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.
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 I have gotten caught up on my book list. I almost believed I was over reading books anymore. Now I think I just got out of the habit. I have a prompt today from Linda G Hill for Stream of Consciousness Saturday that relates to books.
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “close eyes and point.” Grab the closest printed material to you when you sit down to write your post, open it up (if it’s a book, flyer, etc.), close your eyes, and point. Whatever your finger lands on, use that as your prompt.
I am getting near the end of ‘All The Devils Are Here,’ by Louise Penny. So I picked up the book, opened it, and my finger landed in the middle of a sentence on ‘hand reached.’ This made me think of people reaching out a hand to each other. Which leads me to something I have been thinking about after reading three other books on my list,
‘The Glass Hotel’ by Emily St. John Mandel
‘The Witch Elm’ by Tana French
‘His and Hers’ by Alice Feeney
There is a thread connecting all three of these books. The last book was one from my book group and some of us picked up on this thread. It has to do with the flaws of many of the lead characters, (protagonists), that you would usually want to root for. Not that characters can’t have any flaws but when they have too many I find it hard to be in their corner. They definitely did not reach out to help each other. What was disturbing is how they almost casually, mindlessly caused harm.
Maybe, the authors are all in a negative mind set from all the bad going on in the world. But when I read a book, I don’t want to be made depressed at the end. Louise Penny does give us characters to root for. Don’t we need that right now?
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 only I could snap my fingers and everything would be right with the world. It feels like it has been way too long that we have been living with the pandemic and all the unwanted changes it has brought to our lives. It can be hard to see when it will end. My husband and I got our COVID booster shots this week. Have to keep telling myself that infection rates are dropping.
I noticed that the grapefruit on our grapefruit tree were green for the longest time. I thought it was because there was some kind of stress or infection and the tree wasn’t able to produce normal fruit. Just this week I saw that the fruit is starting to ripen. I researched it and found out that it takes the tree 6 months to grow the fruit. It takes a good amount of time, but it will all be as it should in the end.
Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill.
Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer.
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.
Coffee’s up. We have Columbian again today. I want to get to the store and pick up Peet’s French Roast but haven’t made it there yet. If we were having coffee I would tell you that my husband has collected several boxed jig-saw puzzles. Those type of puzzles don’t interest me so much. I like a different type of puzzle, mysteries, police procedurals in particular.
Another puzzle I am into is genealogy research. I like finding the vital statistics and accounts of ancestor’s lives. I have learned some history with this research as well. It is engrossing and a reprieve from all the negative things happening. It’s a lot like solving mysteries and puzzles, putting all the pieces together in the right place.
Something else had been puzzling me. I hadn’t seen any roadrunners in quite a while and wondered what happened and where they went. Then, the other day, I spotted a large bird on the patio. I only got a brief glimpse as it slipped past the patio door. I went outside to the front of the house and there they were, a pair of roadrunners. One took off right away but the other stayed for a short time while we shared greetings. I snapped a quick photo before it went on its way.
This week leading up to the date there have been many stories in the news about 9/11. I could say it is hard to believe it has been 20 years ago, but I know time can pass quickly and memories recede. People often say things like ‘where were you when’ some historic event happened. When the event is traumatic, part of me wants to push it away. That is how it is with 9/11. I can tell you at the time I was living in Southern California and that made me feel insulated because it happened across the country from me. I know it would have been much worse if I lived in New York City or Washington, D.C. My memory is of the morning it happened. I was home on sick leave. I was going through a personal crisis with the loss of sight in my right eye. It was due to an inflammation of the optic nerve and after several weeks my eyesight did return. But at the beginning it was very stressful. I’m not sure if we had the news on or my husband came in and told me to turn it on. We saw the video of the plane flying into the first tower. Then the second plan hit the second tower. I remember how unreal it looked, like a scene from a movie. Later news reports told us of the attack in Washington and the passengers who helped crash Flight 93 so the terrorists couldn’t crash the plane into the Capitol. I followed the news and read the accounts of the people who lost family members or were badly injured. Life changed here with the heightened vigilance about more terrorist attacks. We were drawn into wars. It was a dark time.