Sick or just annoyed?

I’m lumping all into one, but at this moment in time, I’m appalled with the people called American. I’m a conservative social media user and am curbing my forays into FB. If I was a drinking sort, this would drive me further along the beverage cart. The people I know are burying heads in sand and not seeing the overall picture and the only thing to do is watch. As Strider said, the world is burning and we’ve got a front row seat. Grab the popcorn, it is a once in a lifetime show.

The other day on FB, I posted how I was thankful my tests came back negative. But I wonder if the 43 people who liked it realized it was for basic health tests and not the dreaded virus. (I finally deleted the post since I was tired of so many people being grateful with me.) One of my best friends since college is living in China and shares her story of quarantine. I have ‘friends’ here in my town who are already wearing out on their Day 4 of quarantine. (These guys have NOT A CLUE what a real quarantine is like.) Another very good friend here in town was angry because they had packed the car and were ready to leave for a beach vacation on Monday when they got notice the beaches were being closed. (they’d planned on this vacation since Christmas and were certain they would be the exception to the closures) I used to live in the town they were headed for and those folks were scared. (That town has two locations to shop and the only hospital for at least an hour in 3 directions.) BUT, people want what they want now.

I look at how virus testing is limited, how many older folks who might be vulnerable are confused about conflicting stories this ‘new’ disease, and how it is ok for us/them to lose  lives for the good of the nation. All people testing isn’t necessary, most  who get this survive. How 3% or even 4 isn’t that big of a deal. I’m not a math person, but I looked up a few numbers. The US, at the moment of the last census, has 327 million people living here. 4% of that number, according to Google, is 13,088,000. In WW2 405,000 Americans lost their lives. This is crazy to imagine that it is ‘ok’ to lose 4% of our nation. We celebrate our Vets all the time, yet now we are looking at throwing more than that away? When I read and share the WHO information, I’m considered uninformed. Staying in and washing hands will make this all go away.  I shared with Little Bear a skittles meme. If you were given a bowl of skittles and three would kill you, would you eat them? He said that didn’t work because these skittles are invisible and you don’t know you have eaten them or where you got them til days or weeks later!

I hear stories of people of all ages, especially younger ones, have been exposed and gotten sick and yet, were only tested because they asked for it. One young man was tested, but his girlfriend was told to just stay home and get well if she thought she had it. (she had similar symptoms to her BF, but it was decided she wasn’t sick enough for testing!!) A Fed Ex driver Little Bear talked to was sure he had it, but couldn’t take off that much time or he’d lose his job and is concerned he exposed hundreds of people (I sort of get this, sanitizing as you get in and out of a truck and juggle packages is probably not that easy!). He was told he didn’t need testing. Only really ill people get tested, the rest of us just ‘hunker down’ and wait for it to blow over. Because isolating will flatten the curve of the disease and we’ll get back to normal. My friend in China has been in quarantine for 46 days and they are doing all kinds of things to make sure this virus doesn’t get back in. Testing for anyone who gets off public transportation, fever checks at all times, and yes the US wouldn’t go for that because I can take my own temps when I want to. I can absolutely see where a stricter country would have benefits now, not that I’d want to live in one!

Our nation is so freaking scared of the president they won’t do a damn thing to stand up and admit he’s a megalomaniac ass. The few who have will probably get some sort of punishment. That is the beauty of this man. He plays and watches and when he finds the chips in his favor, he snatches. If the chips are off, he’ll wait and push the blame elsewhere. (It is China’s fault or Obama’s fault) Dumping cash into the economy when there isn’t much to back it is beyond ridiculous! We need to take care of the people and not the economy right now. (Economy has always run the world, it is not anything new, history shows this, but it is sad) I believe there is a video on youtube about substituting this president for any other president who served in a war situation and I can’t imagine what this person would have done in WW! Or 2. (Strider was telling me about it) But, I digress.

I cannot mention anything like this on FB or I’ll get called on my illogical or wrong interpretations. I had one of my better friends cut me off in a message conversation because he was telling me about his ammo he’ll use to defend himself. If he needs it. I said that was silly and he dropped me like a hot pan. Idiots. If anyone comes into this house to get something, well, if I’m the only one here, they are welcome to it. My faith may not be as strict as others, but I do know I have a life after this one elsewhere. I’m not going to be like some of the Christians I know who say ‘if I die, I die.’ I will do my damnedest to stay on this side of the rainbow bridge (why are pets the only ones who cross that???), but if it happens, I’m ok. I’d prefer to get the house up north sold and the stuff sorted, but that might all end up being moot anyway!

This is super long. I’m sorry. I should just save it to my journal, but I’m not. I can chat with Strider, but most of the rest of my family are on the fence about the virus and completely in favor of cash saving our economy. America, you have made me ill.

Adding a trio of turtles and flowers from the yard to brighten your day! (NOTE: my sister didn’t believe the turtles were mine. She thought I had taken the photo from somewhere else…because ‘those are so cute!’ Sheesh.)

 

Resilient

I am a firm friend of resilience. Reeds that bend and don’t break. Willow trees that bow and spring back. Daffodils and spring. This last weekend it snowed. It froze. Temps dropped to the low twenties F and bobbed back briefly. The US went crazy buying things in excess (like Black Friday, only meaner and without that loving end that Christmas has). My chest started to ache, along with my lower back, and today I have a headache. Yet, I’m reminded over and over at what a beautiful world we have.

Friday night it started to snow and I crouched in flakes to capture what I thought was the last of my crocus. I was certain the daffs would be ok, they are a tough, toxic plant. Except on Sunday, I found the daffodils along the house in back were encased in ice. Snow had fallen off the roof, had melted, solidified, and turned the vibrant line of yellow flowers into a scene from Frozen or a fairy tale. I was sad, but decided to clip as many as I could. I carefully snipped stems through coatings of ice and brought them inside. They sat melting in the sink and eventually, snapped out of their chilled look into gorgeous heralds of spring. Granted, a few are a bit tattered, but I have 4 vases full! Even the tree down the road looks festive in snow. Not sure if there will be any apricots (it is an apricot tree!), but it does look beautiful!

Monday was odd. I got a lot done and didn’t get much done til the end of it. (I know, it was odd!!) Thankfully, I folded clothes during a black and white Agatha Christie movie (Murder Most Foul). I learned a dear friend I made online several years ago died from heart surgery complications, I’m still stunned. (I’ll always remember him with daffodils. Bright, cheery, sturdy, ordinary, and friendly..although, Wayne wasn’t toxic…) Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Many people are whining worse than I did with mom because they can’t do what they want. Kids are having a fun vacation from school (til the start of April) and hanging out with grandparents. Others just cannot wait til this is over and things get back to normal. I’m moderately annoyed cuz I am almost out of baking powder, flour is one of those things not on the shelves (I thought I had more than I did), and hoping my family stays well. Because, hunkering down isn’t something most of the people in the US can do without losing jobs or paying bills.

The Iditarod is going well. Some villages have made alternate places for the mushers to rest with their dogs, one gal’s sled caught on fire (no, she wasn’t going too fast.), and the festivities after have been canceled. It appears to be one of the last sporting events happening right now and they aren’t transporting serum to Nome. (thankfully!) Sharing a fun link of some of the dogs running this year.

The Winery Woman shared a motto sent to her and I’m sharing it on. From Costa Women: “Distance today will allow us to embrace tomorrow.” In this, I was thinking of all my friends who are distant and how special you are. Especially, at helping me embrace tomorrow. I just love you guys and gals!!!!!! Virtual (and safe) hugs and kisses!

Before

This weekend, most of the weather reports have forecast a wintry mix. I’m a huge fan of winter (in case no one noticed),  but with so much starting to bloom, I’m good with snow waiting a few months. This last week I’ve discovered that, in spite of the calendar and the forecast, the season is now summery. I wanted to buy slippers. I have a pair in Alaska and the ones in Oregon were wearing out. I was hoping to wait til I got home (Alaska) to retrieve them from the closet. However, when I went upstairs on Monday, I tripped. Hard. As I stumbled upright, I realised I’d be better off getting new slippers now and not breaking something before I got my other ones. (then again, travel might not happen anyway!) So, I went shopping for an item that is apparently seasonal. I, and the lady behind me in line, were both startled. Eventually, I did find a pair on a discount rack and they finally are stretched enough to fit comfortably! I tossed my duct taped pair away. (remembering mum kept things like this!!)

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My daffodil beds have more flowers each day, the snow will take out the rest of the crocus, but they are almost done anyway.  (I liked the ones with the leaf, there is so much promise in that picture!) I was writing a few St. Patrick Day cards this afternoon and realised I needed to take photos of a lovely tree up the road. (reminding me of a blogging friend!)  It is some sort of fruit tree, I can’t remember which one. I think the fruit is small and hard and orange, but I could be quite wrong!! (I’ve not been here for so long, I am not sure..) The blossoms won’t survive the cold and as I stood under it and photographed branches and flowers, I could hear it buzzing. Such an awesome sound when  you aren’t sitting down with a book in wasp territory!! There are already blossoms on the ground, a scattered snow of petals.

In the craziness around, it is good to remember seasons exist. The solstice will soon occur and spring will take off for real. It is a matter of time, if we can wait for it.

Bits and Bobs

In light of the recent posts I’ve made, I have decided to share pictures of different things that have been done here and there. First, I am showing off a contraption I may use maybe once or twice a year..if at all. Earlier, in February, I shared some pictures of projects The Craftsman was making. This was a wooden piece on a lathe, later cut apart. It is now a holder for an angel food cake. When you bake one of these cakes, it is supposed to be cooled upside down and it is difficult to find a proper sized item to suspend it. So, one was made out of a section of black walnut. (Granted, it isn’t done yet, but it is almost finished!) I liked the shorter one since it fits in the cake pan to store.

The second project made was from recycled wood. It  holds all my hook earrings, not the ones with posts. (those are in a compartmentalized box) The black plastic mesh isn’t as helpful as I thought-it looks good, but it is difficult to see the earrings. I’m not going to change it, although I was told it would be easy. Removing all those earrings would be annoying!

As I mentioned previously, growing things are everywhere! I need to trim this kerria japoinica, it has been left alone for too many years and is literally out of control. It has lovely tiny rose like yellow flowers all over it in later spring. (I’ll be gone by then)

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Speaking of out of control, Little Bear was given a tiny cacti while in High School. It has literally grown into something you might find on Loony Tunes!! (The Craftsman planted the odd looking little things at the base)

Along the walk, I’ve planted bulbs. Some are the most adorable daffs, they are known as Tete-a-Tete’s. They are a smaller flower, but some of them are VERY tiny!!! (yes, I once lived in Tillamook, where they make cheese and ice cream!)

I did pick some regular sized daffodils. They were facing the house and annoyed me. I much prefer flowers facing the public!!! The crocus are looking incredible, finally. I might need to pick some because it is supposed to snow and rain this weekend. Which will turn the poor flowers to mush. (I mentioned this elsewhere, but mushing is what is going to happen this next weekend. Go, Iditarod!!!)

Last, but  not least, it was warm enough to read outside. Unfortunately, I forgot that an Ereader isn’t as easy to read in bright sunshine! No matter, I had a hard back book, with me as well. Also, thankfully, there is only one sick person in town. The other two were released after intensive checking. The casino is open again and, hopefully, the cycle won’t continue…hopefully.

I hope you enjoyed a peek into my world of cooking, bling, gardens, and books!

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Germination…

I can’t say anything on FB, I just won’t. There are too many people there! However, I am a tad disgruntled. After sharing the post about the Coronavirus earlier, I am really hoping for common sense to prevail. Germination is apparent from the yard to our human bodies in many places. (photos from free photos on WP)

It turns out an active member in our church was in contact with the person who is now in a local hospital.. she was just taken to the hospital with breathing problems Tuesday night. The pastor of our church took her in after already being in contact with her. Her family was here just a few days ago and are now scattered in different parts of the state. The nearby casino with the infected employee has cancelled everything from movies to gambling to buffets to their extensive hotel. Here in town, luncheons and gatherings have been either cancelled or moved to other times. Yet, the Oregon State Basketball tournament for this division, taking place less than 20 miles from the casino, is still being held.

Stores are being emptied of certain items and we JUST got over the city water issue. I’m not sure if I mentioned that before…Due to the flooding in this area, the town ended up with bacteria in the water supply. The city hall office put notices up everywhere for people to use bottled water or to boil before using. Then, they had to call a much used store to stop selling fountain sodas. As the Craftsman said, ‘There is no law against stupidity.” That lasted more than a week. It ended last Friday, when the city had their banquet to bestow honors on citizens of the year, which was very well attended. The person who was brought in this evening had a huge surprise birthday party for a friend on Feb 23. Dozens of us went.

I imagine the PNW area is going to explode with new growth….and with the advent of spring, coffing with be rampant. Allergies and tiny bugs all enjoying new habitats. I’m still of the mind to stay inside this fenced yard and house walls!

 

Germs among us

I have friends in areas where the Coronavirus originated. I have followed their stories and felt for their quarantines. (I have laughed a bit about my friends in Shanghai. The cats are loving full time laps, even if the two leggers are getting bored.) I have watched the WHO reports and know it is not as scary as most Americans are making it. It is something to be aware of and not a hoax as our POTUS has inferred. I have followed the CDC information and tried to stay away from internet hype.

However, today, I admit to nervous thoughts. There is a nearby Casino, which was closed indefinitely after an employee was discovered to have this disease. They also attended a sporting event in one of the schools by this house and live in this area. The person is now hospitalized in the next larger town over.

I’m pretty much a recluse, I reckon being a bit of an introvert is a good thing right now! Yet, my family is out and about. Little Bear was going shopping tonight and already people in this part of Oregon are flocking to purchase canned goods and disinfecting items. (is that closing the barn door after the horse leaves? I had my guys laughing a bit at me when I took hand wipes to the casino theatre complex when we saw the last Star Wars movie. And that was for the flu strain that was running amok!)

Yet, the thing I’m concerned about is my family bringing this home through work (The Craftsman did say there are many cars he works on and wears gloves while inside the vehicle because of the filth) or me getting stuck in the Seattle airport (I had that happen once when the boys were younger. It was horrible!). Then, I could get stuck in AK (not that I’d mind, unless the house was already sold and I’d end up living with my sister….YIKES!).

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Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

I reckon the most important thing to remember right now is to wash hands, stay cheerful, and do what I can to keep my family and myself well. Oh, and to partake in Read an EBook week (March 2-8)!!! I’m not a fan of ebooks, they are so much slower to read than a paper one. However, I have some there I don’t have in paper! I’m also not as keen with hanging out at the library at the moment. (they changed their policy for late books and now there are no fines, so even if the book is due, it really isn’t. Not having a deadline, I just keep them and then feel guilty and then I don’t read them….Odd!) OH! Emagazines are just as cool as books, here is a fun one I subscribe to. InD-tale.

There are a great many of my crocus up and quite a few daffodils, colorful bits of joy! No early iris yet, though. Much as I love winter and hope to see snow when I head north, I’m ready for spring here. I even spied a hummingbird moth (hawk moth or tomato worm moth) the other day!

 

 

Embracing Words

March 2 is the birthday of the doctor who prescribed books to a tiny kindergartner in Homer, AK. Chatting with blogging and facetime folks, many of us who were born in the latter part of the 60’s learned from something new called educational TV. The Public Broadcasting System was reaching out to children and a generation was caught. (I’m going to borrow heavily from YouTube)

Sesame Street taught me my letters (and numbers, but they weren’t as important. Sorry, Count!).

The Electric Company taught me how those letters worked (I am sure they also did numbers, but I can’t remember!).

School House Rock taught quite a few word things (and about the Bill on Capitol Hill). I’ve never forgotten this song!

Mr. Rogers, bless the dear man, taught me kindness and social skills. Then, I met Dr. Seuss when I was 5 going on 6 (or thereabouts). From him, I learned I didn’t need to wait for an adult to read to me. I could do it myself! The Doctor’s birthday is ‘Read Across America Day’ and this next week heralds Read an E-book week. I think the Doctor would smile.

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I read a lot. Wordsmiths mean a great deal to me. The characters and stories and thoughts hid me during a tumultuous childhood, they have been my friends throughout my life seasons, and they teach me every time I open up pages to fall into their worlds again.

One of my favorite books (yes, I say this often) is ‘A Touch of Wonder’ by Arthur Gordon. I decided to take it off my headboard this month and was changed once more. It is full of short thought pieces of his life that encourage us to find and recognize wonder. He often writes about his journey as a writer. In one section he shares an encounter he had when he was a kid with an older man who he only knew as ‘the Teacher’. The man was sick, but gave of himself to a grubby boy who liked to fish. He told that kid, “Words..just little black marks on paper. Just sounds in empty air. But think of the power they have! They can make you laugh or cry, love or hate, fight or run away. They can heal or hurt. Rhythm..life is full of it; words should have it. listen to the waves on a quiet night; you’ll pick  up the cadence. Look at the patterns the wind makes in dry sand and you’ll see how syllables in a sentence should fall…But, the magic he taught wasn’t confined to words; he had a way of generating in me an excitement about things I had always taken for granted. He night point to a bank of clouds. ‘Colors are not enough. Look for towers and drawbridges. Look for dragons and griffins and strange and wonderful beasts.’

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This is also something I learned from the Doctor. To see something no one else does. It often identifies me as quirky and odd and on the other hand, it gives me a view beyond myself. I often talked to this tall guy on the lake near mom’s. I wave at him from the kayak. I’m always looking to see if he made it through another winter. No one else sees him, it doesn’t matter. He exists in my world and that is enough.

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