brings that difficult time period and its players to life.


Voyage of mercy

Voyage of Mercy: The USS Jamestown, the Irish Famine, and the Remarkable Story of America’s First Humanitarian Mission
by Stephen Puleo (nonfiction, St. Martin’s Press)
Thousands of ships left Ireland during the Potato Famine in the 1840s, packed with poor and starving crowds fleeing their homeland for the promise of the United States. One ship, the USS Jamestown, headed from Boston in the other direction, loaded with food for the Irish. It was the first humanitarian mission by the United States — prior to it, the idea of nations helping each other was not considered — and it set the precedent for many more such efforts to come. A moving historic tribute.



Source: The 15 best books to read in our age of social isolation, New York Post

5 Ways You Can Have a Positive Impact on Your Community in a Trying Time


During this time of uncertainty, it’s crucial to remember that, while following the CDC’s recommended safety steps, there are many ways we can support those in our communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sotheby’s International Realty agents are proudly invested in their local communities and, together, we wanted to share this resource for those able to make a positive impact during this trying time.

Support Small Businesses

Small businesses like local restaurants and retailers are some of the hardest hit as many states and provinces implement curfews and shutdowns. Think of the impact these establishments have on your community – and of what it would be like to not have them. Ordering take-out or delivery from local restaurants, purchasing gift cards for use at a later date (many restaurateurs have pledged gift card proceeds to support their impacted employees), or ordering a delivered meal for a loved one or neighbor are great ways to help your favorite local spots.

Give Blood

The Red Cross is reporting a severe blood shortage and is urging those healthy enough to donate to do so. Donating blood is a way to, quite literally, save lives. Some companies like Rejuvio or Vitalant will make house calls to collect your donation from your own home.

Check in on Friends, Neighbors, and Family

While social distancing or sheltering in place is in effect, those who struggle with anxiety and depression may feel worsened symptoms. Take the time to connect with loved ones and neighbors on the phone or through video chat. Social distancing can make some feel alone or overwhelmed, check to see if they need any assistance or necessities like food or toiletries.

Donate to a Food Bank

As schools and businesses are forced to close, food banks are under pressure. “One of the most significant impacts has been school closures. Without access to school meals, children lose a consistent source of healthy food,” says Feeding America, a nation-wide network of food banks. Monetary donations to your local food bank or items of need will help feed those struggling in your community.

Feeling Lost? Help the CDP

Not sure where else to turn and help? The Center for Disaster Philanthropy is a nonprofit organization that helps when disasters strike. With a fund dedicated to this current crisis, your donations will support healthcare workers, social service organizations, and those whose health puts them in a more vulnerable state.

Most importantly, continue to practice safe social distancing. We are all in this together, from our individual communities to the larger global society, and we hope you stay healthy and safe during this trying time.



Source: 5 Ways You Can Have a Positive Impact on Your Community in a Trying Time, Sotheby’s Extraordinary Living Blog

We’re all in this together


The health of our employees, agents and clients is our greatest priority.

For the time being, our staff is continuing full business operations remotely. During this time, we are prepared and equipped to provide an unchanged, exceptional level of service to our clients and sales team. Our commitment to you has not changed.

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