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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Coffee’s up. Come on in and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you my most recent favorite words are, ‘ no assembly required.’ My husband and I have been buying a few things for our new house. I ordered them online and most were from out of state. They are bulky items and I would not want to ship them back. So we had to make the best of it. I bought an inexpensive etagere that was a breeze to assemble compared to the chase lounges for our backyard. It took 2 days of hard work by my husband with some assistance from me to assemble them.
The patio table we purchased had the wrong parts and luckily we were able to contact the distributor and get the right parts sent to us.
This is how two lamps arrived. At first I thought they were broken and we were ready to just throw them out. My husband said it’s not worth the trouble of returning them because they were inexpensive.
Then he figured out we had to thread the cord through and screw on the socket.
We are dealing with shipping and assembly because we don’t want to go into stores to shop for this stuff just yet. I have now decided it is better, if I can, to order through local companies because if something is wrong or broken I can return it.
A few more favorite words are Free Delivery and Assembly. I was happy to order from a local store that offered to do both. And if anything is missing or broken we can easily return it.
Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer. Featured image’ Cup of coffee in cafe bar in Madrid’ by Gvjekoslav on Wikimedia.org (cropped)
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.
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.