December Shopping In July
It’s officially HOT, it’s officially the middle of summer, and it’s officially December Shopping in July here at the Lovin’ Louisiana Blog. You can shop early through the links posted in this blog!
Please click on the links below to enjoy some one-of-a-kind items and do some good at the same time. Your purchase will support the Governor’s Mansion Preservation Foundation and the Louisiana First Foundation. We thank you in advance for looking at our great items for sale. Also, please know we thank each of you for reading our monthly blog, sending us encouraging letters, and supporting our efforts over the last few years. Because of your generosity, we can continue doing great things for our state and beyond.
Please stay cool during these hot summer days and drink plenty of water, especially water containing electrolytes. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to Hurricane Season updates and keep plenty of water and items on hand during these weeks ahead. Go to Get-a-Game-Plan to find reminders of things you may need and update information. https://www.getagameplan.org/
You all are a true blessing to me and our work through the two foundations. We are grateful to each of you!
Love to you all,
A portion of all proceeds support our work through the
Louisiana First Foundation and the Governor’s Mansion Preservation Foundation.
Things to do while inside.
- Start the game of WORDLE with a friend group.
- Download Audible and listen to a popular book.
https://www.audible.com/ – Currently 3 months for free
- Learn some basic Yoga lessons at home through YOUTUBE
- Make some fun Mocktails for the whole family.
Y’all stay cool and safe!
Thank you for our friends and family.
Watch over them as they travel this summer.
Bless us as we spend time with family and friends
and that our time together will be filled with goodness.
Show us ways to give back to our community
and those around us during these summer days.
Help us to see the joy in each day and love in all ways big and small.
FEATURE Emergency Supply Kit
It’s that time of the year again… hurricane season! During a natural disaster, there are many things that we can’t control; however, our preparation beforehand IS something we have control over. Diligent preparation can keep us, our loved ones, and our property safe, and a critical step in pre-hurricane prep is to put together an emergency kit. The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) has created a list of essential items to include in your emergency kit below.
Basic Emergency Supply Kit
- Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation)
- Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
- Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
- Manual can opener (for food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- Download the Recommended Supplies List (PDF)
Additional Emergency Supplies
- Cloth face coverings (for everyone ages two and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
- Prescription medications
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids, or laxatives
- Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler’s checks
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels, and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles, or other activities for children
Since natural disasters can occur when you least expect them, having an emergency kit ready to go in a few different locations is a good idea. Below is GOHSEP’s recommendations on locations:
Recommended Kit Storage Locations
- Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready if you must leave your house quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
- Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water, and other necessities like medicines and comfortable walking shoes stored in a “grab and go” case.
- Car: If you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your vehicle.
Whether this is your first hurricane season or you are a seasoned pro, it is imperative to take your preparations seriously for the well-being of yourself and those you love.
For more information on emergency preparedness, visit https://getagameplan.org/.
LOUISIANA FIRST FOUNDATION
Let’s Get Out and Move Louisianans…Physical Activity and Summer Fun for the Whole Family
Summer is here and it’s time to enjoy some much needed downtime. Yes! It is hot outside and temperatures are high, but that does not mean you and your family can not stay active. Physical activity is so important and vital to mental, emotional and physical health. Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving and elevates your heart rate. (cdc.gov)
A Recap of
Royal Family Kids Camp
Royal Family KIDS Camp 2022… replacing hurt with hope. Across the state of Louisiana, this year, children in our local foster care system are getting the opportunity to experience firsts. Perhaps it’s their first overnight camp, their first time swimming, or their first celebrated birthday for some, but for all of these amazing children, it’s a message of hope. The hope that life is more than the chaos and tough experiences they’ve faced thus far in their young lives.
ANTI HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Louisiana Expanding Collaboration to
Improve Care for Trafficking Victims
While states across the nation grapple for resources to address the issue of human trafficking, Louisiana was fortunate to join the ranks of a few select states to receive federal and now state funding to implement a robust care coordination model to improve care for victims. Care coordination is a national best practice that uses a multi-disciplinary (MDT) approach to provide seamless and coordinated care for victims upon rescue and throughout recovery. Louisiana replicated components of this model from both Texas and Massachusetts.
GOVERNOR'S MANSION December Shopping at the Governor's Mansion
WOMEN'S HEALTH Doctor's Orders: Self-Care
Written by Kimiyo Harris Williams, M.D., FAAP
Driving home after a long 12-hour day, I reflect on the brilliant innocence of the beautiful newborn baby boy and the 11-year-old asthmatic little girl I admitted to the hospital due to a severe asthma exacerbation. Not to mention, the unfortunate 26-day-old baby girl with fever and irritability requiring hospital admission and all the patients seen in between. It has been a full day, and as I arrive home, I am reminded about everything that makes life great: a wonderful career, family, and friends. I smile and thank God as I exit my car and walk into the house. Quickly scanning my mind about all the boxes I must check on my “To Do” list, I remember my motto, “Self-care is healthy living.”
As women, we wear many hats and hold several roles. However, we must continue to include self-care on our agenda. Self-care can be elaborate like a full day at the spa, simple like a bubble bath, or a combination of both. Let this article be a sisterly reminder to my Lovely Louisiana Sisters to be intentional with self-care because it significantly impacts our mental health. Here are some tips from the National Institute of Mental Health on how to get started with practicing self-care:
- Get regular exercise. Just 30 minutes of walking every day can help boost your mood and improve your health. Small amounts of exercise add up, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t do 30 minutes at once.
- Eat healthy, regular meals and stay hydrated. A balanced diet and plenty of water can improve your energy and focus throughout the day. Also, limit caffeinated beverages such as soft drinks or coffee.
- Make sleep a priority. Stick to a schedule, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Blue light from devices and screens can make it harder to fall asleep, so reduce blue light exposure from your phone or computer before bedtime.
- Try a relaxing activity. Explore relaxation or wellness programs or apps, which may incorporate meditation, muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises. Schedule regular times for these and other healthy activities you enjoy, such as journaling.
- Set goals and priorities. Decide what must get done now and what can wait. Learn to say “no” to new tasks if you start to feel like you’re taking on too much. Try to be mindful of what you have accomplished at the end of the day, not what you have been unable to do.
- Practice gratitude. Remind yourself daily of things you are grateful for. Be specific. Write them down at night or replay them in your mind.
- Focus on positivity. Identify and challenge your negative and unhelpful thoughts.
- Stay connected. Reach out to your friends or family members who can provide emotional support and practical help.
Self-care is essential for both physical and mental well-being. I recommend being intentional with caring for yourself. Doctor’s Orders!!!
PEOPLE OF LOUISIANA 1. Community
The Answer: The Education of the Heart
Fifth graders know so much more than we do as adults, no matter how knowledgeable we believe we have become. A commencement address delivered for graduating fifth graders a few years ago proved this to be a true statement.
These young graduates were Manners of the Heart kids who had been taught the principles of others-centeredness, esteeming others before self, and humble confidence since first grade.
The day’s speaker drew a diagram of a StrongHeart character on a whiteboard. The students were asked to name the heart attributes of a StrongHeart. They shouted, “Love, respect, obedience, compassion,” and on and on. The speaker wrote their answers in the character’s heart. The heart became filled with life-giving qualities.
The students were then asked to share scenarios in which their participation might damage their strong hearts as middle-schoolers. They rattled off real-life answers: “lying,” “fighting,” “sex,” and “cheating.”
“Let’s take a look at what takes place in your heart as you answer those invitations,” the speaker replied.
“If you say ‘yes,’ when you should say ‘no,’ you’ll break a piece of your heart,” she said as she erased a section of the heart outline. “Do it again, and you’ll break another piece of your heart,” she continued, erasing another piece of the heart and then another until she made it through their scenarios. By the end, the protective wall of the once StrongHeart had been completely worn down.
“Before you realize what’s happening to you, your heart will begin to fall apart. If your strong heart weakens, what will happen to the good stuff in it?” she quizzed.
Multiple voices shouted, “Bad stuff gets in.”
“That’s right!” she exclaimed with utter delight (for every Manners of the Heart kid learns—you take the bad stuff out and put the good things in, and if the good stuff falls out, the bad stuff gets in!).
As the speaker turned back to the StrongHeart character, she asked the students, “What happens to the love in StrongHeart’s heart?” The students came back with, “It turns to hate.” She replaced the word “Love” with “Hate.”
“What happens to the respect?” she asked. “It becomes disrespect,” they replied. She made the change. “Obedience” becomes “disobedience,” and on and on.
When the exercise was completed, StrongHeart had nothing good left in his heart. “Who has StrongHeart become?” she asked.
Without hesitation, a typically timid girl whispered under her breath, “Depressed.” A young man shouted from the back, “He’s a murderer.” His profound answer stunned everyone in the auditorium. The depth of his understanding was astonishing.
Other children called out, “Mean. Scary. Sad.”
Then, the speaker asked the really tough question, “Who broke the heart of StrongHeart?”
There was a long silence until one young man bravely raised his hand and said, “He did.”
Yeah,” from down the row. “I did too.”
“Me, too,” nodded one of the girls.
“You’re right…you break your own heart when you make the wrong choices. I break my heart when I make wrong decisions,” she affirmed. “When we allow the bad stuff to take over, look what happens…we lose our StrongHearts.”
“And we have no one to blame but ourselves. But, there’s good news…YOU know who can fix it,” the speaker emphasized with a fist pump over her heart.
“He can!” said one. “I can!” said another. “We can fix our hearts,” the rest joined in agreement. As they talked of correcting mistakes and making the right choices, the StrongHeart became filled once again with the good stuff. With each right decision, the speaker traced the wall of his heart repeatedly until they had created an impenetrable barrier around the good contents.
They got it.
Medical researchers confirm the heart informs the brain, not the other way around.
Research from Drs John and Beatrice Lacey that began in the 1960s is resurfacing today in neurocardiology, the study of the heart and brain. Dr. M. A. Armour asserted in his ground-breaking book, Neurocardiology,
These scientific advances illuminate the fact that while we may believe the brain is our decision-maker and ruler, the heart is more powerful than we ever imagined—functioning as a sensory organ, hormone-producing gland, and information-processing center.
The Heart Speaks by Dr. Mimi Guarneri, medical director of the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, states:
Each heartbeat sends complex signals to the brain and other organs. These heart signals can reach higher brain centers, ultimately affecting our reasons, choices, emotions, and perceptions. The heart has not only its own language but its own mind.
We have failed this generation because we neglected the education of their hearts in favor of filling their minds with facts, figures, and falsehoods. Instruction that has led to confusion, anxiety, depression, chaos, and the loss of life.
We must strengthen and preserve the next generation’s hearts to save them from the pain of the current generation. The answer is only found in the education of the heart.
Jill Rigby Garner is the founder of Manners of the Heart, a nonprofit organization based in Baton Rouge. Manners of the Heart’s elementary school curriculum has reached schools and parents from Baton Rouge to Kampala, Uganda.
For more information, visit: https://mannersoftheheart.org/
J.A. Armour and J. Ardell, eds., Neurocardiology (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).
Guarneri, The Heart Speaks(New York: Atria, 2019), 156
PEOPLE OF LOUISIANA 2. Schools
“Improving Opportunities Through Internships”
by Brian Gough
Brian Gough, an assistant principal in St. Charles Parish, was named a 2021 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year semifinalist and selected as Louisiana’s 2022 Public Interest Fellow. Launched by the Department of Education in 2018, the Fellowship allows one educator, chosen from the previous year’s list of Louisiana Teacher of the Year semifinalists, to spend a school year advocating for an education initiative of their choosing.
Gough has dedicated most of his career to advancing career and technical education with an emphasis on advocating for experiential learning at the Satellite Center, a St. Charles Parish Public Schools career center. His pursuit of innovative solutions to prepare students for high-wage, high-demand careers drove Gough to dedicate his fellowship year to researching best practices for industry recruitment for internship programs. This focus area comes from his desire to help others find their path in life, something he struggled with early in his educational career.
“I did not know what I wanted to do with my life after high school, and my college experience was representative of that struggle. I changed my major multiple times during my time in college and even wondered if I made the right choice attending college while at Louisiana Tech University.” Gough says he would have benefited tremendously from a program in high school that allows students to take classes in a chosen career area in conjunction with a work-based experience to learn about a particular occupation or industry. This experience can give a student a head start in life by giving them the necessary training to pursue their desired job and build valuable soft skills transferable to any career.
A successful internship program will benefit the students involved and give school systems valuable insight into current and future workforce skills needed, which can be integrated into all curriculum at a site. In addition, this partnership can offer employers a way to introduce fresh perspectives and create a pipeline for new hires and mentorship opportunities for existing employees at the organization or business. To build a successful internship program for high school students, strong ties need to be established between businesses and education systems with extra attention to developing a mutually beneficial plan for both parties. These relationships have traditionally been built between higher-ed institutions and businesses. Still, as we have moved to a focus on college and career readiness in K-12 education, the needs are changing. With these changes comes the need for a new approach to relationships between businesses and school districts, which is the basis of Gough’s fellowship research. His goal is to use this research to provide schools with tools for promoting internships with industry partners throughout Louisiana to build a strong workforce for our state and give valuable workplace experiences to students.
To build the infrastructure for the internship recruiting plan, Gough will rely on a large team of business and organization contacts across the state. He hopes to build a flexible plan to work in the state’s rural, suburban, and urban areas. As a member of a hybrid rural/suburban community himself, Gough knows how hard it can be to recruit businesses into an internship program where proximity to the needed workplace for some career pathways can be challenging at times. This will require an open mind to find innovative approaches to setting up a modern internship program that meets the needs of students and the business community. Gough and his team will approach this challenge with a Design Thinking mindset and ensure that student success is kept at the forefront when any decisions are made throughout the development of the business recruiting plan.
Throughout his career, Gough has worked with local, regional, and national organizations and companies that he has relied on to stay current with workforce development, hiring trends, workplace environment trends, and the skills needed in an ever-changing work environment. Staying current in these areas is an important part of the internship process and essential to students’ success in the program. Building these connections can be hard, so Gough chose this topic for his fellowship year. “If I can help school systems find ways to build workforce-related connections and bring new internship opportunities to their school communities, our students will be more successful, which ultimately means our state is more successful. That is the ultimate goal of this fellowship,” says Gough.
Brian Gough has been an educator in St. Charles Parish Public Schools for 25 years, with 17 of those years coming at the Satellite Center. He has taught across all grade levels of K-12 education since earning his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana Tech University and his Masters of Education from Southeastern Louisiana University.
2022 Louisiana Public Interest Fellow
PEOPLE OF LOUISIANA 3. Military
Wreaths Across America
Giving In July
Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Joey Strickland, COL (USA Retired) is encouraging all Louisianans to give in July to remember veterans through the Wreaths Across America program at LDVA’s five state-run veterans cemeteries. Louisianans can purchase a wreath now to be placed on a Louisiana veteran’s grave on Dec. 17 instead of waiting until the holidays to make the purchase.
“There are thousands of veterans whose final resting place is one of our five veterans cemeteries,” said Secretary Strickland. “While some veterans have family and friends who routinely purchase a wreath and place it on their veteran’s grave each December, many have no one. This year’s theme is Find a Way to Serve, and I’m asking my fellow Louisianans to stand in the gap to remember veterans this year by purchasing one or more wreaths in honor of those who served our country.”
Wreaths cost $15 each, and for every two wreath sponsorships sold, a third wreath will be provided to the cemetery of your choice as part of a special sponsorship group program option available through the national program.
To purchase wreaths, visit the links below for the cemetery of your choice:
Central Louisiana Veterans Cemetery
Northeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery
Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery
Southwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery
If you would like to purchase a wreath for any veteran interred at one of our cemeteries, select the number of wreaths you would like and proceed to check out by selecting Review My Sponsorships. If you want to purchase a wreath for a specific veteran, choose the number of wreaths you would like, and select the Grave Specific option under More Options. You will need to indicate if you will place the wreath yourself or have a volunteer place it for you. If you want to complete the wreath sponsorship order form to mail in, visit this link.
The Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery staff places wreaths on its veterans’ graves, which are donated by a local business. Therefore, they do not need wreaths to be purchased there.
Wreaths Across America ceremonies are held annually in December across the nation at more than 3,100 participating locations to remember, honor, and teach. The organization’s goal is to place a live balsam fir wreath at the headstone of every interred service member to ensure no one will be forgotten.
For more information about purchasing wreaths, Wreaths Across America, or LDVA, visit vetaffairs.la.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 225.219.5000 or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Featured Recipe Cranberry Lime Spritzer
Cranberry Lime Spritzer
Cool off this summer with the First Lady’s favorite mocktail! The beauty of this drink is its simplicity and wide appeal. It is truly a drink for anyone to make and enjoy! This recipe is how the First Lady prefers it, but feel free to change it up to suit your taste.
Makes 1 serving
- 1/4 cup cranberry juice (Oceanspray Diet Cranberry Juice)
- 1/2 cup lime flavored carbonated mineral water (Lime Perrier)
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 3 ice cubes
Combine ice cubes, cranberry juice, carbonated water, and lime juice into a glass. Garnish with a slice or wedge of fresh lime and enjoy!
MEMORABLE VERSE July 2022
THE FIRST DOGS A Slice of Summer
Fresh watermelon is a summer snack staple that the whole family can enjoy… including your dogs! On hot days like these, Bandit, Lady, and Molly love the refreshing and sweet taste of watermelon. Watermelon is high in vitamins, minerals, and water content and low in calories, making it a wonderful and hydrating treat for your dog – just make sure to remove the seeds and rind, and contact your veterinarian for appropriate serving size!
MEET OUR EDITOR Delery Rice
A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Delery has lived there all of her life except during undergraduate school and a brief stint in Seattle, WA. She is a mother to four boys, ranging in ages from 21 to 16, and they are the heart and soul of her life.
Delery earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and Master’s Degree from Louisiana State University. She completed a fellowship at Loyola University, New Orleans Institute of Politics, and currently attends Harvard Kennedy School of Public Policy. Her volunteer work has mostly evolved from issues that have affected her personally. Actively engaged in disability rights advocacy, Delery has testified numerous times in the Louisiana Legislature regarding issues that affect persons with developmental disabilities. She served as the chair of the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, worked for seven years directing regional advocacy efforts and is a graduate of Louisiana’s Partners In Policymaking.