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Posted By Chalkbrd

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States.  Most people do not have to work on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the 4th Thursday in November every year.  On Thanksgiving, we normally get together with our families and have a big meal.

The first Thanksgiving was when the Pilgrims had a big meal with the Indians.  A pilgrim was someone who traveled a long distance.  They often traveled a long distance for religious reasons.  The Pilgrims came to America to find religious freedom.

The Pilgrims had a difficult time at first.  Many people died.  But in 1621 the harvest was good.  The Pilgrims celebrated by making a day of giving thanks to God.  The Indians helped the Pilgrims grow food.  They also helped them catch fish.

Now Thanksgiving is a day for thanking God for giving us food and for taking care of us.  Tomorrow my family will get together and eat a meal.  We will thank God for giving us food.  We will thank God for taking care of us.


Can you answer these questions?

  1. When is Thanksgiving?
  2. What kind of a holiday is Thanksgiving?
  3. Do most people have to work on Thanksgiving?
  4. Which Thursday is Thanksgiving?
  5. What is a pilgrim?
  6. Why do pilgrims travel a long distance?
  7. Why did the Pilgrims come to America?
  8. Was it easy or hard for the Pilgrims at first?
  9. What year was the harvest good?
  10. Who do we thank for giving us food?


Posted By Chalkbrd

November 11th is Veterans Day in the United States.  A veteran normally means someone who has served in the military.  On this day we celebrate those who have served in the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, or Coast Guard. 

We honor our veterans in many ways.  Most cities have a Veterans Day ceremony.  It can be at a city courthouse (the center of the city government) or at a cemetery.  They usually have someone give a short speech that reminds us of what our veterans have done for us and then there is either a bugle (like a trumpet but without keys) that plays taps or a 21-gun salute.

Taps is a song that is played at military funerals.  It is a song the bugle plays every night in a military camp to show the day is done.  It shows "lights out," that the lights are supposed to be turned out at that time.  At a military funeral, it shows that the soldier has the final end to his military time.

A 21-gun salute shows that we honor the person.  Usually a 21-gun salute has seven men with rifles all shoot at once and then they do that three times.  Three times seven equals twenty-one.

On Veterans Day, some restaurants give discounts or free food to veterans.


Can you answer these questions?

  1. What day is Veterans Day?
  2. Who is a veteran?
  3. What are five types of armed forces in the United States?
  4. What do most cities have on Veterans Day?
  5. Where does a Veterans Day ceremony take place?
  6. What happens at a Veteran's Day ceremony?
  7. What song is almost always played at a Veterans Day ceremony?
  8. How often do military camps play taps?
  9. What type of saltue shows that we honor someone?
  10. What do some restaurants do for veterans on Veterans Day?


Posted By Chalkbrd

Sometimes jokes can be hard to read in another language.  Jokes use different things to make them funny.  Some jokes use a play on words.  Sometimes it's hard to understand jokes that use a play on words if it is in another language.  Here are some examples of jokes that use a play on words to make them funny and an explanation of them.

==>Did you hear about the cat who swallowed a ball of wool?  She had mittens.

This joke is funny because it plays on the word mittens and kittens.  Normally, a cat has kittens (baby cats).  Mittens are types of fingerless gloves you wear when it's cold.  They are often made of wool.  Kittens and mittens sound very much alike and are spelled alike except for the first letter.

==>What do you get when you cross a chick with an alley cat?  A peeping Tom.

This joke is funny because it plays on the term "a peeping Tom."  A peeping Tom is someone who looks in windows of other people's houses.  An alley cat is often called a Tom cat.  The sound a chick (a little chicken) makes is called peeping.  "To cross" here means to mix together or to mate two things.

==>Why don't cats play poker in the jungle?  Too many cheetahs.

This joke uses a pronunciation play on words.  Poker is a card game, and sometimes people cheat at it.  You wouldn't want to play poker if there were too many cheaters.  The word "cheetah" means a large spotted cat from Africa.  The word cheetah sounds very similar to the word cheater.

==>What does a cat do when it gets mad?  It throws a hissy fit.

One of the sounds cats make is a hiss.  They often will sound like this when they are mad.  A person who gets mad and who shows it by stomping their feet or some other silly thing is throwing a hissy fit.  Another word for a hissy fit is a temper tantrum or just a tantrum.  A hissy fit or temper tantrum is usually something children do.  If you say an adult is throwing a hissy fit, it means they are acting like a child.


Can you answer these questions?

  1. What do some jokes use to make them funny?
  2. What is a play on words?
  3. What word does mittens sound and look like?
  4. What do cats normally have?
  5. What does the term "peeping Tom" mean?
  6. What sound to chicks make?
  7. What word does "cheetah" sound like?
  8. What is one sound cats make when they are mad?
  9. What's another term for a temper trantrum?
  10. If you tell an adult they are throwing a hissy fit, will they be happy you said that?


Posted By Chalkbrd

Energy is something we all need.  We need energy to do things in our life.  I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome so my body doesn't have the same energy as other people's bodies have.

Let's say most people get 10 units of energy every day.  They use 3 units of energy doing normal things like taking a shower, getting dressed or making dinner.  They use 4 units of energy working at their job.  They use 3 units of energy exercising or having fun with friends.  At night, they gain back all those energy units.  When they wake up in the morning, they have 10 units of energy to use during the day.

For me, though, I only get 5 units of energy every day.  I use 3 units of energy doing normal things.  At night, I only gain back 3 units of energy.  When I wake up in the morning, I only have 3 new units of energy to use.

Sometimes I run out of energy.  Today I am in bed all day because I have run out of energy.  I'm so tired I can't do anything.  I have to lie down so my body can rest.  I am lying in bed while I type this.  I am going to take a nap soon.  On days like this, all I can do is rest.

When I use all my energy, I might spend 20 hours a day in bed.  I don't do much on days like this.  I hope tomorrow I will feel better so I can do some things.


Can you answer these questions?

  1. What is something we all need?
  2. Why do we need energy?
  3. Why doesn't my body have the same energy as other people's bodies?
  4. In the example, how many units of energy do most people get in a day?
  5. How many units of energy do most people use doing normal things?
  6. How many units of energy do most people use working at their job?
  7. How many units of energy do most people use in a day?
  8. Who gets more energy units each day, most people or me?
  9. If I start with 5 units of energy and use 3 units doing normal things, how many units do I have left?
  10. When I use all my energy, how many hours might I spend in bed during a day?



Posted By Chalkbrd

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a chronic illness.  It lasts for a long time.  It's an illness that causes the person to be very tired all the time.

A person with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) will have many of these symptoms:

  • They feel generally unwell for more than three months.
  • They can't do many of the physical or mental things they used to do.
  • They have to change their lives because they are too tired to do normal things.
  • They are weak or tired for more than 24 hours after doing something that requires a lot of energy.
  • They have unrefreshing sleep (this means after you sleep, you don't feel a lot better).
  • They have concentration problems (this means it's hard to think most of the time).
  • They have muscle pain.
  • They have pain in their joints (without swelling or redness).  If there is swelling or redness, it can mean the person has arthritis instead of CFS.
  • They have more headaches or headaches that are worse than before the person got sick.
  • They have tender lymph nodes.  Lymph nodes are small, round or oval things in your body (neck, armpit and groin) that help to fight infection.  If they are tender, this means they hurt when you touch them.
  • If a person has a sore throat most of the time.

A person who has several of these symptoms probably has CFS.  There is no test to diagnose a person with CFS.  A diagnosis of CFS is a diagnosis of exclusion.  This means the doctor has to exclude or rule out or eliminate other illnesses that might cause these symptoms.  When the doctor has eliminated other illnesses, then the person is diagnosed with CFS.

I was diagnosed with CFS in 2000.  I have had CFS for eleven years.  My illness is chronic because it has lasted for a long time.


Can you answer these questions?

  1. What kind of an illness is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
  2. How long does a person have to feel generally unwell?
  3. Does a person with CFS have to change anything in their lives?
  4. If a person with CFS does something that requires physical energy, how will they feel in 24 hours?
  5. Does a person with CFS have trouble thinking clearly?
  6. What kind of sleep does a person with CFS have?
  7. What part of a person's body will hurt if they have CFS?
  8. Is there a test to diagnose a person with CFS?
  9. What kind of diagnosis is a diagnosis of CFS?
  10. What are two synonyms for "exclude"?