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.
Coffee’s ready. Grab a cup and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you life has felt slowed down this week. I have been out of the house for routine errands, like grocery shopping with my husband. But I did not get to my yoga classes this week. I missed one class because we were staying at another location while the air conditioning was out. Happy to report that the the AC is repaired and working fine now and we didn’t have to buy a new unit. We did a lot of driving back and forth from the place we were staying but now we are back home. Something else made me miss the second yoga class. The county we live in is having a surge of COVID infections and the health department recommends all people wear masks when indoors with others. The community I live in has not required people to follow this recommendation and I don’t feel safe exercising in a room with unmasked people. I have been wearing a mask but most of the others are not. Neither my husband or myself can risk even a ‘break through’ infection. I feel I need to avoid indoor gatherings for now. Seems like it is going to be a longer road to recovery from this pandemic. I worry about my little grandson who has just started back to school. We are excited that he is coming to visit us this weekend.
So much bad news these days in the world. I find myself taking refuge in my genealogy research. It helps to take the load off my mind. It is like detective work looking for clues about the people on my family tree. It is satisfying when I can find the answers.
Coffee’s up. Sit down and pull up a chair. We have rye toast today for a change. If we were having coffee I would tell you I spent much of my time in the rabbit hole again this week. I mentioned that I am into genealogy research. I strongly matched DNA with several people. I have researched the surnames on their family trees but no link up with anyone on mine as yet.
The weather has been pretty warm so I have been spending more time indoors. I did get out to a pool yoga class this week. I was glad that I tried this new class. It was nice to be outdoors in the community pool.
The Delta variant is taking a stronger hold in California. My husband and I decided we are wearing masks indoors when out in public as an extra precaution. I hope more people will get vaccinated so we can get rid of this virus.
Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer. Featured image of rabbit by Wildlife Terry on Flickr.com
Coffee’s ready. Pull up a chair and grab a cup. If we were having coffee I would tell you this past week contained a loose assortment of things. I finished the latest book for our book group. I would highly recommend ‘Station Eleven’ by Emily St. John Mandel. You might think a book about a fictional pandemic would not be appealing in these times, but it really drew me in. After I finished it, I wished there was more.
We’ve been binge watching another series on Netflix, ‘Manifest.’ It mainly keeps me interested because I want to know how it’s going to end. And I started back doing genealogy research. That’s where I really get hooked. I think it is that there is something rewarding about finding records about people on my tree and following the winding path that links us all together.
Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer
Featured Image is Forest Tower of Camp Adventure in Southern Zealand, Denmark by Stig Nygaard on Flicker.com
Coffee’s ready. Grab a cup and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you we coped with the extreme temperatures here in the desert. Now the heat dome has moved northwest. We continue with temperatures in the 100s F. We are doing well with air conditioning, but it makes it harder to fall into a routine with outdoor activities. It can be in the 80s at 6 AM. It gets hotter in the afternoon, so the evenings are still hot too. I do go to an indoor Yoga class. This week I am deciding if I need to wear a mask there again. We heard the announcement by the LA Public Health Department that people, even vaccinated people, should wear masks while in public, especially when indoors. This Delta variant is causing concern and I read the Biden administration is sending out ‘surge teams’ of specialists to assist communities where the virus is spreading rapidly. Our county here has not made any announcements about wearing masks.
I hadn’t seen the roadrunners for a while during the high heat, but just spotted one crossing the road yesterday. And today, so excited to see three of them. One was right near our driveway. I thought it was going to go in our yard, but it must have gone next door. The most wonderful sighting was on the patio outside one of the restaurants in our community. I think people must be feeding that one because he was not as shy as the others, and I was able to get a few closer photos of him. He was just beautiful and my photos did not capture all the colors around his eye, but you can see a blue streak on his tail. It was good to see that the roadrunners are surviving the weather.
Coffee’s ready. Grab a cup and pull up a chair. We have cinnamon toast today. If we were having coffee I would tell you it has cooled down some this week, as low as 102 degrees F on Wednesday with some rain showers. We are heading back up into the teens on Saturday. It was good to have some rain and I am pretty sure the citrus trees appreciated it. Some of the leaves on the grapefruit were getting puckered with 120 degrees. I love the smell of the earth after the rain. I went to check the mail box one late afternoon during the high heat and there was a hot wind blowing as well. I thought I was going to burn up right there. I did take an early morning walk this week. I did not see any roadrunners.
We were hopeful for a smooth transition from lock down to post-COVID life. We had a setback just after opening here. We had just had week one of the end of restrictions and I had gone to a couple of yoga classes without a mask, when we received an email from the HOA telling us that a person who tested positive for COVID had been inside both club houses in our community. It made me realize that COVID is still out there and close to home. But I have been telling myself that I have to trust the the vaccine is providing all the protection I need and I have to re-enter society eventually. How long am I going to wait? So I am continuing to take the beginning steps. I went to the grocery store again but I still didn’t feel comfortable getting too close to other customers. I keep reading in the paper that fully vaccinated people are protected even against the new Delta variant, so I will try to remember that.
The book group I recently joined is still meeting on Zoom until the Fall. Meeting on Zoom feels like being on camera, which it is, and a bit outside my comfort zone. I didn’t realize it would have this effect on me. It feels a bit like public speaking when we discuss the books and it is awkward for me. I have to get accustomed to it. It’s easier for me to express myself in writing.
Speaking of books, I am reading ‘While Justice Sleeps’ by Stacey Abrams. It takes place in current times and it is an engaging suspense thriller involving a Supreme Court Justice and the government intrigue he and his clerk are swept up in. Stacey is an articulate speaker and talented writer as well.
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.
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.
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.
I did record the sound the roadrunner made. It was hiding from me but you can still hear it.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.