Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

I celebrated my 72nd birthday on Monday and it was filled with snail mail cards (3 from Tom over the last few days), text messages, phone calls, video calls, and Facebook wishes from family and friends. It was also a beautiful, sunny 70 degrees and I was able to get a nice walk along the Mississippi River trail. I felt loved and enjoyed the day.

I just have to write about my Senior dog, Frisco, since he is giving me the stare-down right now, and I know exactly what he is trying to say - he is wanting to go out for his 8pm potty walk so he can settle in for the night. I don’t know his exact date of birth, but since we were told that he was 2 1/2 years old in October of 2007, he would have been born about April of 2004, so we celebrate our birthdays together in April.  That means that he is 16 human years old and about 80 dog years for his age and weight.  His coloring gets lighter and lighter, especially around his face.  Yet, he really hasn’t slowed down too much and still can trot right along on a 2+ mile walk.  He has become much more demanding in his old age - especially at 7 am and 8 pm. Those are the most important times in his day - his first and last potty walks of the day.  He has always like to hang out in corners - where he can keep a close eye on me - and that seems to have increased lately. I now have to coax him to come up and sit with me on the couch or to snuggle with me on the bed before going to sleep at night or when taking a nap. Oh, well, we are aging together and I sure do appreciate his company.

Today, our country has exceeded the number of people that we lost fighting the Vietnam war, more than 58,000 people have now died from COVID-19 since late February and over a million have gotten the virus. The sad thing is that these numbers aren’t accurate and are under the actual cases and deaths since many have suffered at home or died but were never diagnosed. We still don’t have enough supplies to protect the nurses and doctors that are in contact with sick patients. They are having to adapt and reuse supples that were designed for a single use. We are not getting those products from China any longer and the US can’t produce them fast enough.

Earlier this week, our poor excuse for a President suggested to his medical advisors, at his daily press briefing, that we should investigate the use of light, bleach and sanitizers in the human body to kill the virus - since they work on surfaces instantly. Since then, the manufacturers of Clorox, Lysol, and other household cleaners have been putting warnings to people not to ingest or inject any of those products. There are no words to describe the stupidity.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Happy Birthday to my Brother-in-Law, Dennis! 

The last 2 days have been gorgeous with temps peaking around 70 degrees. I have finally been outdoors without an added layer to keep me warm. Others around here are dressed in shorts and have been since the snow melted. I guess I haven’t acclimated completely yet, but I won’t be wearing less than long pants and sleeves for a while yet.

I discovered a lovely trail that is part of the National River and Recreation area along the Mississippi River that is easy to access from my house and gives me a 2-mile walk. It is nice to watch the gradual greening up at ground and tree level, it’s only going to get better.

This afternoon on a FaceTime conversation with Ben, I learned that Charlotte is the second place winner in her school’s Readathon. The first place winner - the same person who has won the last 3 years, relinquished her prize to the 2nd place winter and the prize is a bike and helmet from a local bike store and she will get to choose her bike. WOW! Am I a proud Grandmother after hearing this news!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Thursday, April 23, 2020

The news is all the same this week with the exception of increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, but also of recoveries (the numbers I like to consider). Scientists are working hard to find a way to slow it, to treat it, and to prevent it in the future. Many states are starting to open up businesses, hopefully while protecting their workers and customers. Our president continues to have daily updates on all TVChannels that are more like political rallies than anything. He has threatened to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the CDC because he is not saying what prez wants him to say. He takes no responsibility for the devastation that is taking place in our country. Everything is closed except for essential business like grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, and restaurants that provide drive up or delivery options. Many people are unemployed.

Since we discovered Google DUO, Tom and I see each other frequently but we both really miss each other and are working on a plan to reunite before the summer is over. My afternoon Grandmother/Grandaughter sessions with Camille and Norah continue. The girls are more into teaching me these days than me teaching or playing games with them. They are both getting a lot better at giving step by step instructions. Charlotte is busy with her regular school curriculum during that time.  I had a brief conversation with her the other night at bedtime and she was manipulating the effects of the picture on the screen. This is her and Ben.

Reaching out and having conversations with family and friends is a good thing these days. I had a FaceTime conversation with Jim Bucko earlier in the week - haven’t seen him in 2 years and missed seeing him on my vacation that was canceled earlier this month. It was nice! Also have spoken with Connie on FaceTime recently too.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Saturday, April 18, 2020

This is my 5th week of ‘safer at home’ and I have felt a little bit stir crazy this week, more than in the past weeks. I feel fortunate that I am one of those people who are very comfortable living by myself, although that is not my preference at this time. It also has made me realize that I have someone who cares for me, wants to be with me, and that I and Tom should be together, especially during a time like this. Live and learn, right?

We have gone back to wintry weather this week, here in the Tundra, with temps in the 40s but dipping way down in the 20s at night. Today was the first day that I really felt like going for a walk, and I did just that, getting almost 2 miles in. Still, along Mississippi River Rd, there were too many people out and about and it took some effort to remain distanced from folks.

Some tulips from my Friday walk.

Late this week our ‘?!”$#’ president started pushing hard to get the economy moving again, in spite of the numbers of Coronavirus cases still climbing and deaths rising every day.WE HAVE TO VOTE HIM OUT IN 2020!  Testimonials from those who have survived convince me that this is so much more than just the flu and it knocks you down hard and beats you up. Testimonials from nurses and doctors warn that this is nothing to mess with - that a patient can seem like they are handling it and they turn around and find them dead. Bodies are building up faster than funeral homes can handle them. Nationally there are 691,000 cases and 35,000 deaths as of today. We are now seeing that about half of the cases have now recovered, although the numbers aren’t accurate as they represent the number of documented cases only - many people are at home and have not been tested but are terribly ill from it.

Governor Walz announced yesterday that some businesses and golf courses could be opened up, providing that golfers practice safe distancing. Well, this morning when I walked Frisco, I saw 4 guys loading their golf bags into the back of a Toyota Corolla, and then they all piled into the car and headed off to the golf course. Now, is that an example of social distancing? I think not.

During my afternoon Grandparent time with my granddaughters, I was the student and they were the teacher. Camille taught me how to make an Origami doggy and the next day Norah taught me how to make an Origami kitty. They are getting good at providing details and describing what the steps are.

I have seen 2 old friends on FaceTime this week - Jim and Connie. It is so much nicer to see folks from a video than not at all. Tom and I have had regular video chats since we discovered Google Duo. For me, life is good - I am healthy, Tom is healthy, and all of my friends and family are healthy and I know of nobody who has gotten the virus. I just knocked on wood.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter Sunday. I awoke, looked out the window and saw it snowing - we are predicted to get up to 3” today. After such a beautiful day yesterday, it is not welcome. I was thinking back to past Easters with snow and I remember a few; one when I was about 10 years old, 1984 - the year we moved into the Starr School house in Stoughton, and today. I’m sure there were more in my 71 years, but they don’t stand out in my memory. In 1984, we had moved most of our things from our home in Madison on Saturday, but still had some cleanup to do and a few items to get out of there on Sunday. My friend and co-worker from Hazleton Labs delivered Easter dinner to us - complete with ham, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, fruit salad, pie - the works! What a sweet thing that he and his wife, Veronica did for us. It was a kind gesture that I will never forget.

Our Noon Walk

To and I had a nice Google Duo conversation this afternoon and we made the difficult decision to delay his upcoming trip to St Paul - again. Things are not improving with COVID-19 and might even be getting worse in some areas, so it is the right thing to do - but it truly SUCKS!

I fixed myself a nice Easter dinner of steak, sautéed mushrooms, and roasted asparagus and a glass of wine. I watched Dale Watson’s live performance from Hernando’s Hideaway in Memphis. It was kind of like being at Ginny’s Little Longhorn on a Sunday afternoon. The show was informal, he took a lot of requests, folks were buying him and the band shots of tequila, and there were 5 games of Chicken 
Shit Bingo. Bingo winners had the option of keeping their winnings or they could swap for whatever he had in their designated pocket. It was a fun show. I’ll have to try to remember to tune in on Sunday afternoons.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Saturday, April 11, 2020

It’s been another week of the same old - stay at home order is still in place and that’s what I did. I did make a trip to the grocery store on Tuesday morning, after Frisco woke me up at 6:00 am. I took a quick shower, got dressed and arrived at the store at 7:15 during Senior time. I wore a mask and took alcohol wipes to clean and I went. The floors had arrows directing traffic so people didn’t pass in the aisles. Shelves were pretty well stocked except cleaning products and paper product - there was no toilet paper. At checkout, shoppers were spaced far apart and the checkout clerk sanitized the belt before before I was allowed to place my items on it. I went straight there and straight back home.

Today was a highlight! Ben and I had planned to get together for a distanced walk. He called me around 2:30 while I was walking Frisco and said that they were at Lois and Dennis’ house for the girl’s Easter egg hunt and were sitting around in the yard at a distance, and he invited me to join them. I took Frisco to the apartment and headed there. We sat in a circle in the 63 degree sunshine and talked while the girls romped around the yard, demonstrating their cartwheel and handstand skills and walking along the tops of the rocks that border their yard. It felt so good to be near family again, even at a distance.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sunday, April 4, 2020

Well, it’s been another week of COVID-19 social distancing and observing the governor’s STAY AT HOME order.  The only times I have left the house were to walk Frisco and on Tuesday, I ordered a Papa Murphy’s pizza and went there to pick it up - no contact with humans at all. On Friday, the government started suggesting that people use a mask (homemade is fine) when going out in public, although our dipshit president said he wouldn’t be doing it. And then the next day there were pictures going around social media of him playing golf. In my eyes, he is failing miserably at leading the country in a manner that will protect and help the citizens get through this ordeal. The numbers keep climbing, although we are starting to see some evidence of recovery. Here in Minnesota, almost half of the 1,000 people confirmed have now recovered.

I am keeping my spirits up, communicating regularly with Tom, my sons, siblings, and friends. In fact, I don’t think I’ve talked this much on the phone since the last tragedy in our family - when Rick died two years ago. I FaceTime with the granddaughters most afternoons and Tom and I have been doing video chats too - it’s so much better than just a phone call, but it does remind me of how much better it would be if we were together going through this.

Another indoor activity...this one was a real challenge and it took me a long time.

Walks are getting to be more pleasant, as our days have been steadily warming except for a cold spell every now and then.  I have been walking through city streets and neighborhoods rather than taking the trails, especially on the weekends when everyone is wanting to be out and about. People are respectful of the distancing and allowing plenty of space when passing.  As I walk the nearby streets, I have been finding little sayings embedded in the sidewalks. Here are 2 examples.

This morning’s project was to make face masks. I promised Ben that I would wear them whenever I take the elevator or go out in public. He is very concerned and worried about my safety.