Tag Archives: #WeekendCoffeeShare

Weekend Coffee Share #24-Odds and Ends

Coffee’s up. Today it’s Peets French Roast. Grab a cup and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you we are in the middle of a heat wave here. It is already 100 degrees F at 8:30 AM. I did do a couple of early morning walks this week, but I would have to get up really early to get out when it was cool today. And I did not wake up early because my husband and I were binge watching ‘Mere of Easttown’ last night until midnight.

Have you ever tried cleaning a barbeque, grills and other parts, after the grease has baked on. I bought this non-toxic spray foam that is supposed to remove it all, but it takes a lot of scrubbing and the addition of Brillo pads. And all the baked on stuff didn’t come off. I researched grill cleaning tips online and one suggestion was to put the grills in the bathtub to soak. I can tell you that is not going to happen. I bought another brand of non-toxic grill cleaner and I will let you know how it works.

We re-opened in California this past Tuesday. I took my first Yoga class without a mask on Tuesday morning. It was the first time I saw the instructor’s whole face. The class was not crowded and I felt comfortable. When I walked into a local market on Wednesday morning it looked like the staff and customers were all wearing masks. I thought I had missed some information about the mask wearing rules. I almost went back to my car to grab a mask and then decided I would just pick up one item I needed and make a quick exit. When I got to the check out I asked the cashier about it and she told me if I was vaccinated I did not have to wear a mask but the staff were still wearing masks. The same thing happened at the bank. There was still a sign outside the bank that said face coverings and social distancing were required. So this time I went back to the car and grabbed a mask. When I asked the teller about it she said the employees were continuing to wear masks but I did not have to. Seems like not everyone is ready to go without a mask yet and I don’t blame them. Customers are not required to show proof of vaccination.

I was thinking about how the roadrunners were doing in this heat. I read that they are very adapted to the desert and take shelter when it’s really hot. I only saw one this week on one of my early morning walks.

There are cool places for the roadrunners to hang out in this area.

Roadrunner near pond in shade

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

Weekend Coffee Share#22-Putting It All Together Again

Coffee’s up. Pull up a chair and join me. If we were having coffee I would tell you that since moving to our new home in the desert during a pandemic, my husband and I have had to learn how to assemble some of the furnishings we needed. We have assembled outdoor lounge chairs and indoor side chairs. It has been ‘interesting’ reading the directions for each project. My husband worked very hard on the lounge chairs but eventually got them built.

The latest project was a sleeper sofa from Ikea. I looked for quite a while to find the right sofa for our small second bedroom. I learned some things in the process, like I need to keep in mind the width of the doorway into the room. I studied all the specs carefully to determine if the sofa would fit through the door. It turned out with Ikea the sofa comes in several boxes to be assembled by its new owners. Ikea recommends a service called ‘Task Rabbit’ to hire people to come out and assemble your purchase. Unfortunately, there was no ‘Task Rabbit’ available in our area. So we were it.

We were both apprehensive at the start. We put off opening the boxes for a couple of weeks. Finally, my husband asked if I wanted to get started. I reluctantly said OK. We studied the illustrations provided by Ikea and had a few debates about what the instructions meant. Little by little we put the parts together. I am proud to announce that my husband and I put together our new sofa sleeper by ourselves. I think it looks pretty nice. Now our kids can come to visit and sleep over.



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

Weekend Coffee Share #21-Feeling My Way Around

Coffee’s up. Come on in and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you it has been a hodgepodge type of week. Definitely not a settled routine. The weather had something to do with part of it. It has been getting hotter, hovering around 100 degrees most days. So I have not been inclined to walk during the day. I am not an early riser so I have to walk in the evening. I thought I would be walking more in the daytime and would be able to see the roadrunners. I did spot them last week, which was great. Still not getting the photos I would like.

A better view but working on getting more

I did record the sound the roadrunner made. It was hiding from me but you can still hear it.

Roadrunner makes a rattling sound?

I may have to change to a morning person to catch the nature around here.

I realize I am really still in the process of getting acquainted with my new environment. This will be my first summer here. We are scheduled to open up fully in California on June 15 even though the county I now live in has not moved into the least restrictive tear yet. The latest push to get everyone vaccinated is a million dollar lottery. I hope it works and gets more people vaccinated. I don’t like the idea of going out in public unmasked with people who are not vaccinated. In the summer here going out in public will most likely mean being indoors.

Tumbleweed Social Club

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

Weekend Coffee Share #20-Desert X

Coffee’s up. Come in and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you I had a great experience at Desert X last weekend. Several artists from around the world created outdoor art installations around the Coachella Valley. A friend of ours organized our tour and my husband and I viewed several of the displays. We were not able to see all the outdoor art but here are several examples below. You can go to the Desert X 2021 website to see all the exhibits and read about them and the artists.

We did wear masks but felt safe to have the masks off when outdoors and socially distanced. All of our group were vaccinated. We were fortunate that the weather was not overly hot and there was a breeze for most of the day.

The first installation we viewed was ‘What Lies Behind The Walls’ by Saudi Arabian artist Zahrah Alghamdi. We had to hike up a sandy slope to reach it. It was pretty dramatic to see once we got there. Some of material the artist used was desert sand from the local area. The artist talks about ‘the wall’ in the video below. Her hope for the world is not to have walls separating us but walls to connect us.

‘What Lies Behind The Walls’

The next exhibit was ‘The Wishing Well’ by Serge Attukwei Clottey, an African artist. It is constructed in part from the plastic of Kufuor gallon containers that are used to transport water in Ghana. 

‘The Wishing Well’

‘The Wishing Well refers to the wells to which many people around the world must trek daily to access water. Europeans introduced Kufuor gallons, or jerrycans, to the people of Ghana to transport cooking oil. As repurposed relics of the colonial project, they serve as a constant reminder of the legacies of empire and of global movements for environmental justice. Sited in the Coachella Valley, whose future is deeply dependent on water, The Wishing Well creates a dialogue about our shared tomorrow.’ (Desert X website).

‘Women’s Qualities’ by Egyptian artist, Ghada Amer, was the next installation we visited. It was located at Sunnylands Center and Garden. There is more about her display in the video below. She created her installation based on what the people of Palm Springs told her they thought were qualities of women. The qualities are: Nurturing, Resilient, Strong, Caring, Determined, Beautiful, and Loving.

Resilient

The next exhibit we viewed was ‘The Passenger’ by LA born artist Eduardo Sarabia which represents the experience of those who journey across the desert to get to the United States. It was difficult to walk on the soft sand of the desert in the hot sun to get to this installation. It made me realize that I might not fare well on such a journey.

The last installation we viewed was ‘Jackrabbit Homestead’ by California artist Kim Stringfellow. This was a tiny house that represented the houses of some of the people who participated in a government program called the ‘Small Tract Act’ (1938-2008). This involved up to 5 acres of Federal land sold off for very small price, ($10-20). People could lease the land and if they made some improvement to it, like building a dwelling, they could apply for a patent which was like a deed. There are still some of the structures standing today. Some are still owned and occupied. Click here to read more.

It was a very interesting day and a nice way to step back into what we hope is post-pandemic life here in California.


Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie of Natalie the Explorer. Pop over and visit her lovely blog and see a Linky to the contributions of other writers.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Weekend Coffee Share #13-Something Missing

Coffee’s ready. Pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would ask if you noticed the bags under my eyes this morning. I think I have an allergy to something. I am trying cool compresses to reduce the swelling. I will not miss the bags when they’re gone. Since the start of the pandemic lock down there are many things we stopped doing, like shopping, going to the movies , restaurants, hair salons, library, dental and medical visits, travel, and family gatherings. I have come to realize that I don’t miss some of these activities that much. I do miss more visits with family and friends, the library, and car trips. Before this all started, I thought we would travel abroad. Now I don’t know when we would feel comfortable with that.

It is good we are able to visit with a few people who have had the COVID vaccine, like my son and daughter-in-law and my daughter who got the first dose will be able to see us sooner than we thought. My brother-in-law and his wife visited us yesterday which was very nice. A few things are opening with some restrictions. My little grandson started back at his preschool last week. He was so excited to be back in school. We were excited to see him when he visited last Sunday with his parents.

First day back at preschool

I will wait a while before being around more of the public because of the COVID variants.

Things I definitely won’t miss are masks, social distancing, and the fear of infection.

Golden Rain Trees?

Not sure if this is a Golden Rain tree or the culprit for my allergies but we have one right behind our back wall. They are pretty trees.


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