Tuesday, April 28, 2020

It hit home...

Our youngest son came by to borrow the truck yesterday. We haven’t seen  him since this ‘shelter at home’ started. His wife is a nurse and works in the Infectious Disease department at a local hospital. Yes, she is definitely on the front lines. 

Since DH and I are apparently at the vulnerable age... and DH is going through radiation, they have been keeping their distance for safety sake. We talk, text, and Skype... but I miss the company, hugs, and dinners together. 

What really hit me was when  our son came to the door masked... as I was... and we both social distanced.  But this was MY SON and I couldn’t hug him hello. I understand and accept it... but it made the seriousness of this pandemic hit home in an even bigger way.

Our oldest grandson lives here with us, but our other children and grandchildren live further away. Of course they’re also sheltering at home for the most part.  Oldest son and his wife work in a hospital in Hawaii (yes, front lines again).  Daughter and her family live in the hill country so they are away from city crowds, but do work in essential businesses. We  all talk and text a lot and everyone checks in on everyone... but still there's that underlining buzz of worry (us for them and them for us).

We all try to act that everything is fine... and although it's really not, at least it's bearable for those of us that have food, shelter, and are luckily not alone. And truthfully, I'm willing to continue this sheltering and social distancing forever if it means not losing any of the ones I love to this virus.

But I also know that the situation is complicated... and unprecedented.... and everyone is trying to find their way. Guess we can only hang in there and hope that common sense and medical expertise will win out.

Someone had this on their blog not too long ago (sorry I forgot who), and I liked it. Facing this pandemic together through blogging as well as all the other technological wonders makes it more bear-able (no pun intended). 

And again, thanks for reading. I appreciate your being there more than you know. 


Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sunday morning thoughts...

front window Sunday morning

I was enjoying the sunny view from my front window this morning.  Actually I was watching a little green lizard sun himself on one of the outside bushes. You can't see him, but thought I'd share the view. The sign at the top of the window says "Welcome" with the picture of a black cat etched on it. 

This is another view of our backyard taken a few days ago from the kitchen. It was in the evening when the sun and shade made the yard so appealing. There's a black feral cat sitting out there to the right.

back yard in the evening


Life continues during this 'stay at home' period. We're more than willing to follow the CDC guidelines which simply advise us to stay at home and wear a mask if going out. We walk the neighborhood on occasion (wearing our masks), but don't walk as often as we should - due to pollen allergies. I think most of us use home delivery or curb-side pickup for groceries... and that's about the only outing we get.

I think the younger generation (50 and under) find this lock-down more difficult than us (baby boomers plus) for many reasons. They are more locked in to their get out, eat out, etc. habits, and they  more than likely need to work to pay for groceries, etc., And  they have young children in the home all day with them who need to be home-schooled! I can see how difficult it must be for them.

We (retirees) may have more vulnerability due to age and underlying conditions (although I think all ages seem to be vulnerable), but we have learned to live on a fixed income and stay home for the most part. We miss being around family... and I really miss hugs,  but these are small sacrifices to make for everyone's safety. 

I know that some are protesting for things to open up and I understand that they need their jobs to pay for food, rent, etc. for their families. But I guess I don't understand how their families will survive if these same workers contact the virus and die... or bring it home to their children. 

This pandemic is so widespread that I'm not sure there is a right answer. Guess we must all do what we think is best. 


This is a lacy baby blanket that I started working on a while back... and need to finish it.

This is a small one I finished.

And this is another that is heavier and will be larger (more of a crib bedspread) - but using the same yarn and a single crochet stitch.


turtle stones

dragonfly stones

I saw both of these on Pinterest and want to make them in my yard!

Ghost playing under quilt

Have a wonderful Sunday! And as always, thanks for reading. I hope you are all staying home and staying well. 


Friday, April 24, 2020

scratching the bottom of the barrel here...

This is my 'mellow' look... have tea and book... need nap

Running short of things to post (as is everyone I'm sure), so  started going through some old boxes of manuscripts, essays, poems, etc. Came across this I wrote back years ago when we had Gigi...

"Sometimes late at night when the rest of the house-hold is asleep, I sit propped up in my bed with the lamp on, going through the day's events, and planning the next. This is the time that Gigi, our little gray tabby, seems to enjoy the most. Perhaps because she has me all to herself then. If I'm writing or reading, she's right there on top of the paper or book playing with the pencil or biting at the pages. Sometimes she stares so intently at the page that it makes me wonder... 
Other times she tries her hardest to get me to play. One of her favorites is 'flip the tail' - she flips as I attempt to catch it. She's very good. Another favorite is 'pounce'. She'll eye a possible target (usually my foot under the covers), wind up by wiggling her hind end a few times, then leaps straight up into the air and lands on the target, where she then pretends to tear it to shreds with her back claws and teeth. Actually I'm convinced that she greatly exaggerates her leaps for dramatic effect. She knows that these antics make me laugh. 
'Cat-watching' is a great relaxation sport. Sometimes I scribble down a few lines while I watch. Even though they will never make poetic history, they do convey my feelings." 

Here are a few:

Watching You

Watching you clean yourself - so fastidiously
Watching you play - so rambunctiously 
I know I feel a pride akin to motherhood
Having raised you from a kit
You're a happy contented cat.

Flip Your Tail

Flip your tail I know the game
Entice ad tease to no avail
It's late and I have got to sleep
Your game of play will have to keep.

The next pic is Ghost's most likely reaction to my poems:

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

a mishmash...

You may have seen this. It was on Facebook (I think). When I read this, I couldn't help but laugh. Now he has 2 identical cats.... (ha! that's so great!)


Also I've been thinking about trying some new recipes. I love to cook, especially love to bake, and have saved a lot of new ideas from the Pinterest site.  However, I may see a picture of something that looks wonderful, then I read the instructions and ingredients and I'm afraid that my reaction is similar to this next poster.


Do any of you remember these cookies?


We used to make these years ago. My kids remember them.

And does anyone remember these glass coffee cups?

Nescafe' coffee cups

Sorry it's not a great picture. I just snapped it inside my cup cupboard. We used these for the longest... and I think we had to send away for them. They are a very thick glass with a world map etched on them.

Going to close now as  DH and I have to leave in a few minutes to go pick up our Central Market curb-side order.  

Ready to venture out...

Monday, April 20, 2020

Grooming, baking, sewing...

Grooming the Ghost

Ghost being brushed

Ghost loves being brushed. When I stopped (last pic), she turns and looks at me like "Why'd you stop?"


Neighbor came by a few minutes ago with some rice krispie treats. We talked by the front door (staying physically distant) for a few minutes. She and her husband are home with their 3 college-age kids. We appreciate them checking on their 'elderly' neighbors...


Beyond that:

Made another peach pecan dump cake!

Sent off another mask to a friend in New Orleans. Her daughter is very sick in a group home down there. Please pray for her.

Got an email notifying me that the yarn I ordered to finish the baby blanket I'm crocheting should be delivered tomorrow. (hurray!)

The sun came out for a little while this afternoon... wanted to walk, but ended up watching "Groundhog Day" on TV and sewing yet another medical mask. 

and so goes another day under house arrest (I mean 'sheltering at home'). Don't get me wrong, I think it's the right and best thing to do under the circumstances. Letting down our guard now would just negate all the good we may have accomplished. 

So please hang in there, stay home, practice social/physical distancing, and pray that people have the good sense to take the necessary precautions. 


Oh, I couldn't remember if I had ever posted my finished (well, not finished as they still have to be fired) chickens and fox (also pie bird and salt box). I had to send a pic of these to our pottery instructors since our class is now online. So here's the ones I sent her. (If I already posted this, forgive me for the oversight).

Saturday, April 18, 2020

searching for hope...

I'm a day late posting this... but yesterday got away from me.

However, I was reading sayings Friday night... looking for something that might lift my spirits. Saw this poster and thought, Yes!! We will not go down without a fight. I will follow the CDC's guidelines and when there's no more I can do, then I'll... 

Then I read this...

and thought...

So, Thank you! Thank all of you for being there. Thank you for reading my rambling thoughts. We are all in this together and together we'll handle it. My old standby for when things were difficult. "It is what it is, and I can handle it" is still good.

Take care, my dear friends, and have a good weekend... you've got this.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

nothing much...

Sonny and Sammie - 2 backyard feral cats

Along with Fluff, the handsome black and white cat that I featured not too long ago, these 2 neighborhood wanderers are who we call Sonny and Sammie. They do romp about the neighborhood, but can be generally found out in our back area.

As you can tell, I'm scrambling for something to post today. Today is day 30 of our 'sheltering at home'... and although I spent the morning making a few masks for my cousin in New Orleans, I'm finding today a bit tedious. 

Walked around the house looking for something to photograph. Came up with these few things...                                                         


The first 2 pics were my mother-in-law's treasures and I inherited them when she passed .

The third pic is a miniature harp that I picked up when we had season tickets to the Dallas Symphony (before retirement).  We used to go on Sunday afternoons.

I did Skype with my cousin in New Orleans yesterday. She had never tried Skype and since I've done it all of twice, I was showing her how it worked. She's 2 years older than me... and I'm 3 years older than our younger female cousin (also in New Orleans). Our moms were 3 sisters who spent most of their time together... so us three girls spent a lot of time together growing up. I do miss them, but we keep in touch (by text and Facebook). And I try to spend some time each summer there... (not this summer though).

New Orleans is having a hard time with this Pandemic. Not that other places aren't... but per capita it's hit them hard. Mardi Gras probably didn't help. From what I read this past week, Texas has had about 14,000 cases with about 300 deaths... whereas Louisiana has had about 22,000 cases and more than 1000 deaths.

Well, I didn't plan to bring all that up. 

Tux and Julie by the fire

Can we just go back to early December... when we still had Tux and Julie... and were clueless about this Pandemic?

Sorry this wasn't much of a post. But I'm trying to post every 2 days so that if we run out of things to do at home, we can at least read blogs. 

Take care, stay home, and be safe!


Monday, April 13, 2020

strange things...

Happy Easter 2020!

Yesterday I was looking for an Easter Bunny to add to my post... and came across this one that was sitting in the cabinet with an old ceramic chess set I'd made years ago. If you can't tell, the king is the dog, the cat is the queen, rats, bunnies, and snakes take the place of the other pieces. Birds are the pawns. It's unusual, but I enjoyed making it. It was one of our projects a few years back.

Hope you all had a fairly - if not happy... but healthy safe quiet Easter. So strange... no kids, no candy, no church services, etc! But we did text, talk, or Skype with everyone. Youngest grand daughter showed me her Easter basket and goodies on the screen... and son said there were probably still Easter eggs hidden around the house. 

DH and I had a rather strange thing happen. We both became very dizzy Sunday afternoon. It was right after I had taken out a pork roast from the oven and he was slicing it up for dinner later. We both tasted it, and deemed it good. Then later (maybe 30 mins or so later) I had one of my ocular migraines (affects only my eyes for about 10-15 minutes), then dizzy (the dizziness was new). DH told me later that he was dizzy too???  

We couldn't figure out why we would both be dizzy - checked our CO2 gadget, it was OK. Decided the only thing we both had in common was tasting the roast... seemed a bit bazaar, but ditched it anyway. I was dizzy all night. Better today. 

Listened to news at 11am today. And daughter in law that works in the Infectious Disease Area at the local hospital sent us this:

Texas numbers update

and I will close with  a 2020 Easter basket (what we could find around the house) and Ghost... enjoying her quiet Easter on DH's chair :

And to all of you out there - please stay home and stay safe!


Friday, April 10, 2020

and it continues...

Easter decoration on our front porch

Serviceman came with new transmission and fixed our washing machine Thursday morning. Thank goodness. It's been a week without washing and although we don't need good clothes, bath and kitchen towels and washcloths are about out. Yes, we could wash them by hand... but don't want to do that unless totally unavoidable.

It cost almost double what the 2nd hand Maytag cost us years ago. But since we weren't going out to shop for a new one... fixing it was the practical choice. Besides, I think the new ones would have been a lot more (and no, I'm not going to check... what's done is done).

Oh, and our excursion to curb side pickup at Central Market turned out to be an especially easy experience. We pulled into the side of the store where they had parking all set up with signs saying to text this number when you arrive. Then they come out and view a sign you hold up with your name on it (don't even have to open the car window), go back in and retrieve your order, put it in the back and wave! Really easy. The only difficult thing is getting a 'time slot' for pickup. 

Grocery items

Working on under-glazing cheeky chicken flock... 2 injuries reported... both to wing area.

see tape with red cross on 2 wings?

Wings can become unattached very easily while still in the greenware stage... as the clay dries, careful handling is necessary. Apparently I wasn't careful enough. But with a little slip and patience, they should be alright to get through the first firing.

Now I have a blogging question:

Some comments to my blog come through in foreign languages. When they show up in the 'comments awaiting  moderation' section, I don't know what they are saying so I just don't post them. I know that Blogger has a translation app for the posts themselves, but can it be used on the 'awaiting moderation'  section? I don't see any way to do it, but then I'm not particularly technically inclined. So if you know the answer, I would appreciate if you would let me know how to do this. 

Hope you are all staying home, staying well, and staying safe! 


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Medical masks - for dummies

Trying my hand at sewing medical masks

1st attempt - not too bad

Different pattern 

I'm not much of a seamstress... having never really done any real sewing. But I do machine quilt a bit. So I thought I'd try to make a few medical masks for me and my daughter.  DH has one that they gave him at the doctor's - and I do have one that a friend made me - but I thought 'how hard can it be?'  

First pattern I found was pretty easy... that's the top one here. This second pattern came out neater, but I had to rip out seams 3 times - probably won't do that one again. And I didn't have any elastic, so used my grand daughter's pony tail holders (which are not flat and don't sew too easily) for behind the ears.

Anyway, now my daughter will have 2 and I will have 2. The first one has a pouch in it where I cut up a new hyper-allergenic charcoal filter vacuum cleaner bag and inserted it in the pouch for extra protection. The second one only has 3 layers of fabric. 


The serviceman is supposed to be here tomorrow to repair our washing machine. He had to order a new transmission. It's been a week without being able to wash clothes... but since we can't go anywhere, it wasn't too much of a hardship.  

Also we are trying curb side delivery tomorrow for the first time. Ordered over a week ago, but all slots were filled until the 9th. Think we will try delivery service next time.

I also heard some talk about letting people go back to work soon???
I can't believe this. Even if they have to be 'supposedly' well... seems a bit dangerous when we haven't even reached the peak.


On a lava beach on Oahu last August

What a difference a few months make...

Going back there in my mind now

listening to the sound of the waves crashing


breathing in all that fresh air

(Forever grateful for that moment)

Hugs and Prayers to all of you,

Monday, April 6, 2020

a trivial epiphany... and more

Ghost says hi!

I realized something this past weekend that isn't terribly epiphanic (is that a word?). One of the things that has come out of this 'shelter at home' order is that there is no rush to do anything.  I do like that as I've never been good at rushing.  Some people seem to thrive on it (people who work in Emergency clinics for example). 

When I was young, one of my uncles used to call me "Pokey" because I did things so slow (was always the last to get up from the table as I ate slowly, etc.) I still do. I hate rushing - for any reason.

But in life sometimes it is necessary. When I worked at Veterinary Hospitals (as an Animal Medical Tech - long story as to why I got my BS in Animal Science but never tried to get into Veterinary school - maybe another time.) - anyway, when I worked in these Animal Hospitals, I loved the work - but many of my colleagues chose to work the Emergency Clinics (not me - too fast moving - not my thing). 

So now when I go through my list of things to do for the day (and yes, I do make a daily list), if I didn't get to do one or two - it's like 'OK, just move it to tomorrow - no sweat'. We're certainly not going anywhere...

This may all seem a bit trivial... but to me it was like an epiphany.
Any epiphanies for you lately?


A friend sent me this pic....  could be my daughter's house (if you add a horse or 2) - but for us, you'd have to exchange the dog and chickens for raccoons and possums.

Do you know what these are?  Japanese hot cakes! I saw them on Pinterest and had to try them.

my attempt at making them

I used a round thing I had for either pancakes or eggs... 

somewhat close to  original

They tasted good - not that different from regular pancakes just a bit fluffier.  I also didn't have any buttermilk so had to add some lemon juice to regular milk to make the buttermilk - so they had a slightly lemony flavor. We liked it and may add a little additional lemon the next time. If you'd like the recipe and don't have access to Pinterest, let me know and I will post it.

Hope you are all staying home and staying well! I love having you virtually visit...  and please take care... these are strange and somewhat dangerous times.


Saturday, April 4, 2020

Fluff... an outside feral cat

One of our outside ferals (doesn't he have the sweetest face?)

This is him again...  He is a long-haired black and white that was brought here by his mom along with his 2 siblings (another black and white and a long haired black) when they were about 6 weeks old. The other two show up in the yard on occasion, but this one (we call Fluff) stays close by most of the time. He is an extremely happy go lucky young cat that flies around the back yard jumping at bugs and rolling on his back.

He is always happy to see either of his siblings, but gets really excited when his long haired black sibling shows up. They cavort around the yard like two kittens and make us laugh. And we really need to laugh right now!


fox in the hen house

Finished my first little fox (for this round). Can you see him there in the middle?  The Cheeky Chickens don't seem too disturbed. Will start under-glazing them all next week...

It is cold outside this morning (43 F). I really wish it would warm up and the sun would come out. 

Oh, and I have a new supply of books to read! My friend who downloads books to her kindle downloaded a new batch of mysteries for me (I have her 'old' kindle)

And another good friend (who buys from Amazon) dropped off a bag of books this week. And... I downloaded one from kindle and ordered one from Barnes and Noble (which arrived yesterday).  So... besides writing the sequel to my Time After Time, I'm catching up on my reading! 

Hope you all have a safe 'Stay at Home' Saturday! I love sharing these little bits and pieces of our life with you... and reading about yours. We are really all one big family... and we will get through this together! Stay well!