Banned from Europe
I guess this is not a huge surprise.The news this morning let us know that U.S. travelers will not be allowed in Europe.
That's okay. I already put my Italian tapes away. I hid the beautiful travel book that showed stunning photos of Cinque Terre's coast. I already knew we would be canceling our trip in October.
That's okay. We'll put it off. But not too long!
I don't want to be hiking those rugged trails along the coast, when I'm 90.
I also would rather not pose for photos, wearing a mask.
It's nice to dream about the day, when we can eventually do this trip, safely!
Back in May
All this at-home-time, is giving me lots of opportunity for plant appreciation!
For Mother's Day, the kids helped out with that. Scott & Chali gave me a fun, Home Garden Kit. Heidi and Jamie gave me a beautiful plant, already blooming and lovely! I was excited to begin enjoying a new healthy focus.
I opened up my kit, like an eager Scientist/Chef!
Sage, basil, thyme, parsley, cilantro!
I had so much fun! I was thrilled when the plants began to grow. I will not show you what they look like now. Have I really killed them all? How can this be? Luckily I have more seeds.
In March I bought flowers for the pots on the patio. It was before we went into "lockdown" and I was determined to enjoy that yard. They looked so pretty. I never thought to take a photo.
Then they started to look dreary. I took a photo because I wanted to have an image of what they looked like, before I nursed them back to health! I was sure I could do it! But they got worse and I pulled them out. What is my problem?
My hibiscus plant has been fighting bugs for months. I haven't seen a bloom all spring. I tried everything I could find in the garage, but nothing did the trick.
The plant has recently begun to get green and healthy! A few days ago, I studied the leaves with my glasses and cheered to see no bugs. And look what I found yesterday!
Oh how I needed this festive bloom! There is hope in my backyard!
Late June 2020
We lucked out in early June, but now the humidity is kicking in.
Don and I could wimp out and stay inside all day. But, we want to get out for walks and we want to enjoy the yard. It's hot, but we need to absorb sunshine.
Feels Like 1960's
This summer feels like the summers of my childhood, when the days were hot and long. We stayed close to home and often complained, "I'm bored!" I didn't go to summer camps or even swimming pools when I was very young. When we got hot and sticky, we played in hoses and sprinklers
This 1964 photo, was taken in a park, in Staten Island. I loved that crazy sprinkler and I loved my flip flops. We called them thongs.
I haven't played in a sprinkler in a long time, but I had a chance the other morning.
I was on a run, when I came upon a little water excitement!
I paused to snap a pic and thought about veering off to avoid getting wet. Then, I decided to just enjoy the fun.
The cool water felt refreshing! I was a little surprised to suddenly realize I wasn't the only one heading right through the sprinklers. I saw a woman coming towards me.
As she came closer, I was able to see the woman was wearing something special. She wore a mask over her face and over that, she wore a clear, protective face shield! I've seen that before, but never walking through sprinklers! I stepped into the grass and tried not to laugh. That would have been okay, since she wouldn't have been able to see me. She didn't have windshield wipers and she appeared to be a little blinded.
I suddenly knew it was 2020, not 1964!
It wasn't summer of 1967, either. There were no face shields and mask wearing families in 1967. But there were fine yard sprinklers that rotated back and forth!
Wish I could go back and enjoy that hot and muggy backyard in Tallahassee, Florida!
For the last 5 days, the weather has matched my mood. We've had long rains and muggy, breeze-less mornings. These are the downer news updates that match the weather...
The number of global Covid cases reached 10 million.
Many people are still ranting over the freedom to NOT wear a mask.
The hospitals in our area are gearing up for ICU bed shortages, just like
Texas, Florida and Arizona, are emerging as the county's latest epicenters.
U.S. cases have surpassed 2.5 million.
Those are my covid related worries. There are other thoughts on my mind...
I've been keeping an eye out for rainbows, but I haven't seen one since this rainbow, a month ago.
I need another bit of rainbow distraction.
Right now, I'm thinking about our special neighbors, dealing with heartbreaking loss... in a time when hugs and even casseroles are difficult to offer. I'm worrying about a friend, who had her worrisome surgery postponed, due to covid issues.
I'm sad that both our kids and spouses live a couple thousand miles away. Poor Scott has 5 stitches in his foot right now, from a little mishap. I can't run over with a card and cookies.
I need to make my daily call to Dad. But I'm tired and I'm running out of clever converstaion starters.
I'm going to keep an eye out. We're due for another rainbow.
If I were a kid, I would crawl up in this tree and just hide out for the day. There's nothing good about today.
There is a huge statewide spike in Covid cases. Yesterday, there were nearly 6,000 new cases reported in Texas. The Texas Medical Center (I believe the largest in the world) filled all their ICU beds and created a COVID "war room"
Luckily, our governor has finally taken notice. He ordered bars to close and restaurants to reduce seating capacity. Elective surgeries are being put off again.
But, this list of worries is not the saddest part of the day. The worst part came with a phone call.
This morning, I got a call from a friend with news of an unexpected death. That is all I will say. I'm troubled and heartbroken and confused, but my feelings are nothing, compared to the emotions of my friend. We have shared news and hugs many times over the years. I can't believe I can't run give her a hug.
Thinking of Trees
So, I won't go climb a tree to escape right now. I'd probably fall and have to go to ER. That's not something anyone wants to do right now.
So I'll think about trees. That's always been a soothing escape for me. If I can't climb them, I can look at them. If I'm inside and I can't see any, I can close my eyes and draw them in my head.
I'm not making that up. It works for me.
I've been griping about mask-griping, for months.
This little squirrel (who looks out, over TX 71) has been my Facebook profile photo for a long time.
Today, I changed my profile pic, to this one. Maybe it looks a little sassy, with hands on hips. Masks have become so political, especially on FB.
But now the county we live in, has a mask orders in affect.
Some I'm sure are mad, but I'm relieved.
What's Your Excuse?
If I see you in a store without a mask, you better have a good excuse.
Even Van Gogh is making an attempt. I know masks can smudge make up. I know they're hot. I know we can't show off our lipstick color. But most of us are lucky. We don't have to wear them for 8+ hours.
I Like These
I've spotted some good reminders.
I have yet to see anything very clever, that argues for the freedom to not to wear masks.
So Many Styles
You'd think some people would be excited about all the style and fabric options.
These comfy masks were made by my incredible neighbor. In March, she made masks for friends on our street. The polka-dotted one was my very first mask!
I found out that my friend who is an artist, had some of her paintings featured on masks. I ordered some sweet koi fish and elephants for me. Don went for a retro space theme.
Don loves a tiki theme as much as me, so he ordered us some tropical masks from Trader Joe's! We'll need holes for our straws, with these!
I think I'm ready to order a few more masks now. I might need a mask for every mood.
Seriously though. If masks are required... and if people really start wearing them, we really may slow down this spread down. The hospitals won't become overwhelmed and fewer will die.
Plus, mask orders could boost the economy.
I know I'll feel safer getting out there shopping, if I know others are wearing masks.
We all need to protect each other!
Don has it easy. He's been cutting his own hair for years. He looks pretty much the same, except for the quarantine beard... which has now bcome just a mustache.
Don's had some fun with his hair growth. I have not.
I was long overdo for a hair cut & color, when my salon closed down in April.
But suddenly it didn't matter what my hair looked like anymore. I pulled it back in ponytails and shrugged in the mirror at the gray roots.
Then I saw this photo that Don took a couple weeks ago. Sheesh. I never see the side of my head, that way. Long and stringy and some creepy coloring!
I called for an appointment a while back and now June 24th is suddenly here! Should I go? The National news is telling us scary things about the covid spread in Texas!
But I didn't cancel this time. I went ahead and drove over, reminding myself that I'd made my appointment early, so I would be the first client.
I knew my stylist would be wearing a mask and that I would be too.
When I arrived I was glad to see this sign on the door.That sign actually just went up on the door today. Today is the first day that our county is requiring masks in businesses. I am thrilled.
I'm not thrilled to share this photo. I look really bad. I was also kind of anxious. How was this going to work?
But I told my stylist (who happens to be wonderful) that I was feeling worried. She moved her equipment cart, with shampoos and blowdryers and scissors, down the hall to a room that is not being used right now.
She wore her mask and I wore mine. I took the loops off and held the mask to my face when needed. I was glad to hear her share her concerns about people not taking this pandemic seriously. We were together 2 hours, but I felt safe and happy. Her job has become much harder, I tipped well.
I was relieved that I got to go home and take off my mask.
I posed with my elephant mask and felt lighter, with no hair hanging on my shoulders.
Maybe I should have just let my gray hair take over. Maybe I should have let Don chop off a few inches.
Too bad I have nowhere to go, with my freshly fixed hair.
I'm still not tempted to dine out in a restaurant. But that doesn't mean I don't miss dining out. Our carryouts never taste as good when eaten at home. Especially our favorite Chinese and Thai foods. Sushi does not taste good, eaten from a plastic container.
But, I've decided the proper dishes help a lot! Our feast from Mori Sushi tasted much more exciting, when we put it on these little dishes.
I think I bought these plates at an Asian grocery store years ago. I can't believe we still have them.
I'm so glad, because I needed them, so I could pretend I was dining at Panda Garden.
Luckily I found a few of these special spoons tucked into a drawer, so I could properly eat my Vietnamese pho. The little plastic spoon that came with the carryouts looked like it couldn't hold the weight of all those heavy veggies and chicken!
When we finally get a vaccine, I'm going to go to Houston's Asia Town and pick one of their 100+ restaurants for lunch. Then I will go have a Chinese foot massage! Yes!
... During Pandemic Times
I don't know any woman who loves her annual mammogram appointment.
But it's even more stressful these days. In recent months, we were encouraged to put off non-essential appointments. I could have procrastinated. But I was happy to go get this done. This pandemic might be crazier, later. Who knows.
I was able to get an early appointment, so that was nice. They even had the door propped open, for more airflow... I guess. I was happy to see the reminder about masks. And I was glad to see such an empty waiting area.
I put on my hideous blue gown, which clashed a little with my mask. I did the mammogram thing. And then I had to do the ultrasound thing... because 4 years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have to be sure.
But I had a nice surprise. I had a technician I've never seen before. She was the most gentle, relaxed person ever. No holding my breath or making fists. She was a magic technician. I left in a good mood.
Hope my results are good ones.
No Kids and Dads Together
So here we go again. One more holiday or celebration, with just the 2 of us!
We had no kids to celebrate with us. And I was hundreds of miles away from my own dad. But at least we enjoyed a very unhealthy breakfast, on the balcony.
I was able to get the Sunday New York Times for a special treat. We haven't looked at a real newspaper in years!
When I called my dad, I told him I was looking at the Sunday Times. That's one of the fun things Dad enjoys weekly, while being trapped in his locked-down assisted living facility in Missouri. I thought we could look at our papers and share a little. But we didn't actually want to talk about Trump going to Tulsa... or the culture wars in churches... or Trump firing the prosecutor.
It rained a bit during the day, so it was cozy in the house. Don and I watched a "Master Class" on the internet.
Wolfgang Puck taught us how to cook Pepper Steak with Red Wine Sauce. Luckily Don likes to cook, so he wasn't a bit bothered by cooking on Father's Day.
I made humongous twice baked potatoes, so there was no room for healthy green vegetables on our plates.
The highlight of the day was Zooming with our kids. It's not quite as good as being together. After Zooming, we had to have some gift time. With our stay-at-home time, internet shopping has been a little too easy! Mother's and Father's Day gift time was a little overdone this year!
Our last bit of celebrating had to do with cheesecake. I didn't trust my cooking, since I've had some major flubs lately. So I happily picked one up from Whole Foods, early in the morning. I haven't gone inside a grocery store since mid March. I broke my no-grocery-shopping-record, to be sure we had something sweet for Daddy Don!
Happy Father's Day!
I started this complaining list/blog, in May 2016. I posted 200 gripes about my breast CANCER and then I was done.
On March 13, 2020, I started venting all over again, when another disease (starting with a C) interfered with my life. This time it was the invasion of COVID and it affected every person. I ranted for a year, until I got my COVID vaccine in March 2021.
CORONARY Artery Disease was the reason I restarted this blog on September 26, 2021. This time it was my hubby Don, who was dealing with a worry that started with the letter "C".
Coronavirus and Cancer, Coronary Artery Disease! All are evil, but none can totally get me down... if I vent! I usually end up feeling a little more positive at the end of each post!
Navigating This Mess!
The most recent post is at the top, from coronary posts in 2022, back to cancer posts in 2016.
To find past posts, look below the "Archives" section, to find "Categories".