Sunday, May 31, 2020

Something Has to Change

When I started this blog I told myself I would avoid politics.  Period.  For the most part I have tried to do that, but there are things happening in my country now that make me feel I have to say something.  I don't know how I can change anything but I won't turn my back on it.  Please forgive me for expressing my feelings on this, but I feel I must.  Most people know about the man that was arrested and killed in custody.  This was not here in Kansas City but it could have been anywhere in this country.  The thing is, this is not the first time that has happened.  I'm not going into any details but this has to change and I do not know how.

Right now there are protests and riots in over thirty major cities in this country.  I believe in peaceful protests.  I do not believe in riots in which property is damaged and people are harmed.  There is a good reason for peaceful protests but unfortunately when the riots start it defeats the purpose of the protest.  I keep hearing there are two groups of protestors, peaceful and not peaceful.  I have seen on our local news casts the peaceful protestors attempting to stop the others from causing destruction.  One man was carrying a fire extinguisher and putting out fires started by others.  Some are trying to do this right but others are not.

I live about twenty miles outside of Kansas City and as I write this the riots are going on for the third night in a row.  The majority of the riots have taken place in the heart of our city, The Plaza area.  This is a place of beautiful Spanish architecture, fountains and old world charm.  The past three nights it has become a place full of tear gas, burning cars and huge crowds of protestors, police and the military.  Yesterday the governor declared a state of disaster for Missouri and called out the National Guard.  And this is going on in many cities all over our country now.


Kansas City Yesterday Afternoon

Kansas City Last Night

The frustration of all this is difficult to put into words.  Something has to change but I do not believe violence is going to change anything.  The mayor of Kansas City is trying desperately to get people together to talk and work on the problems.  I believe that can be a good start if handled properly.  Personally I wonder if they need to screen candidates for the police department better.  That is no place for racism.  There is no place anywhere for racism but especially not there.  I care about all people and I have always believed it is the person inside that matters, not their race, sex, religion, nationality or anything else.  I grew up in the southern part of our country in the 1950's and 1960's.  So yes, I have grown up around racism and I have seen riots most of my life.  My parents raised me to care about all people regardless of race.  I treat all people equally and have friends from many races and backgrounds.  The only way I know to help change things is in the way I reach out to others and in the way I vote.  I raised two boys and I didn't have to worry about the possibility that if they made a mistake and got arrested they might not come home alive.  A black Mother has these worries and it breaks my heart.       

“The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility.”

                                                                                 Martin Luther King Jr.

         

Saturday, May 23, 2020

An Early Morning Surprise



I received an early morning phone call from my oldest son, Chris, telling me there was something on my front porch.  This was a bit confusing to me because he does not live in the same suburban town as we do, so how could he know if something was on my porch.  I got off the phone, opened the front door and sure enough, there was a beautiful bouquet of flowers propped up on the porch across from the door!  What a surprise and a wonderful way to start the weekend!

When I called Chris back he said he and Kristi (my daughter-in-law) had been to the City Market in Kansas City early this morning to shop for some fresh vegetables and had picked up those flowers for me.  They quietly dropped them off on the porch and then called me after they had driven away!  I sure love my family!   


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Beautiful Weather and A New Way to Shop

We have had a wonderfully cool and comfortable week.  The temperature has stayed in the 60s F most days and I love that.  It's been cool but not cold and all the birds are just singing their little heads off!  It was perfect weather Monday for me to cut the grass.  It normally wears me out mowing but when it is cool, I find it much easier.  The older I get the harder it is for me to handle the hot weather.  I know it's coming, in fact it is usually here by May but this year has been different and I love it!

We have discovered that shopping these days is certainly different with all the Covid precautions.  Up until this week the only shopping we have done has been for groceries.  In our area all the other stores opened this week but we learned it is not at all the same shopping now as it was pre-Covid.

Our printer went out on us and we thought it would be nice to support a local electronics business instead of just ordering one online.  We picked one out on the store's website and checked if it was in stock locally.  The website said it was indeed in stock so Tom drove down to the store to buy it.  When he went to the store's entrance (wearing a mask) he was told he had to have an appointment to come in and someone would escort him to whatever he wanted to buy.  They could not let him in then, but made him an appointment a couple of hours later.  Just to be safe he asked them to double check if they had that printer in stock.  It turns out they did not, so no appointment was needed.  He came home and we ordered it online.  I would say it might be good advice to call and check with any business before you go!  We should have done that and did not.  I know it must be quite difficult to try and operate any kind of a business right now and I do feel for them and understand they are trying to be safe.  There are many local regulations for businesses especially regarding how many can be in the store at one time. 

My dentist office opened up this week too and I have an appointment for my checkup next week.  I understand there are many precautions for any kind of a medical/dental visit right now.  I have already received two emails about the coming visit and then today they called me with instructions.  When I go I am to sit in my car and call them when I arrive.  They will tell me when I can go inside and of course I should wear a mask.  I have a feeling there will be much more once I go inside.  I would guess a temperature check and a list of questions to answer.  I am a little nervous about going to the dentist right now but I don't want to cancel my appointment as they are not easy to get.  I'm glad they are taking precautions but it is something for us to all get used to. 

Now that more businesses and services are beginning to open I have a feeling we are all going to have to learn a whole new way of shopping and doing most anything else in public.  I'm not complaining.  I'm glad they are being safe but there will be a learning curve for all these changes.  Has anyone else discovered many different ways of doing the everyday things we used to do?  Our world is certainly changing.


I didn't have any pictures today so added Sophie & Zeus baby pictures!
       

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

A Cloudy, Rainy Week

After some beautiful weather last week we have had a long string of dark, rainy days this week.  It is helping to make everything green so there is a bright side to it. 

I received this picture from my brother the other day.  It made me want to rearrange all my books into various sentences and phrases!  If you are really bored during this lockdown you could try this:




I resisted the temptation to play with my books and instead decided to make some cookies.  I like to bake but don't do it too often because I also like to eat what I bake!  Tom had been wanting some homemade cookies so I made a batch of oatmeal cookies.  I figured if we are going to take in extra calories it should contain something healthy - right?  In fact you might even say oatmeal cookies are a health food!  Okay, sort of healthy with all that oatmeal.


 

I did get a little sewing done this week.  I finished making a couple of masks for my youngest son, Sean.  He lives alone and, luckily, has been able to work from home since the pandemic started.  However, they are starting to open up some businesses here and some of them require masks for you to enter.

That is about all that has been going on around here recently.  These dark, rainy days seem to slow things down a bit but they are great for reading and napping.  Sophie and Zeus have taken full advantage of the napping side of things as you can see in this picture of Zeus.  He has his very own cat quilt and he loves to crawl under it for a nice long nap.



Zeus under his quilt


I promise you, our cats are not spoiled, much.  Everyone take care!



Friday, May 8, 2020

Spring, Birds and a Bit of a Rant...

I've always loved Spring despite the ups and downs we get with the weather here.  We've had sporadic sunny days and a good portion of rainy, stormy days as usual.  A few weeks ago we had our usual short Spring snowfall and tomorrow night we are supposed to get a hard freeze.  Overall, it has been nice and we have even started to welcome the Spring and Summer birds back.  I was finally able to get our hummingbird feeder out which always makes me happy.  I try to wait for any freezes to be past us before I put it out.  They must have been waiting because it was not out ten minutes before the hummingbirds started coming to it!  We have it hanging on our deck in front of the glass door so our cats can watch it.  Sophie, our female cat, loves those hummingbirds so much and talks to them whenever they show up.  I have not been able to get any hummingbird pictures yet but I did get a few pictures of some other birds.  These were taken with my phone so they are not the best quality of pictures.  I have tried to identify them but I could be wrong.  If I am incorrect, I welcome any identification anyone can offer ! 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Goldfinch

Goldfinch
 

This isolation is starting to wear on me as I am sure it is with others too.  Our state has started opening up in some areas but not yet in the county where I live.  We start phase one Monday so I guess we will see how it goes.  One thing I have noticed lately is that there now seems to be two kinds of people.  One kind wears masks when in public, stays home and tries to follow the recommendations of the CDC and the medical community.  The other kind seems to think the first kind of people have either imagined Covid-19 or they are blindly following scaremongers and the press.  This is extremely frustrating to me.  I do know you can not believe everything you hear on the news and there are always going to be people that make things sound worse than they are in reality.  But come on, there are over a million cases just in the U.S. and there are almost 10,000 cases in the state where I live.  If nothing else you should have respect for those that have died and for their families.  

Okay, that's my rant.  Thanks for listening.  I hope everyone is healthy and enjoying the improving weather and whatever beautiful birds and wildlife you have where you live.  If you've taken the time to read this - I appreciate you for being here.  
    
      

Monday, April 27, 2020

A Busier Week


For the most part things have been moving fairly slowly around here.  Last week did seem to be busier for a variety of reasons.  I finally made us some masks to wear when we buy groceries.  Since I make quilts, I have lots of fabric scraps to choose from for making masks and I wanted to make a special one for my husband, Tom.  He has always been a superhero fan having grown up on Marvel and DC comics.  Even today he never misses any of the movies about those popular characters.  So, I made him a mask from some Marvel characters fabric. 

                                                                                                                             
We were also busy getting my old Honda Civic cleaned up to loan to my granddaughter, Annika.  She was in a car accident recently when someone ran a stoplight and hit her and then drove off.  Luckily, she was okay although I know she had to be pretty sore as it totaled her car.  It makes me so mad that this was a hit and run accident!  I just don’t understand some people.  Annika is still working despite the pandemic and has to have a car to get to work and back home.  She was hoping to buy one and looked at several but could not find what she wanted that was also in her price range.  I have a very old Honda Civic that I had not been driving much since we usually use my husband’s Toyota.  Despite the age of the Honda it is still in good running condition.  I spent a little time getting it emptied out of my belongings and we cleaned it up inside and out for her.  She still wants to get a newer car but this will give her the time she needs to look for one and also save up a bit more money.  I was happy to know I could do something to help her out as she has had a run of bad luck recently.  My son Chris (Annika’s Dad) brought her out Sunday to pick up the car.  It was such a treat to get to spend a little time with them both as we had not seen any family since the pandemic started.  We stayed outside and followed social distancing because she has been around many people in her job.  But let me tell you, it sure was hard to not be able to give both her and my son a big hug!      
  
We finished the week off with another trip to the grocery store.  You know I always have hated buying groceries but I swear, since this pandemic started, I now hate that job even more than before!  It was our luck that just when we came out of the store with a cart full of groceries it started pouring rain.  By the time we got home and got everything in the house every bag was soaked. 

I’m glad last week is behind us now and because I’d like to end this on a happier note, I will leave you with a couple of pictures of my two sweet cats.  They each send you lots of purrs and cuddles.


Zeus

Sophie





Sunday, April 19, 2020

Motivation


Boy is this a loaded word.  The dictionary definition for motivation is:  the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way, or the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.  I’ve always had a little trouble with getting my energy going to get things accomplished but usually once I get started, I’m good.  However, since all this isolation and staying home has been going on for over a month now I have developed a new fear.  I may be turning into a sloth.  Sloth definition:  a slow-moving tropical mammal that hangs upside down from the branches of trees.  Wait, not that sloth definition but this one:  having a reluctance to work or make an effort; laziness.  Yep, that one. 




Is it just me or does anyone else feel the same way?  I always have plenty to do and I’m never bored.  There are many household “jobs” I need to do each day such as laundry, cleaning and cooking.  I am getting most of those done but only because they are necessary to living.  I do like to have clean clothes to wear and it is nice to have meals once in a while.  But I have an unending list of other things I would like to get accomplished and it’s just not happening.  I mean this is the perfect time to clear out excess clutter in the house or to work on one of many hobbies I have, but I’m not doing it.  Oh sure, I’m doing a few things such as reading or watching an occasional TV show.  I’m just not getting anything done off my list of things I need and want to accomplish.  At the end of the day I like to be able to say I got something completed other than a few of the necessities of life. 

This blog is a perfect example of my lack of motivation.  I started this the first of the year and made the decision I wanted to enjoy it and not push myself.  I knew I would never post every day, but I thought even I could post once a week.  I have managed to post once a week – barely.  Of course, I never expected a world pandemic and all the crazy changes to our lives to hit us three months into the new year.  I suppose when you consider all the changes we have dealt with in our lives recently we could be forgiven for an occasional lack of motivation.  Still, I am hoping I will be able to kick myself in my butt and start getting a little more accomplished each day.  Any suggestions?  Anyone else feel similar?     


Saturday, April 11, 2020

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone has an enjoyable Easter.  It will be different this year for most of us.  But that doesn't mean we can't celebrate what this day means to us personally.  Those that wish to can still attend virtual church services.  We can visit with family by phone or some form of internet FaceTime.  And the young ones that are in isolation with their parents can still have Easter egg hunts in their home or yard.  This is a good time for us to appreciate the many blessings we do have in our lives and to realize that maybe we are each a little stronger than we thought we were when we first got hit with this pandemic. 

When I was growing up Easter was special church services, baskets filled with treats and of course Easter egg hunts.  I always got a new outfit to wear to church on Easter Sunday.  Back in the 1950s that outfit included a hat, white gloves and sometimes even new patent leather shoes to go with the dress.  I didn't get new clothes very often, but I always did for Easter Sunday. 

Easter 1956

Many of my Easter traditions were continued with my two sons and then later with my two grandchildren.  The children would have Easter baskets and of course many egg hunts both inside and outside.  We would all share a big dinner and enjoy a day of family time together.

My Granddaughter Annika

My Grandson Gavin

My sons and my grandchildren are grown now so even if we were able to spend the holiday together there would not be the egg hunts and some of the other activities we enjoyed when they were young.  But we will talk on the phone at least and I will make sure they all know they are loved and cherished just as much today as when they were little.  We may be living in this crazy pandemic world of isolation but I hope we will all remember that what really counts is what is in our heart and we can still reach out to our loved ones in different ways.

Happy Easter to all my very special friends and thank you all for being there!   



Wednesday, April 8, 2020

So How's Your Isolation Coming Along?

I feel like we are all pioneers in a new world with this Pandemic Isolation leading our lives at the moment.  There's been Pandemics before but not of this level in our life time.  There is a lot that is extremely sad and frightening of course but we still have to deal with our everyday lives.  I don't know about you, but I find the most common question most people have is simply "What day is this?"  Even those of us that are retired still had certain schedules that marked our days.  Maybe a class, a meeting or an appointment on certain days each week.  For many, Sunday was marked by weekly church gatherings.  Tom and I had a senior exercise class every Tuesday and Thursday morning and that helped to mark our week.  No more.  All of those designators of days are gone now.  Except one, very important day - for us that is Wednesday - Trash Day.  I am so grateful that these hard workers are still doing their jobs and I am equally grateful that service is giving us some method of designating at least one of our days.  Now for us, all the rest of the days can be a guessing game but we've got Wednesday covered.

How are you doing with maintaining your food and necessary supplies these days?  A simple trip to the grocery store has turned into a venture into the unknown.  It's a bit nerve rattling to shop for groceries not knowing if you'll be exposed to the virus from another shopper or if it is really safe to touch and pick up that can of green beans.  Now here in the U.S. the CDC has recommended we start wearing masks when we go out.  The last time we bought groceries we did wear masks and it just felt strange.  I've never worn a mask to the grocery store - what is happening in our world?  Of course the other shoppers had masks on too and that made it feel even more weird.  Yes, I think we've landed on some new planet and we are pioneers trying to tame and settle it.  We were buying groceries once a week and now we are trying to do it every two or three weeks.  And then when you get home you have to deal with all those groceries.  Are you trying to wipe them down in any way?  Here it has been recommended that we do that so we've been going over everything with a sanitizing wipe and hoping that is enough.

Are  you finding new things to do around the house now that you are staying home all the time?  How many jigsaw puzzles have you put together so far?  Okay, I know not everyone likes jigsaw puzzles but there has been a big rise in their popularity.  I read that puzzle sales in the U.S. are up nearly 400% in just the past two weeks.  And that is just in one country.  They said the surge in the demand for jigsaw puzzles is similar to what it was during the Great Depression.  That is something to think about.   


A puzzle I worked on recently


We all live in different places, big cities, small towns and even different countries.  Do you think where your home is located has much effect on you during this isolation?  If you are in a big city do you feel safer or more at risk?  And of course the same can be asked of someone living in a small town.  I live in a small suburban town of about 15,000 and for me I think it is easier.  Everyone pulls together for the most part.  Today we had a parade of all the school teachers drive around town honking their horns and just letting the kids know they are still here and still care about them and miss them.  Tonight at city hall the city officials will be passing out a free disinfectant cleaner/hand sanitiser to any citizens that need it.  And yes, many of us are still keeping those Teddy Bears in our windows for the kids to see and sometimes even count.  This morning a father and small son were walking around our neighborhood with a piece of paper noting and counting all the Teddy Bears in the windows they could find.  I love that.

I hope I don't sound like I'm trying to write a downer post because I don't really mean to do that.  We are all going through pretty much the same experiences and at least for me, it helps to know I'm not alone in all this.  Everyone take good care of yourselves!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Rolling With the Punches




I guess that is what we are all doing these days.  There are so many changes to our way of life.  Basic, simple things have changed.  You can't even go out for a haircut.  Luckily, I had my hair cut just a couple of weeks before so many businesses were closed down.  I can go awhile without a haircut and although I may not like it, I can do it.

For many, and my husband Tom is one, it is difficult to go without a visit to his barber.  Unfortunately he was already past due for a haircut when the shops closed.  This meant that a week into it he was really wanting a haircut.  He's asked me to cut his hair in the past and I never wanted to do it.  I do not want to be responsible for messing up anyone else's hair.  But this time the situation was different.  As far as we know, it could be a long time before these types of businesses open back up.

I suppose this is one of those punches we have to roll with - right?  Tom told me not to worry about it, that if I messed it up too badly we could just shave his head.  Besides, that's a style too isn't it?  Sure.  He sat in the kitchen and I wrapped a towel around him.  That part was easy.  He gave me his electric razor with some kind of a guard on it and promised me it would cut all the hair the same length with that guard.  All I had to do was drive the razor all over his head just like when we used to have a dog and cut his hair.  But wait, I didn't cut the dog's hair.  Tom did that.  Oh boy.  I was a little nervous but I turned the razor on and made that first cut.  Nothing bad happened.  His ears were even still there.  Alright, I can do this.  In fact, it was kind of fun.  I wanted to cut stripes in his hair but he didn't like that idea.  I got it cut, and then I even trimmed around the edges and over his ears without the guard on the blade.  It didn't look half bad.  It didn't look like his barber did it, but he was happy and more comfortable.  So there is one punch in all these new punches that I learned to roll with.

We are all facing new challenges these days and I'm learning that we are capable of doing much more than we thought we could do.  Many of our challenges are much more serious than a simple haircut of course.  This new lifestyle has a learning curve for us all.  Some things are frightening, or sad, or depressing.  I believe we are all stronger than we thought and we can deal with the new challenges.  It helps to share our feelings with others, rather than holding them in until we feel like exploding.  Yea, exploding is no good.  What new challenges do you find yourself facing these days?  Do you have feelings you need to share?  I think there are a lot of us in blogland that care and are willing to listen.  I know I am.