What to Do?
I love Halloween. It's been a million years since my own kids trick-or-treated, but I still love carving pumpkins and handing out treats.
But what about this year? Do I want kids crowding on the porch? Will parents even allow their kids to go door to door?
We only get a handful of kids each year anyway, so I figured I could find a safe way.
I put a mask on Jack and then decided nobody wants to see a pumpkin in a mask...especially a flaming mask. I use candles.
Don made chili, because we always do that on Halloween and I made my plan.
I wanted to keep kids off the porch, so I put out a bell so kids could alert me. Hand sanitizer? I knew there was little chance anyone would use it, but it was there.
I didn't want tons of leftovers, so I bought only a little candy. Then I worried. What if I run out? I supplemented with some wrapped fig cookies that we happened to have on hand... odd and curious cookies from the international store.
Then I wondered if kids would cringe and say, "What...?" Like I did, when I got a can of Campbell Soup one year, when I was a trick-or-treating gypsy.
My Sweet Butterfly!
All the prep was worth it, just to have some fun with my little Butterfly Neighbor! When I heard the bell ring through the open window, I threw on my own mask and grabbed the basket.
My sweet friend turned around and showed me her wings and I asked how old she was. "You're four? Then you need at least 4 treats!" I scooped up 4 offerings, with my tongs and plopped them in her blue pumpkin. I will never forget her little face, smiling behind her mask.
A few other kids came. All happy and polite and most with masks... 2020 style. One little "Lacrosse Player" used his lacrosse stick to reach for his candy.
It was a perfect night for trick or treating. Balmy, with a full blue moon AND it was a Saturday! But I can't say it was a perfect Halloween.
The Smart Financial Center in Sugar Land is where it's all happening.
I remember months ago when I saw tents go up in the parking lot. Covid testing, near us? It seemed surreal. The tents are still in the lot, ready for drive-by testing. But now, there are also voters lining up outside the huge building, waiting to cast their ballots on the last day of early voting.
Records are being broken across the country for early voting.
At the same time, the U.S. is breaking records for Covid cases.
It makes me worried to think about how many people checked 2 things off their list today. I got tested for Covid, then I went and stood in line and voted.
Today, 9 million voters have cast their ballots in Texas!
That's more than the total number of voters in Texas in 2016! We still have 4 days until Election Day!
All the focus is on election right now. So, I'll go off on a sports tangent. At least there have been a few sports distractions, for those who crave it.
I haven't watched a thing, but back in September I was surprised when I heard the NFL season had started up. Then suddenly there was controversy. I've heard that some refuse to watch NFL, because of their focus on racial injustice.
Usually we do watch the World Series. Totally lost track and didn't even know it happened, this year.
The day after the Series ended, I saw clips on TV. Evidently Clayton Kershaw was pulled out and isolated during the game, when his Covid test came back positive. However, he came out onto the field to celebrate his first time winning the World Series title. There are too many things wrong with this story.
I'm not a big sports fan and I'm not really into chess either. But now I hear that Competitive Chess has surged in popularity, thanks to the pandemic.
This news actually cracks me up and delights me. Andrea Botez is a funny, competitive, dynamic, Chess Queen. There are chess fans out there, watching and cheering on chess matches all over the world.
I might need to dig out the old board and pieces!
Yesterday we got home from our Missouri trip to see my dad. Weather was lousy on our driving days and we weren't really up for meandering.
I still had a good time staring out the window in Arkansas. I missed a lot of good photo ops, but managed to grab my phone and snap a few shots from the car window. I loved those pumpkin hay rolls... one, with a mask!
But when I spotted this park in Harrison, Arkansas I shrieked! It was the funny slide that caught my eye.
I made Don do a U-turn and drive up to the park. He opted to sit in the warm car, while I made a beeline for the slide. I remember it from a park in Grinnell, Iowa. I was small and the slide seemed monstrous!
I was giddy as I pondered the steep and slippery slide. I remember my older brother skillfully making it to the top. I was too young. My sister called it the Piano Slide. I can see why.
I wandered and grinned to myself and took a stupid selfie. I recognized all the Miracle Playground Equipment! They made this stuff just outside of our town in Iowa.
The park was empty. More from weather than Covid probably. I enjoyed having it to myself. Don doesn't share these memories, so I didn't force him to get out and play.
As we drove along later, I texted my sibs to see what they remembered. I looked on the internet and found the slide's odd name. "Earn-A-Slide". Makes sense.
I don't have photos of the old Piano Slide in Grinnell, but I do have this one. I'm wearing my Grinnell College sweatshirt.
Today I am feeling so mad at myself that I didn't climb that slide. I could have done it... I think I could have done it!
So today we are back in TX and Don and I headed off on a walk. I put on my (larger) Grinnell College sweatshirt. I told Don I really regretted not climbing that darn slide, in Arkansas. I even had the sweatshirt in the car. Perfect photo op. I'm sure I could have dragged Don from the car to cheer me on.
This is what the pandemic does to us! It makes us extra nostalgic and it makes us feel anxious to do the silly things, that we might never have a chance to do again.
100 years ago, women gained the right to vote. This seems incredibly important right now. Why haven't I given it more thought? How I wish I had asked my grandmothers when they were alive, about their thoughts and memories of the suffragette movement.
100 years ago, these messages were designed by the artist and suffragette, Rose O'Neill. The second image is a reminder that Spanish Influenza was still a huge concern in 1920. Voting and Pandemics! Big issues then. Big issues now.
I only heard about Rose O'Neill, a year ago. She's best known for the Kewpie Doll image that she created in her drawings and illustrations.
Yesterday, Don and I literally spotted "Rose O'Neill Road" from the highway. I remembered the name and looked the museum up on my phone. I quickly called and asked about visiting. We arrived a few minutes later.
Museum During the Pandemic
Sometimes things fall into place. I was able to have a safe and private tour with Susan, who could have given me a 5 hour tour with all her knowledge.
However, I told her I was trying to keep it extra short, (and safe) since I had a husband waiting in the car. Not my favorite way to see a museum, but I couldn't just drive by.
The gallery was filled with O'Neill's illustrations and art from her long career.
There was a Norman Rockwell feel to some. And and eerie fairytale feel to her "sweet monsters".
I remember my grandmother had a Kewpie Doll. Where is that now?
So many people mix up the Kewpie doll and Precious Moments figures... or even the Campbell Soup Kids. O'Neill's Kewpies began as illustrations. They were so much more, before they ever became dolls.
I hated rushing, but I was in and out pretty quickly. Before heading to the car, I dashed down the path to take in the gardens and absorb some of the colorful forest, surrounding.
It was a treat seeing the grounds and the house, with no one around. I'm not even sure what this sculpture is?
The hardest part was leaving before I had a chance to tour the house, which was actually rebuilt after a fire in the forties. I left with so many questions. I have questions about this somewhat under appreciated artist. I want to know more about the suffrage movement AND I want to peek at my grandmother's old diary. Did she vote in 1920?
Along with a zillion people, Don and I got hooked on the Ozark Netflix series, last spring. We cringed a lot. It was not the most calming thing to watch, for pandemic distraction.
I also read Bill Geist's book for lockdown-light-reading. I loved it, but it also did not give the Ozarks a very good spotlight.
I have good memories of the Missouri Ozarks, that go back to childhood. I was happy that we could squeeze in some Ozark driving, on our travels to see my dad in Springfield.
Seeing fall colors from the car, was some pretty satisfying and safe entertainment, for the third season of this pandemic!
Masks in Ozark, MO?
Don and I have always been curious about the town named Ozark. We took a drive. There wasn't much to see. I took 2 photos.
I did not take a photo of the small crowd on the street corner, waving handmade signs. "Honk, if you're against wearing masks!" We didn't honk. I did put on my mask and wave, as we drove by. I read later that the small town had recently made masks mandatory.
We drove on, to see the town of Rockaway Beach. There wasn't much to see there either.
So we got out of the car and posed like tourists, with a couple signs.
We also saw lots of Trump signs and flags...
...and odd signs and decorations in the little downtown area.
On the Road
We decided to stick to the winding roads and save our small town visits for another year, with no pandemic and no election stress.
This photo taken near the town of Walnut Shade, is the image I choose to remember from our Ozark drive.
Yesterday, Don and I were feeling pretty wonderful when we got back from visiting my Dad. I still don't know how we managed to find 2 days of picnic weather in the midst of a stormy, cold week.
After weeks of figuring out how to have a safe visit during a pandemic, we felt happy and relieved that we'd pulled it off. We arrived back at our Branson hotel in time to have a quick toast outside. When in the Ozarks... have a giant beer!
Last Presidential Debate
Then it was up to our room to grab a bite of dinner before the last debate. Maybe I should have had a giant beer first.
I honestly had no idea what to expect, after the out of control debate, in September. Supposedly they were going to use a mute button when needed.
I'm not even sure if they used a mute button at all. Trump seemed oddly sedated this time. No ranting. No talking over Biden. But it was still stressful. Just hearing the comment, "There is no one in this room that is less racist than me." No wise and honest person, would ever say that.
Suddenly the debate was over and I tried not to overthink it. I watched the wives come onto the stage. Melania wore her mask.
Jill's mask was coordinated with her outfit. Joe, put his on. The cameras didn't the show the "guests". I assume the Trump "kids" kept theirs on, this time. I know. It's not all about masks, but I couldn't help but notice.
It was easier to go to sleep last night, than after September's debate.
Woke to chilling temps and thunderstorms. I'm so glad we already had our 2 picnic days with Dad.
Today was a reading and puzzle day, before we head back home to Texas. A dozen days till election.
Breakfast With Dad in Springfield
Yesterday we almost didn't get to take Dad on a picnic. There have been spikes of cases in the county and Dad's facility has gotten stricter. But we picked him up at 10 this morning and brought him to our motel.
This handy structure wasn't even needed after all. We lucked out with one more sunny day! We spread the cloth and decorated with pumpkins, then Don picked up a breakfast feast from George's Restaurant, next door.
We had lots of catching up to do, even though Dad and I have talked daily since the pandemic started. All our communication has been on his landline and through the mail. Suddenly we were together in person and I could show him things!
This morning, Dad looked at videos of his great grand baby and he looked at wedding albums of his grandkids. He even looked at some old magazines from the 50's.
Scrapbooks and FaceTime
It was fun to hear Dad's comments as he looked through family scrapbooks from the 1960s. He took his time, looking at photos of our family, when we lived in Grinnell, Iowa... then New York, Florida and Italy. He smiled and pointed, "We had fun, didn't we?"
Then we FaceTimed my sister. Since Dad doesn't have a smartphone, Jenni and Dad were face to face, for the first time since Christmas. He laughed and carried on with Charlie, Jenni and Kate's dog.
Doling Park in the Afternoon
We went for a change of scenery in the afternoon. Dad remembered Doling Park fondly, but said he hadn't been since high school. There were no nearby tables, but we took out our chairs. We nibbled on cheese and crackers and sipped root beer.
We made friends with a kitty and we watched clouds and pointed out our favorite trees. At one point Dad looked up at a plane, "I wonder what those people are saying, up in that plane?" We all gave our guesses.
Don and I had planned to stay another night and do another picnic. But rain and cold was predicted and we weren't sure we could talk Dad's facility into a third day.
We packed up and had Dad back by 3:30. I hate good-byes and this could have been a hard one. But parting was sort of rushed and awkward, with no time to be sentimental. A kind, staff member greeted us at the door and offered to carry Dad's bags of books, pumpkins, brownies... Our good-bye hug was quick and probably illegal. I had to remind Dad to pull his mask higher and Dad rolled his eyes. Not the smoothest exit, but we drove away so happy. When I talked to Dad later, he sounded the same!
Motel in Springfield
Today we woke up at the not-exactly-ritzy, Rail Haven Motel. We've stayed here before when visiting Dad. It's cheap and easy and I've always been fond of the old place.
Should we have changed our Springfield routine and stayed at a (possibly safer) Marriott this time? We're here during a pandemic, trying to visit my elderly dad. Was this a wise choice? It actually felt wonderfully safe, since we could drive right up to our guest room door. The room was very clean, but I used my own sanitizing stuff, as well. Plus, we had access to a huge covered patio (not pictured) for outdoor visiting.
I told Dad we'd pick him up at 10 for an outside breakfast. I haven't been sleeping that well, so I was up before dawn. I put on my running shoes and headed off, towards a familiar neighborhood. Changing leaves! I like that kind of change.
I loved running down Weller Street! Such fond memories of so many sweet houses... best of all my grandmother, Daw's house. My sibs and I used to climb that stone post!
Such fun surprises along my route. "Who gave you permission to look that cute?" bleached onto the sidewalk. A crochet covered sign pole!
Skeletons and a little library! A sweet yard sign, explaining their rain garden! Such a friendly and welcoming vibe.
The biggest surprise was seeing 33 Biden signs on my grandmother's street. Springfield has always seemed pretty conservative, so this was an unexpected change.
I chatted with a woman who lived next door to Daw's old house. It was fun to tell her what I remembered of the neighborhood. The elderly woman had a Biden sign, but she told me there was definitely one Trump voter in the area. I found the house and laughed a little.
At the end of Weller Street I found a stone arbor that I vaguely remember from childhood. Someone made a change to this arbor that totally delighted me. The 100+ year old structure, now holds artwork, antiques, poetry and flowers.
One sign listed the artistic contributors. Another sign invited visitors to enjoy, but to please stay socially distanced. What an odd and wonderful surprise to see on this morning, before visiting with my dad.
What a beautiful start to my day.
Morning in the Ozarks
We've been trying to figure out how to safely see my Dad for a while. Today was the day. We woke to a foggy morning in our Branson hotel.
I called Dad at 9 and reminded him we'd pick him up for a picnic at noon. I reminded him to wear his mask. As we drove 45 minutes to Springfield, I shook my head. Where's the sunshine that was predicted?
We arrived right at noon. Don and I put on masks and stepped out of the car. I was nervous. I haven't seen Dad in about a year and I knew I probably looked 3 years older with my ratty hair and covid stress wrinkles.
It felt awkward to focus on Dad's mask, instead of hugging. Dad has always greeted with big bear hugs. It was suddenly worse than awkward, when Dad said he wasn't able to go with us. I thought he was kidding. (Dad has an odd humor sometimes) "No. They said I can't go. We were all tested again this morning." It was a confusing moment. Dad was firm that they wouldn't allow him to leave. "Well, it was great to see you." He was actually going to head back inside.
To Hug or Not to Hug?
That is the question. I decided yes. If he was supposed to be quarantining. then, I'm sure hugs weren't allowed. But we hadn't driven from Texas to Missouri and isolated in a hotel for days, to just wave at each other.
I told Dad, "We're going to have a safe hug!" I hoped no staff was watching. I wonder when my dad's last hug was? He hasn't forgotten how!
Then I buzzed the front door and asked to speak with the director. After a quiet discussion about how safe Don and I have been for weeks, we were given permission to go on a safe outside outing. I'm not mentioning the name of the facility, because that was a tough call for the director. I so appreciate her understanding.
We rolled windows down in the car and kept masks on. Well, I actually had to remind Dad a few times to keep it on. We were good.
We picked up food from our all time family favorite, Steak 'n Shake! It was a short drive to Sequoia Park. The park felt peaceful and friendly. I liked the "Let's Be Together-ish" sign, with the 6 foot reminder.
Together-ish at the Table
Our little feast was a treat. Dad even had a milkshake. Don and I wore our masks until we were ready to eat.
I didn't bring a tape measurer, but that's as far apart as we could be.
We feasted and the sun got warmer...
We found a tiny bit of shade and got out the chairs and a table for books. I had Dad go through some of his old ones that I've been storing. He found some he wanted to take with him.
It felt heavenly to be in no hurry. It was nice to be in a park that Dad enjoyed, when he was young. Nearby train tracks inspired some talk about hopping trains... We talked about the picnic quilt and how I've used it for storytelling for years. We talked about elections and how Dad's mom and aunt argued... we talked about the current election and how glad Dad is, that he voted early by mail!
By 3:30 we had him back, with plans to pick him up in the morning. I still can't believe we pulled this off. I feel like we stole Dad away, even though we had permission. Oh, how grateful I am.
Don and I had not planned on staying at a hotel in Branson, Missouri for our anniversary. The pandemic somehow got us here. This is part of a plan to sort of quarantine and visit my dad.
If there had been no pandemic, we would have been packing to head to Italy right now. Instead we woke to a cold rainy morning and Don had Krispy Kreme doughnuts delivered. Funny, because I am not complaining a bit!
Love This Guy!
Since 1980, we've celebrated anniversaries with cards, gifts and food. This year we said let's skip gifts. Gifts are nice, but it was sort of treat to focus on cards and messages. I will admit, Don did a much better job with his note.
We had our decadent doughnuts and champagne and popcorn and chocolate mint cake! We also had a nice dinner delivered, since our hotel only has a microwave. And we played ukes and I must admit, Don did a much better job with that, also!
For a Pandemic Anniversary, I'd say this was pretty nice!
Why of all places, would Don and I go to Branson, MO? This isn't our vacay choice, even when there's no pandemic.
This was all part of a complicated plan to have a safe visit with my dad in Springfield, 45 minutes away. We needed a decent place to stay, until we got the all clear from Dad's assisted living facility.
Just off Branson's main street craziness, we booked a quiet and safe Marriott through a timeshare swap. We'll stay here until we're cleared for a visit.
All felt safe when we arrived yesterday. Marriott follows strict covid guidelines, so we know we'll be able to isolate safely and not put my 92 year old dad at risk.
The masked staff was professional at check in. They even offered complimentary masks. We mostly avoided the elevator, but it was made as safe as possible. There was a large reminder sign, as well as a dispenser for sanitizing wipes.
Home for a Week?
Our room was on the third floor, so we got some exercise using the stairs. Yay for open air corridors and stairs. Seems rare for a Marriott, but so preferred during these times.
We did the budget route and booked a studio. Not much space, if we end up spending a week here. But it's clean and cozy and I really can't complain. When I look at our crowded space, I'm reminded of my Dad's studio apartment, at his assisted living facility. He has spent many months of 2020, quarantined alone, a space just like this. I so hope we are able to meet him.
Killing Time in Branson
Today I got up very early and ran in the fog. I passed 2 putt-putt golf courses and laughed.
Oh how I loved Branson as a kid. Luckily Don and I are fine without playing mini-golf with the dinos. There are tons of options for music shows and jamborees. No desire to do that either, but evidently lots of tourists are eager. They seem to be flocking to Branson this fall, because it's a tourist destination that is NOT shut down. I still believe we're "quarantining in Branson"!
We aren't doing the tourist thing, but we do need to eat. Don and I made one trip to stock up at a grocery store. I laughed when I spotted this car parked in front. The cat-eyed taillights reminded me of childhood trips to the Ozarks. Oh how I loved riding in the car on the hilly roads, searching for this eerie cat image!
Later, we passed this yellow building. Ugh. Not long ago, the Dixie Outfitters store, made national news. Last June, I cringed as I watched two groups in front of this yellow building. Peaceful Black Lives Matters protestors and locals draped in confederate flags...
Safe and Cozy Marriott
I was glad to just get back to our hotel room and hunker down as the rain moved in. No desire to be anywhere else.
We now have food in the fridge and some fall decor. We had a cozy afternoon and I called Dad. He said all Covid tests at his facility have come back negative!
That's a much better call than the one a week ago. Dad had suggested we put off the visit, since there were new Covid concerns at his facility. It feels like we're walking on eggshells, attempting a visit. But winter is coming and time's running out for safe outdoor visits. Fingers crossed.
On the Road
So, Don and I are on our way. We are attempting a road trip, to visit my dad in Missouri. After months of isolation, we want to grab this window of good weather, when his facility it okaying family visits. I know we can make this safe, but it still feels like we're doing something horribly risky.
Our picnic stop in Marshall, Texas felt gloomy. The weather was drizzly and the 3 picnic pavilions held no tables. Covid precautions? We ate on a bench. Then we stopped at Telegraph Park and I hopped out to see the beautiful courthouse. There was a statue of a confederate solider. That's not what I wanted to see at that moment. How long before that's removed?
These are uncertain times and I needed some sunshine today. Oh well.
2016 & 2020
Four years ago, I stood in line to vote, wearing a scarf on my head. I had recently finished my last chemo.
A couple days ago I stood in a longer line to vote, wearing my cloth face mask. Both years, I felt worn down by election stress. Both times I felt vulnerable. Cancer and chemo in 2016 and Covid in 2020. But both times I felt positive and energized when I voted! I just knew that our country would do the right thing and we would not end up with a narcissist for a president.
I was wrong the last time. I think I'll be right this time.
Keeping an Eye
I run or drive by our neighborhood middle school, frequently.
The other day, I just drove right up to see what the signs said. "Students must remain in the car, until Temperature screening has occurred" The sign by the door said, "All Walkers Enter Here".
This one reminded me that water fountains would not be a good idea.
When Don and I walked near an elementary school, we saw the masked crossing guard help a masked mom and student.
A young boy rode by on his bike. No helmet, but he had a mask.
These images make me sad.
The second presidential debate was scheduled for today. Trump refused to debate virtually, so Biden planned a virtual Town Hall in Philadelphia.
Trump decided he would do a Town Hall at the same time in Miami. We chose to watch Biden.
Back and Forth
It was so calm and stress free watching Biden. He did ramble a few times and I was tempted to watch Trump... but we refused to change the channel. I did however peek at my phone a bit.
Evidently the Trump Town Hall, with Savanah Guthrie was quite a show.
Chris Christie Tangent
While peeking at my phone, I found a surprising update about Chris Christie.
Christie is now out of the hospital and recovering from Covid. He admitted he made a mistake not wearing a mask when he helped Trump with prep for the last debate... he said no one should act cavalier about getting this virus... I was amazed and so grateful to see his honesty.
It was incredibly odd that this"presidential debate night" turned into separate events with the candidates 1,000 miles apart. I now wish I'd had a split screen to compare. I wish I'd been less distracted with my phone tonight... but I'm glad Chris Christie is doing well and that he shared his thoughts.
Every October I feel a little sad as the days get shorter and cooler. But it's even harder this year, saying good-by to warm days.
I love walking on balmy mornings. Don and I can walk year round in Texas, but will these spoonbills hang around much longer? I've been giddy, since we discovered them.
I've never enjoyed our pool like I have this year. Well, actually I enjoyed the pool even more, when the kids were young and the whole family was in the water.
But I loved and appreciated the pool so much this year. Swimming laps, and reading. It seems almost sinful, that I'm allowed to float and read, in October.
I hope our weather stays nice for a long, long time. I'm finally beginning to feel like it might be time to open up, to safe outside visits.
I actually had a visitor today. I haven't seen my friend's puppy since she got him this summer. I haven't seen my friend since February... I think?
Today we had a much needed visit on the patio. It was a treat to talk with my friend and it was a treat to pat this fluffy little pup! So glad we were able to do this.
Early Voting in Texas!
I've never been so excited to vote! We arrived at the same polling place where we voted four years ago.
So many comparisons! The Randall's Grocery store is now a market that carries international foods.
But mostly, we've never voted during a pandemic.
We knew there could be long lines on the first day of Early Voting. But we were eager and we were happy to wait, with other eager early voters.
We arrived 15 minutes before voting started at 8. There were about 50 ahead of us. We greeted the woman in front of us and behind, but everyone was attempting to keep distanced. No chatting.
All were wearing masks, but it would have felt safer if we'd been lined up outside. It wasn't perfect, but we'd be in and out before too long.
By 8:15, we noticed that the line had not moved. We heard there was a technical glitch.
Some people went to their cars and brought back folding chairs. Don and I amused ourselves looking at all the curious foods.
After an hour, my back was killing me and the nearby frozen food case had made my fingers go numb.
By 9:00 the line began to move! There had been some processing issue in our county... something about the wrong date plugged into the system.
The poll helpers were friendly and I was amused by the wobbling little stylus that I got to use with the machine. By 10:30 Don and I had both voted! I am feeling so good!
It was fun watching local news for a change. Record turnouts!
Nearby voters in Houston had some drive through options! There were some issues with that and of course problems due to the decision of having 1 ballot drop-off box per county. There were longer lines and longer waits in other places, but everyone seemed excited and determined!
1 million Texans early voted on the first day of early voting ! Wow!
Today is my sister's birthday and I'm missing her. I miss posing with her in front of our family cars. I miss traveling with her. I miss her and I miss traveling. Ahhh... travel without packing masks!
Today I talked with Jenni on the phone. She is about 1,000 miles away so we won't be traveling to see each other soon. But we did talk about Don and me, taking a trip to see my dad in Missouri. She's excited about that.
Dad is no longer confined to his room at the assisted living facility. He's allowed to go on outings with family. Picnics!
This is from 4.5 years ago! Here we are, on a picnic in Springfield, Missouri! Kate, Don, Jenni, Dad and the pets... and me taking the photo.
It's fall now! The leaves will be changing soon! Sigh!
SNL offered a lot of comic relief 4 years ago, during the election. Now we really need some humor-distraction, with this 2020 election + pandemic.
The season began last week. It was odd to see Chris Rock come to the stage, in his mask. But they were back on stage at least. Not the SNL from spring, which was an awkward, zoom-style SNL.
It was good to see the actors performing together. Both debates offered lots of material! Jim Carey as Biden! That was pretty darn funny!
The closing felt weird. Not just because we couldn't see faces. But they were jammed together and not outside. I'm sure they were "all tested",... but that's what Trump said before the big Super Spreader at the Rose Garden.
Today had a few perplexing moments. It started with the mailbox. Don and I were headed off to our cabin for a 2 night escape. We stopped at the mailbox on the way out of town.
I jumped from the car, with my letter and a Kleenex for grabbing the handle. Then I jumped back and stared and laughed and shook my head. What is the meaning of this? Why are there 6 little cars on the box? Usually I like cute surprises, but everyone is on edge during this election. Don't mess with my mailbox... my mailbox that is already creepy looking. This was perplexing.
We pulled onto 1-10 and started seeing signs, related to the hurricane in Louisiana. Is there no end to the worries these days?
The hurricane is headed for Lake Charles. I'm perplexed that a hurricane can occur again so soon. They haven't recovered from Beta. Sad to imagine evacuees, during a pandemic.
When we got to the cabin, it felt safe and quiet and isolated. Just the way I like it to be. Then we decided to go pick up some local barbecue.
Don and I put on masks and went in together to decide. Yikes! There were 4 other customers and 3 workers behind the counter. The customers all wore masks and the initially, all the workers had their masks pulled beneath their chins.
Did we walk out? No. Did we ask them to pull up their masks? No? Did we buy bbq? Yes, we bought BBQ to reheat later. In the car, we fumed and growled, the whole way to the cabin.
In the evening, I made Don play this calming game with me. I love these Ouisi cards!
I needed to look at pretty images and think creative thoughts about them. I needed to give myself a break, since I'd been beating myself up over not speaking up at the bbq place.
It's perplexing that people are still not getting it with masks. I need to stop being surprised by this. I need to just come up with my plan, so I know how to react next time.
The pandemic and political tension, is bringing out the worst in us.
I actually bought this silly combo online. I know it's awful and a waste of money and disrespectful of our president. But oh well.
Family Zoom with the Kids
Don's birthday was a few days ago, but I saved one gift for him to open with our kids. It was a hit. It's amazing how a little comic relief can lift spirits!
Today is my daughter's birthday. 34 years ago her daddy wore a face mask and kept his germs away from her.
Two and a half years later, Heidi practiced being safe as she prepared to be a big sister.
What a thrill it was in 1986, to suddenly know that I had a baby girl, after 9 months of pregnancy. I remember being the lucky mother, who got to hold and cuddle my baby without a mask and protective gown. We had been in our own safe bubble together, for 9 months.
Adding Another Girl
Now this little girl, is going to have a baby girl of her own. I should photoshop her sonogram photo, into this 4-generation photo!
How I wish for Heidi and Jamie, that they could enjoy this "expecting time", without pandemic worries. I wish Heidi could take Jamie with her for doctor visits and I wish they could know that the world will be safer in February.
Luckily, that little Baby Girl will come into the world not knowing the difference! Oh I can't wait!
Keeping Vice Presidential Debates Safe
Actually I don't mind plexiglass at all. I just don't like that there was a big debate about whether to put a protective barrier between these two! What was no downside to this added safety precaution?
After a lot fussing, the Trump campaign finally agreed. I was a lot more relaxed watching Pence and Harris seated, with the plexiglass between them. It really wasn't an issue.
Whew, this was quite a bit different than the presidential debate last week. I wasn't screaming at the TV. Well actually, I was hollering a little. Pence would not stop talking over Harris. The moderator did little to control him. Harris had to reprimand him a little... and then there was the fly.
I know it's stupid that the whole world was watching this fly in Pence's hair and making silly comments. But it was the comic relief that we have all been needing.
Suddenly the debate was over and my brain was not scrambled. Last week I needed to watch a calming Turner Classic movie for a good hour, before I could think about going to bed.
In 4 weeks, we will see what happens! I cannot wait!
Back to Tweeting
Trump is back in the White House. Back to tweeting.
Stocks tumbled, when he posted this message. After months of negotiations, he was ready to walk away... until he wins the election. What? He's been on steroids. Could this be the steroids talking?
Another tweet was just dangerous. Trump claimed the flu was more deadly than Covid. He is continuing to downplay this disease in such a foolish way. We learned in recent weeks, that Trump was well aware of the dangers of Coronavirus early.
This tweet had to be removed. The post was up for hours before Facebook and Twitter removed it.
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. Only this time, it was affecting more than me. I ranted for a year, until I got my vaccine in March 2021.
Coronary Artery Disease was the reason I restarted this blog on September 26, 2021. This time it was 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!