California! Where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain. Whoops, wrong state. But we do get a lot of wind in the Coachella Valley. It has to do with low pressure drawing in the air from areas of higher pressure through the San Gorgonio Pass. That’s why we see a lot of wind turbines dotting the landscape coming into the valley too.
It get’s going in the afternoon right into the night and can really howl, an eerie effect at night. It doesn’t happen every night, but when it does I want to cozy up with a good mystery book.
Coffee’s up. Grab a cup and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you this week we started ‘Daylight savings time’ here in California and most of the US. I thought I was over it since I no longer have to keep to a work schedule. But I notice I am more than usual groggy in the morning lately. It may take me more than two cups of coffee to wake up today. I have never liked the time change. Every year when my husband announces it’s time to reset the clocks ahead , you can hear my loud groan, ‘oh, no.’ I don’t mind ‘Fall back’ because you get the extra hour of sleep then. I have noticed since we moved to the desert that one thing we have plenty of is daylight. I don’t think we need to save any of it. It really seems brighter here. I read that the sky is bluer too because there aren’t as many dirt particles in the air. I hope we don’t have as much air pollution as the city. There is quite a bit of traffic here as the population has grown in recent years. Eventually, we are supposed to go to electric cars and what a change that will mean for Southern California.
Getting back to brightness of the light here. I have been attempting to take photos of some of flora with my android and noticed I have trouble seeing what’s on the viewfinder because of the glare. I took a couple of shots almost blind. I googled the problem and read I could use a umbrella or large brimmed hat to provide enough shade for the camera. It reminded me of the old-time photographers who used to cover their heads with a cloth to block the light. In my brief research, I found there are attachments for digital cameras called digital display shades. Or it was suggested to drape a towel over my head. I think I might scare the neighbors with that technique.
A couple of my blind shots:
I was frustrated I could not get the shots I wanted of other plants and trees. Still figuring out my new android and how to manage all the light. Almost forgot, I did get a shot some of my grapefruit blossoms.
The coffee is ready. Come on in and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I might ask you how your life has been over the past year. We are passing through an anniversary of sorts. It has been a year since we first heard we were in a pandemic.
The year of the pandemic started officially on March 11, 2020 with the declaration from the World Health Organization. For me it has felt like a year of unreality. The shock and fear in the beginning. On March 19 Governor Newson announced the lockdown of California. The first lock down which was to last until April 21 in LA. I remember thinking how will we get through it, a 1 month lock down. Little did I know it would extend into a year plus. The memory of our first trips to the grocery stores. We went in the early hours of the morning designated for older people and found long lines at one of our regular markets so decided to try another instead. The disorientation of walking into a store with many shelves, milk and meat cases empty. The hasty decisions about what to buy out of what was left. I quickly learned how to order online groceries and at first there were shortages with that as well. It seems like ages ago when we couldn’t get paper towels, toilet paper, or disinfectants. I remember hunting for those items everywhere. There were worse things to come. The loss of my younger brother to COVID. I remember visits with my grandson at a distance on our front patio. Dental visits postponed indefinitely. Doctors visits done remotely. A very frightening visit to the ER where we waited for almost 2 hours in masks. My husband hospitalized with a non-COVID illness. Eventually we all felt safe to visit with our grandson inside our house. We were our own little pod. My daughter was living with us for several months, so at least I was able to be with her regularly too. So grateful that my husband, children, and grandson have made it through. I have become accustomed to living my life inside my house. I am an introvert so this is not completely uncomfortable, but it will take some getting used to being out in public places again. Like shopping in a market, going to get my hair cut, or going to a movie theatre. I wonder if I have developed a mild case of ‘cave syndrome’, ( a term coined by Dr. Bregman, a psychiatrist), where I fear going out of my house. During the pandemic my hair got very long and I took to wearing it in a single braid down my back. My daughter said I looked like Willie Nelson and gave me my COVID haircut. She did a good job. I haven’t had my hair professionally cut for the whole year. My husband has an appointment for a haircut at the end of this month. He will wear a mask but I still feel nervous about it. He did go to have a couple of haircuts when the barber was allowed to be open. I know I will adjust to going into shops, the dentist, and doctor eventually. It will feel very strange in the beginning.
Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Featured image ‘Good Morning Coffee’ by Daniel Go on Flickr.com
Also sharing this post with Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, hosted by Linda G Hill. Linda who asked if we would be comfortable sharing our experience of the pandemic year. I have shared my experiences throughout the year as you know if you have been following my blog. I wanted to do a post on the One Year Anniversary of the pandemic and Natalie and Linda were thinking on the same theme.
Do I butter you up with a cheery post. I know on which side my bread is buttered, she thought. Since making a big move to a new house, I have been eating a lot of peanut butter sandwiches or peanut butter stuffed pretzels because it is easy to grab when I am busy with other stuff around here. I like peanut butter, creamy peanut butter, crunchy peanut butter too. 🙂
And finding all the nooks and crannies in which to stuff carefully place all our belongings. This often requires the use of our folding step ladder to reach the high places.
I did have good news this past week. My older brother came home from the hospital and I was able to speak with him briefly. It was so good to hear his voice. I told him he is a tough guy because he came through it. Feel the need to keep even closer touch with him.
Many of us are getting our COVID shot series completed just in time for the attack of the mutant variants.
We have our own California variant. Although, I just read an article that said the UK variant is expected to dominate in the US. We could have battle of the variants.
Coffee’s ready, come on in. My morning cup is Pete’s French Roast with a splash of half n’ half. It’s how I start my day. That is one constant that hasn’t changed, which is comforting. The past year has been full of unwelcome changes but did end with some positives. My husband and I just moved into our retirement home and we are starting to get settled. We were able to get our COVID vaccines. Our new neighbors are friendly even though we still great each other at a distance and usually with masks on. We have three citrus trees in our backyard. The grapefruit is starting to blossom sharing its lovely fragrance. The landscaping was already in and is dry-scaping with assorted flowering bushes and desert plants, with a drip watering system. I really appreciate that the landscaping is done because I am not good at it. When we arrived the garage was clean and empty. We quickly decorated it with a very large assortment of cardboard packing boxes and have been busy clearing it out. It is probably unrealistic for me to expect it will get back to its pristine state again anytime soon. I have been busy finding just the right place for everything in our cupboards and closets. It’s a challenge when you move in with too much stuff from your old house which had more rooms and closets. My hope was to downsize our belongings. My husband has the most stuff and was the most unwilling to part with it. Maybe we can chip away at some of it in the coming months. I’m probably dreaming again there. It’s funny the things you don’t notice when you are buying a new place. Like the microwave had a missing rack, one of the electric outlets was upside down, the washing machine has a high pitched squeak when it’s running, and there were bins left in the garage for the refrigerator but they don’t fit this model of refrigerator. I said to my husband optimistically ‘maybe the washer is supposed to make that noise.’ He didn’t think so. The washer repair person is coming to check out the machine. At least it’s under warranty.
Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie on Natalie the Explorer. Featured image of Pikachu Latte Art, Harajuka in Tokyo cafe by ajay_suresh on Flickr.com Roadrunner photo from National Park Service Death Valley.
My older brother never wants to tell me his problems and has often not let me know when he was sick or in the hospital. I would find out at a later date and then still be upset anyway. He was being my big brother, trying to protect me, and is a very kind and loving person. I have been so tied up with our move that I had not spoken with him for several weeks. I was having trouble getting through to him recently and had a feeling something was wrong. I finally spoke with my sister-in-law today. He had been in the hospital last month and now had to go back in again. He did not want to worry me. It would have worried me and does now, but I’m glad I found out so I am able to send my love to him.
Even though we may want to protect our loved ones from bad news, I think they want to know what is going on no matter what.
Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today was a word ending with ‘sty’. Featured image ‘Vase de roses’ by Renoir via wikimedia.org
I was born in San Francisco and I still feel a connection to this city. My husband talked me into moving to the Los Angeles area after I graduated from college and we have lived in Southern California ever since then. Our kids grew up here near LA. Now we are starting a new stage in a new location that is very different to what came before. We have discovered many things with our move. We have signed up with a new internet, TV, and cell phone provider. I learned, after several hours and several calls to the new and old providers, how to activate our phones and transfer our important information from our old phones to the new ones. We found out we are capable of moving large objects and heavy boxes. Working as a team we moved a metal storage cabinet and table from our front door to the garage, bookcases from the living room to the office. I am getting in my weight bearing exercise every day. I am making decisions on where to store things in the kitchen cupboards, above or below. Some of the shelves are high up and require a ladder to reach them. So stuff we don’t use as often is delegated to the high shelves. We are making progress but still have a ways to go before we are done. We have started to meet our new neighbors. Here is one we met the other day:
A roadrunner was crossing the street in front of my car. So exciting to see it. I am glad I was able to stop and let it pass safely.
We made our big move earlier this week but we’re not at the finish line quite yet. We are progressing in increments. We have a garage full of boxes but I am ok with them occupying their present location until we are ready to bring them into the house, one by one. Today I was in the garage identifying the candidates that were the first to move in. I am glad I did label a lot them with their contents, like silverware, kitchen, dishes, utensils, shoes….you get the idea. Would hate to have to open them all to find out what is in them. The ones that aren’t labeled will have to be a surprise.
In addition to boxes, I have large bags under my eyes. Hope to get rid of both soon.
Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt word for today is ‘flag.’ Featured image of ‘Race Flags’ by Dimitris Vetsikas on Pixabay.com
I thought I was too busy to write anything but here is a short note. The beginning of the next chapter. We are leaving our home of 30 years and moving to a smaller house. It is the end of one story and the start of another. I’m pretty tired with all the packing. I am the queen of bubble wrap. Next we will start over in reverse and unpack everything. It will take a few weeks to get settled and feel relaxed again. Need to get the internet hooked up and the TV. We were sent a ‘kit’ from the company we are using for internet, cell phone, and TV. The young woman I spoke with from their business office said it would be easy for us to follow the instructions. I’ll let you know how it goes. Right now have to get some sleep.
Making the big move this weekend and tumbling off to the desert. Be back on my blog soon.
For our SOCS prompt today we were to “open a book, a newspaper, or whatever is handy and close your eyes and point. Whatever word or picture your finger lands on, make that the basis of your SoCS/JusJoJan post.” I have a book of short writings on self-care. The one for January 22 is ‘Listen to Fatigue.’
I mentioned in my past post that I’m in the process of moving to another house. ‘We are downsizing,’ she said hopefully. In reality, I think we are taking everything with us to a smaller house. Packing up is tiring. One member of this couple has a very hard time letting go of stuff and it’s not me. Oh well, if I am being honest, I would say I have a hard time letting go of some of the stuff. As a result we are taking a lot of stuff to our new place. Today we made an extra trip to the desert to drop off some of it. We made the round trip in one day and I am pooped. On the positive side, it was good getting out of the house and seeing the sky, clouds, hills, and mountains. I have been spending most of my time indoors and have missed out on seeing nature. The beauty of nature always restores me. That and getting some sleep. Good night.
Above is a scene from another very beautiful drive.
Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill.
Featured image ‘Tired’ by Christian Krohg via wikimedia.org