Category Archives: Blogging

Weekend Coffee Share # 19-The Sky Is Not The Limit

Coffee’s up. Come in and pull up a chair. The coffee is strong this morning. I do have tea if you prefer it. If we were having coffee I would ask if you can relate to this. You know how we like to think we can do anything if we try hard enough. I recently enrolled in a ‘beginning’ Yoga class and found that it was too challenging for me. When I was younger I was able to do it. The instructor moved us through the poses pretty fast and some of the poses would be too hard on my shoulders and actually triggered vertigo. I felt like I was going to fall down from vertigo on the way out of the class last week. I had been trying to stick with it to see if I could improve over time. The vertigo episode made me realize that this class is probably not for me. I have a problem quitting something. I don’t like to admit I can’t do it. I have to tell myself that we all have limitations. There is no shame in accepting that we can’t do something. It is better to accept this than have a bad fall and possible injury if I continue with the class. You are not a failure if you try something and realize it does not suit you or you do not have the ability to do it. I can still do some gentle Yoga classes. The Chair Yoga class is working out well. You might think, like I did at first, that chair yoga means sitting in a chair doing yoga poses. Actually, you do not spend hardly any time sitting in the chair. The chair is used as a prop and for balance. I am glad I decided to try it again. The class is not overly crowded. We are spread out and all wearing masks.

I’m so excited to tell you that on one of my walks this week I spotted not 1 but 3 roadrunners. The first sighting was of a pair of roadrunners. One was larger than the other. I am guessing they could be mates or a parent and child. The larger one ran out first and the other stayed near a bush. Eventually the smaller one joined the larger one on the green. I had to shoot photos pretty blind because of the light and distance. I am not allowed to walk onto the golf course unless I am playing golf. The third road runner was making its way near some houses on another street. Unsuccessful in getting a photo of that one. I feel so lucky to have seen all three of them though. It really made my day.


Hallelujah! A pair of roadrunners
Single roadrunner looking to right

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie of Natalie the Explorer.

Featured image ‘Coffee swirl’ by Will Keightley on Flickr.com, reminds me of vertigo.

Weekend Coffee Share #18-Camera Shy Bird

Coffee’s up. Come in and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you I continue my quest to capture a photo of the Roadrunner. There have been several sightings but he will not stop long enough for me to get a shot. One bit of news is that he has been coming closer to my house. My husband has been the one to spot him lately and say things like, ‘the Roadrunner just ran across our driveway,’ while I was retrieving our trash can from the curb. The tricky bird ran behind me. I turned to say to my husband, ‘are you kidding me?’ We looked in the direction our bird friend headed and I spotted him running off at the end of our cul-de-sac. On a recent morning, my husband reported the Roadrunner was on the wall in our yard and had flown up into a neighbor’s Shoestring Acacia tree. Try as I might I could not see the bird. I am now on high alert for any signs of him around our yard.

I have been taking walks about every day and noticing more interesting cacti and succulents. The first one, below left, looked like a giant asparagus to me. It turns out the Yucca is part of the Asparagaceae family like the common asparagus we eat. I think this is called ‘The Lord’s Candle’ or Yucca Whipplei. If it blooms I will be more confident in my identification skills. The next plant, center, is a Madagascar Palm, (it’s not really a palm but a succulent), or Pachypodium Lamerei, which looks to me a bit like a pachyderm trunk. The name Pachypodium comes from two Greek words, ‘pachys’ meaning thick and ‘podion’ meaning foot. The word pachyderm translates to thick skin. The little flowering tree on the far right looks interesting. Does anyone know what it is?

Shoestring Acacia Roadrunner hideout

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer. Image of ‘Coffee with foam’ by Lotus Head in Johannesburg, South Africa on wikimedia.org That’s a lot of foam. Looks good.

May Day

The first day of May 2021. This year has been a blur like the last one. Still feeling untethered with the days passing by. We are quietly hoping we will continue to pull out of the pandemic here in California. Disneyland is open. I am taking yoga classes in person with a mask on. Oregon is having a surge in cases and closing down again. Oregon is one of our border states so that makes me nervous. Their governor says they are in a race against the variants with vaccinations. We still need to be careful here. Let’s not rock the boat.

Looks like we have started Summer here already. No more Spring weather for us. We will be staying close to 100 degrees F for the next 2 weeks. Glad we have good AC. Maybe the heat will dissipate again before June, but many years I remember hot Mays turned into hot all the way through until the Fall. At least I feel I can go outside in 100 degree weather. Yesterday was 107.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt word for today is ‘may.’

Featured image ‘Late summer dawn over the Mojave desert’ by Jessie Eastland on wikimedia.org

Weekend Coffee Share #17-Burrowing In

Coffee’s ready. Please join me and pull up a chair. We have Pete’s French Roast this morning. I am out of half and half so we will need to use milk. If we were having coffee I would tell you I met some of the neighbors this week. One lives next store, a nice lady with two small friendly dogs. Things are opening up here in California but I still don’t see all the neighbors out and about much yet when I take a walk. We found evidence of a new resident in our backyard. I spotted a hole in the ground near the grapefruit tree. It has some sand piled up near the lower edge of it as if something has been digging. I’ve been keeping watch and haven’t seen anything coming out or around there. I think there is a bit more sand pushed out today. I noticed there is slight cave in of the ground above and another small hole near the big one. We are not sure what to do about it yet. We do plan to ask the gardener. I did a bit a research on which creatures make burrows in the sandy soil of the desert. I don’t think it is a tortoise but it could be a rodent. I read snakes do not make burrows but would occupy a vacant one. I don’t want to use poisons because that can hurt birds like The Roadrunner. If he finds out we have a critter in our yard, he may come in and hunt it. Roadrunners will eat things like that.


Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie of Natalie the Explorer.

Featured image by Ermal Tahiri on Pixabay.com

Blow The Coop

I have been writing about my re-emergence into the world. In the past couple of weeks I have made those long put off appointments for a haircut, routine medical tests, and started taking some live in-person exercise classes. We are still taking precautions in California like mask wearing and social distancing. Each foray into the world has been a learning experience in increasing my comfort level around people again. There has been visibly more activity in our neighborhood. I see more people on foot or driving around. It seems like there are more repairmen trucks parked in front of neighbor’s residences.

One thing missing from view when I have been outside is my friend The Roadrunner. I was thinking this could be due to all the increased human activity scaring him away or he/she was injured or killed.

I have gotten in the habit of taking my cell phone with me every time I go on a walk so I can take photos. I always keep an eye out for The Roadrunner. As I mentioned, I haven’t seen him, until today. I was on my way to the mailbox and he was crossing the road near there. I was so excited to see him I said it out loud, ‘I’m so glad to see you.’ We stood still observing each other. I did not have confidence to point my cell camera and get a good photo for fear of spooking him. He ran over to a palm and disappeared. I gave the palm a wide birth so as not to startle him or have him charge me. The palm was next to the mailbox and there was a wall behind it so I am pretty sure he was in there somewhere. He did not come out and I did not want to go in after him. Next time I will try for the photo even if I am shooting blind.

Thinking about all the places where the pandemic is surging. Sending thoughts and wishes for strength and healing. Let this terrible time be over.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is words that sound like ‘oop.’

Weekend Coffee Share#16-Gatherings

Coffee’s ready. Pull up a chair and sit down. If we were having coffee I would tell you I had time for only one cup this morning. I had a morning appointment for a routine screening which I have put off for over a year due to the pandemic. I don’t like early morning appointments but wanted to get there before a crowd. In the waiting room the chairs were spaced apart with plexiglass partitions. Everyone must wear a mask. The medical appointment is not the only morning activity I had this week. I went to two exercise classes again. One was Yoga 1 and the other a gentler yoga class. I felt pretty comfortable in that the participants were all spread out with masks again. The rooms seemed well ventilated but the masks make it a bit stuffy feeling. I decided to drop the Chair Yoga class for now because I thought it was too crowded. I think so many people want to be doing something like these classes and that is why it is getting crowded. But it is not worth the risk to me to feel I am not distanced enough from everyone else. We have a greatly decreased infection rate in California now but we have to keep going in the right direction.

We are slowly coming out of lock down here. My husband and I haven’t socialized with anyone other than our adult children for more than a year. This weekend we are expecting a visit from a couple we have known for a long time. They have had both doses of the COVID vaccine so we feel safe being with them.

These small gatherings feel like the beginning of life after COVID. I hope life will open up now.

Our grapefruit tree is getting fruit, pink grapefruit.


Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer.

Mash Up

First thought that popped into my head with the prompt word was ‘bangers and mash.’ I have never eaten that but remember it from an old movie. Don’t even know if the British still eat it. I like mashed potatoes but not sure about beef sausage, which one recipe called for. I have eaten chicken and pork sausage here. I’m getting hungry now. My brother-in-law brought us a bunch of ripe avocados. We will probably mash them up and make guacamole.

I am still on the look out for our neighborhood roadrunner. I have had several sightings. One day he/she appeared on 2 different streets while I was walking. I thought either we have more than one, or it can move pretty fast. Thinking about how it got from one place to another I noticed it could have cut through the golf course that some houses back up to. Then I spotted it close by and tried to get a photo. I did not have time to focus on my cell phone. But I did watch it jump/fly up about five feet to the top of a gate and wall. So roadrunners can run, jump, and fly. I guess that’s how they show up in so many different parts of the neighborhood. I hope I will get some good photos of one in the future. The photos I took this week were a mash up.

I blew up one of my attempted photos of the roadrunner and I did capture him but it’s a bit blurry. Will keep working on getting a good photo.

Roadrunner at lower right edge of gate

Cactus Mash Up below:

Ocotillo
 Bilberry Cactus, Whortleberry Cactus, Blue Candle, Blue Flame ?
Candelabrum Cactus, Cane Cholla, Walking Stick Cholla, Tree Cholla, Chainlink Cactus ?
Elephant cactus

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt word for today is ‘mash.’

Some of the cacti names found on plantsam.com and cacti.com

Weekend Coffee Share #15-Stepping Out

Coffee is ready. Pull up a chair and sit down. Would you like some cinnamon raisin toast? If we were having coffee I would tell you I have re-entered the outside world this week. The days are still blurring together and I am late doing this post. You ask what was I doing exactly. Well I got my first haircut at a salon in over a year. My daughter had given me my COVID haircut months ago. The appointment was at 9 AM. I don’t like having early appointments but this worked out well. There was no one else in the shop. The beautician asked if I wanted my hair blow dried and styled but I opted for cut only to get out of there quicker. I got some routine lab tests done at the new doctor’s clinic and I went back the next day to take my husband in for his. The chairs were spaced apart in the clinic waiting room and everyone wears masks. I went to two exercise classes at the community clubhouse. The first was Chair Yoga. The chairs were spaced but I thought the class was a bit crowded. Everyone must wear masks. I tried a different class a few days later, Stretch and Balance. It was more Yoga poses but emphasizing slow stretches, which I like. We were spaced out again and a bit less crowded. The mask was a bit uncomfortable at times. I did not like taking deep breaths with it on. Where I first approached the sign in desk, I questioned if I could tolerate wearing the mask for the whole time. It worked out better than I thought it would, but it will be so nice when we can finally get rid of the masks. You can see I kind of went full speed ahead here with activities. Feels like from one extreme to the other. I signed up to take the same classes for the next 2 weeks.


Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie on Natalie the Explorer.

Difference

What a difference a year makes, 8760 little hours…An old song popped into my head with today’s prompt. You might say, ‘What difference does it make.’ I would answer ‘ it has made a big difference and you have to be brain dead not to notice that.’ It feels like the year has not ended but become a kind of mega year, a year plus. We are still in the middle of the plague in many places. But you know that don’t you, if you read or watch any of the news, and you don’t like me bringing it up again. You want me to talk happy talk. Get on a different subject. I can’t let it go yet because it has not let go yet. So I still write about it. So there.

I consider myself pretty lucky in that I did not get sick, I can shelter in a nice place, my husband, kids and grandson did not get it, I have enough money, not rich but enough, we have had our vaccines. It has come close to me though. I lost a brother and the older brother and sister-in-law caught it. My older brother survived but does have after effects. I did not want to take him for granted before and now even more so.

We start to consider how our lives will be different here as restrictions are to be lifted on June 15. Health officials are still very concerned that we are at risk from the variants. But we start to allow ourselves to think about the new normal. A glimpse of light peaking over the horizon. David L. Ulin wrote a post in the LA Times ‘Not quite ready to reopen.’ He discusses the changes in his life brought on by the pandemic may become permanent. ‘As I receive more messages about reconnecting, I want to think about how I choose to spend my time. Among the benefits of lockdown is how it strips away obligatory get-togethers. This meeting or that cup of coffee, the dinner I had no desire to attend. I want to reemerge on my terms, to preserve the smallness, the intimacy, of my pandemic isolation. I want to preserve the space I’ve created for myself. A simpler life, if I can keep it that way…I want to move at my own pace, to be conscious about how and when I reintegrate.’

I too feel that I have not missed a lot of what I have given up. I have thought about what my life will be like going forward. I feel the need to create something new, something different.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is ‘difference.’

My beginning sentence is a take off on old song lyrics from ‘What a difference a day makes,’ by Maria Grever. Below version shared on YouTube by phalenopsis1.

 

Weekend Coffee Share #14-Outside

Coffee’s up. Grab a cup and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you I think I found the name of the those trees with the yellow flowers I told you about last week. They are not Golden Rain but are Sweet Acacia.

Sweet Acacia

They have feathery yellow puffs with thorns on their branches. There are two of these trees behind our back wall. I found some of the puffs on the ground.

Sweet Acacia puff (pollen)

The neighbors were having them pruned and we picked up one of the tree branches and found the thorns. The Sweet Acacia trees are losing their yellow puffs so hopefully less pollen. There are lots of things blooming around here now. So it could be something else. I took a short walk around and spotted a pretty yellow oleander and some beautiful Palo Brea trees.

Yellow oleander
Palo Brea blossom up close

I’m still using my cell phone camera for now. I have to hold the view finder away from me a bit to shoot photos. So my focus is probably hit and miss. I am seriously thinking about buying a new digital camera. The amount of sunlight does make a difference with glare. I tried the wide-brimmed hat but not as helpful as I had hoped. It is often breezy and I had to pull the hat on tight. Then the brim blocked my view down the road. I discovered some cloud cover is helpful in reducing glare.

I had another roadrunner sighting. First he/she was taking shelter under a low bush and later making a daring dodge in front of a FedEx truck. I read online that roadrunners can make a clicking sound like a raptor, (Jurassic Park variety), when hunting together. I heard some clicking sounds on one of my walks. I felt a bit edgy imagining a roadrunner dogging my trail.

Did you hear we are opening fully in California on June 15? We are cautiously optimistic about this. Maybe because we have these variants running around. The latest is called the Double Mutant out of India discovered recently by scientists at Stanford University. This is in addition to the New York mutant, the UK mutant, the South African mutant, and our own California mutant. Many Californians are getting vaccinated so hopefully we will win the race for immunity.

The thing is we now have to get comfortable re-entering society. I read an interesting article about how to gradually expose yourself to social situations to cope with the anxiety. It’s called ‘Dreading post-pandemic crowds and social situations? Exposure therapy can help’, by Ileyse Debrow DiMarco in the Washington Post. Even the thought of crowds makes me apprehensive and I know I won’t be exposing myself to them any time soon. Have an appointment for my first professional haircut in over a year next week. That is a start.


Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie of Natalie the Explorer.