Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Give me a garden...

A very long time ago I used to write poems... mostly haiku... of some sort. Anyway, I came across this picture the other day and it reminded me of one of my poems. Sharing it with you just for the peace of it...

"Give me a garden
and a cat
Beauty and 
quiet contemplation

Add a favorite book
and a cup of tea

These are the 
wonders of the world
... to me"


Saturday, March 28, 2020

Staying calm and enjoying nature...

Our backyard March 2020

Our backyard is a bit overgrown. We used to use it a lot when the kids were here... but now we basically have given it over to wildlife... which is actually very entertaining.

And our Bay leaf tree in the back is doing beautifully. I need to pick and dry some bay leaves soon.

Bay leaf tree

And the Spearmint in the front looks wonderful too. I love the smell of mint... and DH uses it in his sweet tea.


We don't have flowers, but we do have a lot of greenery... so I thought I'd share some with you. I had to make the pictures very large to actually see the leaves well... hope that works OK on your computers. Let me know if it doesn't.

Today is Saturday and day 12 on our 'shelter at home'. I haven't gone anywhere outside the house except to walk around the neighborhood. DH goes off to his radiation every morning and grandson went out on a grocery run for us yesterday. He was gloved and masked. Still can't find Lysol or Clorox disinfecting wipes, but otherwise, we're fine. 

I tried my best to handle the groceries carefully, either wiping them down, spraying, or washing in the sink.  One can only do so much.

Made another chicken (that's 9 new additions - the flock is growing!). I also started on a crochet project and am thinking about making a few little clay foxes... (maybe). 

Oh, and  I saw or heard that if you're making face masks, that vacuum cleaner bags were good. I checked my bags and the ones I have are 'odor fighting hypo-allergenic charcoal filter bags' for sensitivities to odors and dust. Would these make good face masks? Would it be safe to breathe through charcoal filter bags? I only have a few, but thought I'd give it a try if this was a safe alternative. Anyone know?

Closing this with this poster I found on Pinterest. Isn't this the most calming space? 
Love this!


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

the new normal... a shelter at home day

This is how my day went yesterday...  

DH gets up to go to his radiation treatment early. Used to be he went at 2pm, but now they want to close the office early so he has to be there by 8:30 (and now they take your temp before letting you inside). 

Anyway, he leaves the house and I get up, make a cup of tea, share my cream with Ghost... (she only gets a tiny drop, but loves it), put the TV (news comes on), as soon as I see a certain face - I turn it off, start work on my clay, take a break and make some Lost Bread (French toast) for DH so he can have coffee and 'something' when he gets home. He'll be surprised as usually we only have coffee/tea and toast.

As the morning progresses, DH feeds Ghost and the outside ferals, then puzzles, (I actually found 5 pieces today when he was gone. I was so excited!)

This is what the puzzle looks like complete
This is it so far...

There are so many tiny pieces with just eyes or solid green, ugh!

The sun is out today, so we took a walk before lunch. I heard that sunshine and Vitamin D was effective against viruses... (?) Sounds good to me. There were several people out walking the neighborhood. We all said hello but stayed far away from each other. 

However, as I was passing one man who was mowing his lawn, I coughed. Now mine you, I was on the other side of the street... and it was just a little cough. (For those of you that know me, I have had a radiation cough for 20 years. Doctors told me that the radiation I received for BC probably irritated my lungs). Anyway, as we passed and I coughed, I swear to you, the man stopped mowing and went inside!   

And my daughter told me that she and her daughter were in the grocery in the hill country the other day and there was a police officer stationed outside the grocery making sure that everyone wiped down their carts before entering and there was an announcement over the loud speaker saying for people to please not stop to talk with others, but to remember to social (physical) distance. She said that while shopping, her daughter said "I'm going to sneeze..." and she said, "DON'T!"

Such a strange time...

Anyway, we watch TV while eating lunch. We both had tomato basil soup and he had a sandwich while I had a slice of cheese and a few chips.  DH usually watches sports or something military while I've been watching a series called "Love Hurts" on Acorn. It's really good.  I only watch while I'm eating, then turn it off and go on to either blog, write, or continue sculpting. 

Today I wanted to finish this little pie bird. He's drying on top of my Aga right now.

He's off to the right with the home flock drying

Oh, and see that red fabric there... that's a mask one of my pottery friends made for me. Isn't it sweet? We're suppose to wear a mask when working with dry clay as there's a lot of clay dust. However, I think that if and when I have to go somewhere during this Pandemic, I'll wear it. It probably won't be terribly effective... but a lot more fashionable than the others.

By 3:00, it's tea time... or coffee as the mood strikes. Both of us stop what we're doing for this break... and sometimes (most of the time if I'm honest) have something sweet to go with it. Tea to me is very calming so that's usually my drink of choice these days... a cup of tea with a dash of cream in a pretty china cup.

This is another of my favorites... It's called Remembrance.

That tiny lavender rose in the center of the saucer makes it so perfect... (or is it just me?)

Then naptime (DH doesn't do naps, but he does fall asleep in his chair!)  Naptime means I retire to our bedroom and read or text friends for a bit and sometimes but not always do fall asleep. By 4:30 I need to think about supper... and this is also the time my kids tend to call. After talking to them, I'm usually late getting supper started. But that's OK. So we tend to eat anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30 depending. 

Supper, TV (during which I Pinterest), then bed by 9 or 10 where I continue to read until my iPhone rings an alarm that says "Go to sleep... musically." It always makes me laugh... and I try to obey and put my book down (but not always).

Most nights I sleep well. Occasionally I get up between 3 and 5am  for a cup of tea with Ghost. She likes it when I do that. Then back to bed until morning. 

That's it. Not very exciting... but with our  'Stay at home' order, not really so bad. 

Take care!  Sending you my thoughts, prayers, and virtual hugs!


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Found disinfecting wipes!

Life is strange. Yesterday (Saturday) morning we are over the moon because grandson just texted that he found us some disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer. Who would have thought this would make us so happy just a few weeks ago?

Well, if you don't laugh, you'll cry... and I prefer to laugh.

Now, what can I talk about today that will 'lighten up' these dark days?  

We 'Skyped' for the first time Friday afternoon with youngest son and grand daughter who is 7. That was weird, but fun! I guess I'm showing my age - but to be able to see and talk to family from afar is still amazing for me. Even our DIL came in from work while we were skyping (she is a nurse working in the infectious disease department at the hospital). She was exhausted, but popped onto the screen to say hello.

Now it's Sunday morning. I texted with some family and a few friends yesterday. One told me that her daughter had just flew back from California and had decided to go straight home whether than stop and spend a few days with parents here... just to be safe. I thought this was a very good move on daughter's part. 

Another is a family member in Louisiana who said how glad she was that she was able to visit Italy last summer before all this craziness started. 

OK... now on to another subject:

I am working on clay projects... well, really just more Cheeky Chickens as I only have so much clay at home. Some clay and tools are still locked up in the studio on the closed college campus. 

So, here I will share my work station (in the front room):

You might have to enlarge to see chickens in progress

and here's a close up of some of the ones I've just sculpted:

These still have to dry and then be underglazed... (and if this sheltering at home lasts very long, my flock will be HUGE!)

...and just for fun - here are the Pychedelic sisters:

Psychedelic Sister Chicks in their Easter plumage!

Going to close this with a picture of one of our outside feral cats and a possum eating outside the patio door... (actually there were 2 cats and several possums there before I ran to get my camera. Some ran off when they saw me. These 2 brave ones remained.)

That's it for today. Please self-isolate and stay well! 

(Remember when I had all that white space on my post a while back and couldn't make it go away. Now... when I 'view' my post, I see this word 'todday' at the bottom??? When I go to the 'edit' section, it won't let me go there to delete it... strange. Please just ignore it.)


Friday, March 20, 2020

Keeping this post light...

I've decided that I should probably journal about this Covid-19 Pandemic on a daily basis for my own record, but not here on this blog. This blog was originally meant to share our wonderful retirement adventures. 

Granted this Pandemic is part of that (it certainly is an adventure), but not the type I want to dwell on. Actually it falls into the category I found myself in when I was told I had Cancer 20 years ago. It's like a club you never wanted to join... but you're in it never-the-less. This year DH joined the club. 

Anyway, I digress. If you are interested in reading my daily journal, I've put it on "My Mulberry Days" blog... a blog I started and kind of drifted away from. I will try to write on this journal daily and post every 2 days.

But here on "Older but better..." I want to share good thoughts and happy times. I want to believe that in a few weeks (or months) this will be all behind us... and we will be stronger and better prepared for the next catastrophe (global or otherwise). Breathe in, breath out, move on.... 

While I was dusting my china cabinet today, I took down this Royal Albert tea set. It's called "Moonlight Rose" and it really is pretty. Since its rim is gold, it can't go into the microwave or the dishwasher, so is seldom used anymore. Thought I'd have tea in it this afternoon to boost my spirits. I collect pretty cups and saucers  (or did over the years) and I enjoyed using them by myself or for an event like a baby shower, etc. 

I did have a tea buddy who used to come over every Wednesday for tea... but she passed away a few years ago. She was 86 and a wonderful woman. I still miss her. 

Now a dear friend of mine and I have 'virtual' tea once a week and text or put our phones on speaker. We used to meet at my house or LaMadeleine's... but that was before we were all self-isolating.

Here are a few little items that I was dusting off from our china cabinet. 

Finky Mouse
finger puppets

turtle salt and pepper

All silly little things that were given to me... (and I love them)

But will start passing them down to my children or grandchildren to do with them what they will...

This is it for today. Just a silly posting about nothing important... just sharing a few little things that give me joy. 

Oh... and just another nice little thing that happened yesterday - our next door neighbor came by to see if we were alright. They are in their 40's or 50's and have college aged kids. I asked him is he was checking on his 'elderly' neighbors. He laughed and said that he would be glad to run errands for us. So thoughtful... does do your heart good.

Take care of yourselves, stay well,  and as always thanks for reading. 

Hugs (virtual),

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

One day at a time...

A friend sent me this today and I wanted to share it.  

Please click here to hear the words.

(You can skip the ads)

You don't have to be religious to feel the calming words...


Thursday, March 12, 2020

baby raccoons and kitten...

What's wrong with this picture?

I had to share this. It's just so cute (probably photo shopped, but still cute).  

Staying home, reading, writing the sequel to my book, working on some clay pieces, and checking Pinterest for cute pics and ideas...
This came from Pinterest (I think)

Oh, also watching streaming shows like "Love Hurts" and "Dr. Finley" on Acorn. Acorn is only $5/mo and is my favorite of all the others. We also have Netflix and Hulu. But Acorn has the British mysteries and shows out of Australia, Scotland, New Zealand. And the scenery is just amazing.

Well, this is short and sweet, but I wanted to post this cute pic and say hi. 

Not going to mention anything else going on... just good stuff.

As most of you know, I'm 74 and don't take any pills of any kind (well, Tylenol if needed). There are many reasons for this, but the 2 main ones are first, I usually get a bad reaction from pills and second, I have great difficulty swallowing anything bigger than a Tylenol caplet. 

But...  I am now taking Vitamin D3 - DH's Oncologist said it was really important at our age (especially since mine stays so low). Since there's a chance it might keep my spinal arthritis at bay, I decided to try it. Luckily the pills are tiny, so no problem there. I tried to take Centrum for women as our eye doctor recommended we take something with Lutein for our eyes. But I gave up on it since I had to cut the vitamins in half... and they were still difficult to swallow.

That's it. Hope all of you are well and taking care to stay that way!
Thanks for reading. Since we are supposed to be 'staying home' for the time being, it's nice to be able to share with you.


Now if we lived here, 
there wouldn't be any problem staying home...

Sunday, March 8, 2020

North Texas reporting in...

Just checking in. We're still here... although from all the news reports we are
 'old and compromised' 

but not to make light of a serious situation,
 we are doing our part:

1. Staying home as much as possible
2. Not traveling
3. Avoiding crowds and/or sick people
4. Washing our hands well and often
   (trying not to touch our face)
5. Not stockpiling or hoarding,  but do have enough water, soup, tp, and tea for about 2 weeks
6. Carrying sanitizer to use when touching surfaces (opening doors, etc.) 

Did I miss anything?

Since both of us have had the big C... and DH is now undergoing radiation, we are being careful. However, I've had a cough for 20 years... which my doctors have called a 'radiation cough' - likely due to an effect on my lungs or heart due to radiation. But my cough is not contageous. However, coughing these days around people can really empty an aisle... so I try not to... but I'm not always successful. I'm not sick... but who's to know. 

My Oncologist sent us a email message this week reiterating all the things the CDC has been saying. I also got the impression that we should put off annual exams (even dentals and eye appts) for the time being unless there is a present concern that needs to be addressed. 

My hope is that this virus is seasonal (like the flu) and that if we can prevent the spread as much as possible now,  it will peak and go away as the weather warms.

Anyway, right now I'm praying for all those that are affected - that they are well taken care of and will recover soon. 

Stay well! Take Care! And thanks for visiting. 

Adding a few pics of one of the outside feral cats and his conversation with a squirrel.

Might have to enlarge pic...


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

a bit of comfort...

peach pecan dump cake

With all that's going on in the world... I thought we needed a little 'comfort food'  -  so I made an old favorite from years ago - a peach pecan dump cake! DH and my grandson approved and ate it while it was still warm from the oven today. 

I won't say there's not a lot going on as there is... what with politics, Corona virus, weather-related catastrophes, and some personal medical concerns. But it does no good to dwell on these things (as everyone knows). I think each of us has to deal with life in our own way. As the saying goes, "It is what it is... " (and we can handle it)... at least this is what I've always told myself.

I don't dare try to predict the future results from the Primaries. I can only hope ("Hope springs eternal within the human breast"... Alexander Pope) and pray.

As for the Corona virus... as much as we refuse to panic or worry about the possible implications, I find they prey on our brains subconsciously.  Almost all of us have family or friends in areas that are already affected. We haven't bought masks or hoarded supplies. But we do try to avoid large gatherings, wash our hands constantly, and be basically cautious.

There is not much anyone can do about weather related catastrophes except pray for those affected, give donations, or physically help if possible. And personal medical concerns require choices and follow through... which sometimes drain us emotionally and physically (although we try not to admit it).

But when it comes down to it, despite it all,  how can we not be grateful for the years we've been given? DH and I will be 75 this year and have been married for 52 years. Life's had its ups and downs, but all in all, it's been a good life. Our daughter tells me that she doesn't think of us as 'old'... and I suppose that's good, but truth be told, we ARE old. 

And we miss Tux and Julie... that's for sure.  Ghost does too. She's still a little bewildered at being the only cat in the house. 

Guess I'm rambling now so I'd better close.  Thanks for visiting and I pray you and yours stay well.

Our cats... a few years ago