If we were having coffee, I would be having herbal or decaf tea. I have given up coffee for a while because it was one of the things that was causing stomach problems. If you had asked me a few months ago if I thought I could stop drinking coffee, I would have said it would be very hard. It surprises me that it has been pretty easy. I don’t think I have had caffeine withdrawal she says as she falls asleep at the computer.
I made a resolution to get outside and walk every day and I have been sticking to it almost 100%. It does feel pretty good to go out and look at the trees, various cacti, flowers, and the beautiful expanse of sky over the Coachella Valley. I even like the dark grey clouds like the ones we had about a week ago that brought some rain with them.
So far it hasn’t really stormed here but we did get enough to soak our patio and one of the roadrunners. I spotted it up on a fence puffing up its feathers, trying to dry off.
At the start of a new year, it feels like more of the same. Except now we have had booster shots and purchased KN95 masks. A recent NY Times newsletter described it as being in pandemic purgatory. I really liked the description and when I googled it found out it has been used more than once in other news articles. So not sure who to credit the term to. Only to say to whoever it was, good one.
I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions, but I think this year I resolve to do more in spite of the virus. Not talking about running around maskless amongst large groups of people. I want to plan more activities. I don’t want my life put on hold like it feels like it has been.
One activity is to get outdoors and to walk outside every day. So today I took a walk around the complex for about 30 minutes for a start. I was admiring the neighbors’ plants when I spotted a roadrunner perched on a fence. Before I could get my cell phone ready to catch a photo it had jumped down. I thought I had lost it when I saw him again so was able to catch a few quick shots. It’s hard to take photos will the cell phone in the bright sun because I can’t see anything in the viewfinder. But I did manage to get a couple.
I thought by now we would all be looking in the rear-view mirror at the pandemic, but it continues to have a few tricks up it sleave. So here we are heading into another holiday season with a new variant. It’s having to worry about catching it, wearing masks, nervous about letting repair people into the house or getting too close to a stranger or slightly known acquaintance. I know some like to throw caution to the winds…
And even though I feel like it sometimes, I don’t want to catch COVID or spread it to someone else. So, I don’t have to like it but, I will continue to take precautions and I hope you do too.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have to cut out caffeine for a while. And I haven’t found a good substitute for my morning coffee, (that doesn’t have caffeine in it). I can still offer you some good coffee or tea.
We are still in the middle of the pandemic and I am trying to figure out how to comfortably celebrate the holidays without risking infection. I felt more confident with get togethers around Thanksgiving because it was with close family who were all fully vaccinated. Now we have been invited to couple of holiday get-togethers in our community. We did go to one with our masks on and it felt awkward because many of the other people were not wearing masks. How are you supposed to eat and drink at a social gathering while wearing a mask? I am thinking that I will ask the host of the next party if she knows if the other guests are fully vaccinated. If she cannot be sure, I will wear a mask. It makes we wonder if it’s worth it to go in that case. We are just getting to know people here and it makes me feel a bit anti-social.
There is a damper on the holidays this year, with all the worry about another COVID surge and the new variant. I feel like scrooge or the grinch. Bah humbug!
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we have Columbian or French Roast available today along with cinnamon-raisin toast, bagels, or turkey sandwiches. I’m recovering from our Thanksgiving celebration. My kids, grandson, and a brother-in-law were here along with two dogs. The turkey and the trimmings turned out well. It was lovely to be together with family. My daughter and I fit in a couple of outings in the days leading up to the holiday. We did a short hike in the East Indio Hills Badlands and made a daytrip to the Salton Sea. I had never been there before and it was very pretty. A moderate temperature and breeze made it very pleasant. The beach was covered with a blanket of tiny shells which we later learned were barnacle shells. The barnacles were introduced to this small inland sea by sea planes, and they have reproduced abundantly. The Salton Sea is really a terminal lake, meaning it does not have an outlet. It is the largest lake in California, 35 miles long, 15 miles wide, and an important wetland for many species of birds. I hope it can be preserved for the birds and humans to enjoy long into the future. It was really therapeutic to be out in nature again.
Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer.
If we were having coffee I would tell you preparations have already started at my house for the coming Thanksgiving holiday here. Busy with the housecleaning, shopping, and our turkey has been ordered. We are expecting our kids, our little grandson, and my brother-in-law to join us for dinner. This weekend we are off on a visit with our son’s family to celebrate our grandson’s fifth birthday. Everyone is fully vaccinated. These are the first bigger family gatherings for us since the pandemic began. Thankful that we can be together and all of us are healthy. Looking forward to seeing our daughter. It has been almost a year since we have seen her.
Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating it this year. Hopes for more happy get togethers for us all in the coming new year.
Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I need an extra cup today because I did not get enough sleep last night. I’m feeling pretty grouchy as well. I woke up in the middle of the night to a pitch black room. It was creepy because I could not see a thing. What if there was someone hiding in the dark? After a bit, I told myself it was more likely the power was out. I turned toward the window on the opposite side of the bed and saw some light coming through the blind. The room was warm and it felt like there was no air, so I decided to get up and crack open the blind and window. I carefully walked over and opened the blind, then slid one side of the window open. I thought I saw a flashing light in the neighbor’s back yard and wondered could it be lightening or a fire. I groped around on my nightstand for my cell phone and clicked on the screen. This gave me some light to go into the living room and check out the house and neighbor’s yard. No more flashes from next door and our house looked normal. No one lurking in a corner or sitting on the furniture. I went back to the bedroom and there was more light in the room now from outside, but not enough to see well walking to the bathroom. I was concerned about my husband getting up and falling. When he did wake up a short time later, I informed him of the power outage and escorted him to the bathroom with my cell phone. He told me the flash lights were in the garage refrigerator. So I thought it best I be the one to go into the dark garage, with my lighted phone, to get the flashlight. It was pretty spooky to be in the dark like that. If someone said ‘boo’, I would have screamed my head off. Another spooky thing. My bedside clock radio was off during the power outage, but after the power came back on several hours later, the clock was showing the right time. Usually, it would have lost those hours, been way behind, and the dial would be flashing. I told my husband we must have a ghost. Or could I have been dreaming?
I plan to have flashlights in both of our nightstands from now on just in case.
If we were having coffee I would tell you that if I got to sleep earlier maybe I would not sleep in and feel groggy during the day. But I have found that I sleep better if I go to bed later. Another reason I have been staying up is my habit of watching streaming TV in the evening. Lately, I have been hooked on ‘Professor T’, the Belgian version. I mentioned before that I really like police procedurals and mysteries. Professor T, aka Jasper Teerlinck, is an interesting character. He has some quirky personality traits but is a genius at solving mysteries. The supporting characters are good too. I like the secretary, Ingrid Sneyers. She has some very funny lines. I don’t mind reading the subtitles and it doesn’t get in the way of me understanding and enjoying the series.
If we were having coffee I would tell you that I have been reading books again. One reason is I joined a book group. I haven’t been crazy about some of the books except for ‘Station Eleven’ by Emily St. John Mandel. Since I liked that book so much I decided to read another one of hers, ‘The Glass Hotel.’ I like the way she connects each character’s story to others. They all seem to be headed for a bad ending though. I’m about half way through the book so I’ll let you know.
If we were having coffee I would tell you that through genealogy research I got into reading about the fishing fleet of Nova Scotia in ‘The August Gales, the Tragic Loss of Fishing Schooners in the North Atlantic 1926 and 1927,’ by Gerald Hallowell. I began to notice in the death records of some cousins that they were ‘lost at sea.’ One cousin, Warren Knickle, was the Captain of the schooner ‘Mahala.’ Then I noticed others were lost at sea on the same date, August 24, 1927. They went down on the Mahala as well. It turns out there were some ferocious storms in the North Atlantic where many boats were lost. Unfortunately, many of the crews were related to each other, fathers, sons, brothers, cousins. It could take weeks to verify that the ships went down because there was no ship to shore radio at that time. It made me appreciate the hard, and dangerous job they had.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I saw another roadrunner on Tuesday but my photos were too blurry to share. I did find something interesting today, a collection of fruit pits on the patio. I had seen one of the roadrunners looking up into the Fan Palm in our backyard. I wasn’t sure if it was looking at the date-like fruit or some insects. Now I a pretty confident it was checking out the fruit. It has recently ripened and one of the roadrunners must have snacked on some.
Also sharing with Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer.
Coffee’s ready. Grab a cup and pull up a chair. Today we are trying Major Dickason’s blend. If we were having coffee I would tell you that since the pandemic I feel like one day blends into another and the weekends do not seem any different from the weekdays. Being retired has something to do with that as well. My schedule is pretty free and flexible but for the limits imposed by the infection rates in our community. I avoid doing things where I have to be with groups of people. We are still in the ‘red zone’ here for infection rates but our numbers have been decreasing. I should probably keep a lid on this, because we really don’t know what is going to happen next. I read infections are decreasing across the US except for Alaska. It has been reported (New York Times), there is a 2 month cycle to the pandemic so far. Two months of surge and then it dissipates. I read that there is now hope that the end is near. If only that will be true. This whole thing still feels unreal, like a really bad dream.
My morning routine, always includes coffee and some kind of toast or bagel, and the newspapers, LA Times, Washington Post, sometimes NY Times Newsletter. I skim a lot of the stories. Some make my blood start to boil. So to avoid blowing my top, I try not to read too deeply into them. Like the oil drifting toward pristine tidepools, fire scorching the beautiful redwoods, or people attacking teachers, Nurses, or airline employees about being asked to wear a mask.
Some good news. I had a great roadrunner sighting on Tuesday. We spotted one in our yard. It even hopped on top of our patio table and seemed to be peering through our patio door. We did not want to get too close and scare it off. So I couldn’t get a close up photo. Next time I think I will try to capture a shot anyway. I went around to the front of the house and got a couple of pics there. The roadrunners are one of the lights in my life right now.
Speaking of light, we had some lightening in the sky around our house earlier in the week with a little rain. And today we had some more rain. We often get flash flood warnings with rainy weather but so far we’ve haven’t had any. We would need to aware of flash floods if we were driving over a flood channel or hiking in a canyon, not around our house. Below photos from my backyard this morning.
Coffee’s ready. My husband has been making some of the Peet’s Sumatra that a reader recommended, and it is good if you make it strong enough. Grab a cup and you can let me know if you like it. If we were having coffee I would tell you this week I was inspired by the sight of more roadrunners on my property. They are using my backyard as a throughway. I have spotted them on my back patio but if they spot me they quickly walk away. I found they exit by the side of the house near my front driveway. That is where I am able to get a few quick photos. I aspire to make them feel I am not a threat by talking to them like I might to a little child, but I am not so sure it helps because they still want to leave. While I am trying to talk in reassuring tones they will look at me and raise the crest feathers on the top of their heads quizzically. I did snap a few photos on Thursday but it is hard with a moving target.
I think they were the highlight of my week. The lowlight was I heard the homeowners board caved to pressure and reversed its ruling on masks in indoor spaces. The rule for mask wearing in set to expire tonight although they haven’t posted anything yet. Maybe they are getting pushback. They had said they are following guidelines. That is hard to believe because the CDC, State, and County guidelines recommend those vaccinated and unvaccinated to wear masks in indoor public settings because we are in a county with a high positivity rate of COVID. We are in the ‘red zone’ which is the highest. LA County is lower and they still want their residents to wear masks in public indoor settings. So no more indoor yoga class for me.
I have been pretty busy with genealogy research. I thought I was coming to the end when I find I really have a lot more to do. I have been reading a book I mentioned before, ‘The Dictionary of Lost Words,’ which makes us think about how words that made it into dictionaries were selected and who selected them. I have a new book to read for the book club. We are still meeting on Zoom until the end of the year, which is ok with me.