Monday, March 30, 2020

A Different Kind of Corona

Just seeing the word Corona so much lately made me want to post photos of beautiful Coronas I have seen. So here to restore the word Corona to its original beauty are some photos I took when we lived in the Sierra foothills (2010-2014):

Coronas are beautiful atmospheric optics created by diffraction of light by tiny cloud droplets or sometimes small ice crystals. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Friday Music: Two Songs

We thought it would be fun to post two songs. The first we've all heard many times and many covers. My twin brother sent us this link, and we fell in love with it. The music is beautiful, the violins tug at our hearts. In this time of sheltering in place, it's the perfect song for the moment. The second is a very short funny song that my sister sent us. It really made us laugh. A good balance in these times. Hope all is well for you. Take care, stay safe and healthy, dear friends.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Watching Birds Out The Windows

Not much to do lately but keep our eyes on the birds out our windows. Here are a few we've seen lately. They know nothing of the virus and just appreciate having the quiet outside world to themselves for a change.

This beautiful Rufous Hummingbird rested on our clothesline during its long migratory journey north

This raven was enjoying what appears to be a flour tortilla on our neighbor's roof

This Varied Thrush spent quite a bit of time on our deck, looking about nervously perhaps for a hawk

This Mourning Dove perched on the fence in the rain
We hope all is well for you in these challenging times. Take care and stay safe and healthy, friends.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Day One Million, But Who's Counting

Okay, I know I'm exaggerating... or am I? We've been isolated for so long I have lost count of the days. I think each day is a century long. Even though Roger and I are hermits, we did not get to our ripe old age being overwhelmed daily by foreboding news. This new reality requires channeling our energy (what little there is of it) to new ideas and activities.
Roger made his own face mask. He read somewhere on the internet that it would work. We had a good laugh about that.
I took out my old Tassajara Bread Book and baked a loaf of whole wheat bread. The first time I ever used this recipe was back in the 1970s when I lived in Oregon. My housemates and I planted our first garden, and I learned how to bake bread. I loved this recipe, but haven't made it in many years. It was delightful to be reminded of the rising dough, the punching down, the kneading and kneading. I think I'm going to continue baking even after this pandemic nightmare is over.

I just hope it's not a million more days from now.

Oh and you'll notice that comments don't automatically post anymore. Some anonymous person left a comment that really made me want to screen before posting. Sometimes pandemics bring out the worst in people.

We hope all is well for you out there in your own socially isolated worlds. Take care, stay safe and healthy.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Friday Music: Spring Wind

It's time to take a deep breath and celebrate the season. Spring has arrived. The sky is blue. We don't have a list of things to do but stay calm and take life one day at a time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Two Years Gone

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my mom's passing. Two years already. It's hard to imagine that time has gone by so fast. My siblings and I still talk about how much we miss her, about how she would be blown away by these times we're living in, about how much she is still so loved. Here is the last photo taken of her a few days before she shuffled off this mortal coil. She was eating her favorite pistachios and smiling her happy pistachio smile.

Love lasts forever. This I know to be true.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Life In The Time of Covid-19

A flock of geese during a 22 degree halo moment
Our world has gotten very small, even smaller than usual if that's possible. We're still taking our daily walks weather permitting, but are trying to limit our food shopping to just once a week. We're starting to worry about food shelves going empty. And, suddenly there's an insane shortage of toilet paper. How is this possible? Why are people going crazy over TP? Did we miss the message that said you have to have enough to last a year, if you want to be safe? Did some malevolent prankster start some crazy hyped up toilet paper hoax just to watch people buy a thousand rolls at once? What has become of us in such a short time? Is this who we always have been as humans? Is this a survival mechanism kicking in or just insanity? I have no idea.

So here we are... two old adults in the age group most at risk. A global pandemic with such chaos is not something I ever thought we'd see in our lifetime. This was simply not on my radar at all. Couple that with an absolute incompetent ignorant buffoon in the White House, and I worry all the way down to my bones. I wonder what it's like in other countries facing the same pandemic crisis but with a reasonable smart thoughtful and competent leader. Is it still scary, but less so? Are there any leaders anymore anywhere that fit that description?

Roger and I have always been hermits. We are quiet. But somehow self-isolation feels different. There is an undercurrent of fear now. How long will this last? How much worse will it get? Will we get sick? Will we die...

How are you handling this? Please share your ideas and coping mechanisms. Thank you. Stay well, friends.

After I wrote this and scheduled it to post Monday morning, the governor of California made some big announcements. Here is a bit of what's happening here. Yikes!

LATEST, March 15, 2:15 p.m.: California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced all "bars, nightclubs, wineries, brewpubs and the like" must close temporarily due to the threat of coronavirus.
"We are directing that all bars, nightclubs, wineries, brewpubs and the like be closed in the state of California," Newsom announced Sunday afternoon, calling them "nonessential" businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.
"We have absolute expectation this will be socialized in real-time today," he said.
The directive does not apply to restaurants, which are still considered essential, as Newsom said some individuals cannot safely prepare food in their homes. "We don't believe this is necessary at this moment," he said.
However, all restaurants will be required to halve their occupancy in order to achieve appropriate social distancing.
In addition, Newsom asked the state's 5.3 million residents who are 65 or older to self-isolate at home. Seniors and those with chronic illnesses are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
"We recognize that social isolation for millions of Californians is anxiety inducing ... but we need to meet this moment head-on," he said.
Newsom said 335 cases of coronavirus have been identified in California, a 14-percent increase from Saturday.
So now I wonder when we'll be able to go shopping. I really have this thing about food. I like to have it everyday. I'm an addict.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Friday Music: Where Did You Go

There's something about this song that tugs at my heart, even though the lyrics don't make that much sense to me. It's the music itself and the refrain that make me want to listen to it. I so love the guitar at 2:30 minutes in. Whenever I hear this song I think of my parents who are gone now. I think of the people I've loved who are also gone. I'm posting this song today because it is the 44th anniversary of my maternal grandmother's death. Tomorrow (March 14th) is the 28th anniversary of my dad's death. On Wednesday (March 18th) it will be the second anniversary of my mom's death. I don't believe in heaven or hell. So the refrain, "Where did you go... I don't want to know" is pretty much how I hold in my heart their passing from this life. Where did you go? It is not meant to be fearful, just the mingling of their cellular essence into the whole universe, which is too vast for me to even contemplate. Do I want to know? Mmm? I don't know. Where did they go? I don't know. I just know they're gone. Gone.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

A Change In Plans

We were supposed to be on the road today on the first leg of our journey south for our nephew's wedding in southern California this Saturday. It's a 700 mile (1126 km) drive. Yes, a very long drive, the one we used to do so often to see my mom. The plan was for us to spend the first night at my twin brother and SIL's  house, and then the four of us make the drive together. But we're not on the road. We're staying home for two important reasons. One is the coronavirus. We are of the age group most at risk and really did not look forward to stopping at rest areas and using public restrooms. Ugh. We would be driving straight into the areas hardest hit in California (so far) by the virus. Ugh. And then, when we made it to southern California we would be gathering with 200 other guests, eating food, touching the same utensils, and hugging people. Ugh. So, I had to call my nephew and tell him the sad news. He was so disappointed, but he completely understood the rationale of our decision-making.

The other reason we're staying home is because Roger has not been well for a couple of weeks now. He's had strange persistent symptoms of dizziness, light-headedness, and unsteadiness while walking. All very troubling. He had an echocardiogram to see if his aortic stenosis had worsened, but it hadn't (YAY!). So, he's waiting to hear from our doc to see what he should do next. He also has eye issues that are utterly distracting. His left eye is giving him so much pain and discomfort and has become so light sensitive, the brightest sunniest days are the worst. Driving south, straight into the sun would have been torture.

So instead we're home wondering how long all this craziness is going to last. We feel so bad about not going. We know we made the right decision, but still it's heartbreaking. What would you have done?

Well, you know me, I'm still checking the skies for splendor, and sometimes it gives me the ephemeral beauty of iridescence for my persistence. This was Monday's gift.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Our Little Earthquake

That red dot is the shake, the blue dot is us
I wasn't going to post anything here today, but then the earth started to shake beneath us Sunday evening. It was a quick rolling quake, not a jolt, just a mellow little bit of movement. I was surprised to find that it was a 5.6, which is pretty significant, but it was 65 miles away and a depth of 1.39 miles. The local newspaper called it the "Daylight Savings Shaker." Of course now we'll all wonder if it is a precursor to a larger one to come our way. We'll wait, and then we'll wait some more, and then we'll forget... until it happens. That's life here in earthquake country.

Friday, March 06, 2020

Friday Music: I Can't Help Falling In Love With You

I was going to call this post Alice's Restaurant Meets Elvis Presley. It's Arlo Guthrie singing to an audience live at Wolf Trap in August 1993 and being his usual chatty and storytelling self. The audience sings along, and we are reminded that sometimes it's not always the words that draw us together, but simply our voices singing that brings us together.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Two Turkeys

We really don't have much to say, but these two have gobbled gobbled gobbled their way into our hearts. Whenever we walk past them, they puff up their feathers, make their beautiful display, and sing their song to us. We reply, "We have no food for you, but we do think you are very beautiful."

Monday, March 02, 2020

Unwanted Behavior

I couldn't resist taking a screenshot of this email from my computer's virus protection program.

It all started with me wanting to play a game on the NYTimes crossword game page. I was using my Safari browser because the game doesn't load on Firefox. When I went to the page and clicked on the game a message came up telling me I needed to download the latest version of  Shockwave, a multimedia platform that allows interactive game playing. Well, there was something about the request to download the application that looked suspicious, but I did it anyway. It was early in the morning, and I was not thinking clearly. My virus program immediately alerted me that the download was not safe. So, I put the file into the trash. Then my virus protection program sent the above email about the file. So, I emptied the trash, cleared my computer history, turned the computer off, and then restarted it. I read the email and signed into the Virus protection site to see what damage I may have done to the integrity of my secure computer. This is the message I read there:

It says, "This application is not malicious but has potentially unwanted behavior, such as adware." "Unwanted behavior!" That made me laugh. I went from being a girl child to a woman in this world. Unwanted behavior was something I experienced on a regular basis from guys shouting things from their cars when I was walking along the street as a young teen, to male bosses doing all the things that the #metoo movement is all about, to other things I don't really need to share here again. But it really did make me laugh.

My virus protection program made me wish we all had something like that in a filter around us so we can walk safely through the world. And if it was really my dream high end virus protection program I wouldn't ever have to think about COVID-19. I sincerely appreciated that program's vigilance. It did a great job. I hope all of you have applications like this on your computers.