We are having a hot time in the old town

We’re having a heat wave, and not a tropical heat wave. No rain with this heat. It’s very dry. Friday was 14 percent humidity with the 112 degree heat. There is, of course, big concerns for fires with that kind of dry heat. The foothills are so dry that any little spark sets off a raging blaze. The firefighters are already exhausted and we’ve barely gotten started with summer.

This heat wave is about five days. The one a few weeks ago was four days. It looks like, if the forecasters are right, that another heat wave will hit the end of June. Oh, then there are those blasted fireworks that so many people think they have to set off at all times of all days. Again, a problem for firefighters.

What do I do in all of this heat? Run the fans. Water the yards. Stay home. Read my library books. On Friday I ran errands from 9 to 10:30 in the morning, getting home just as the thermometer hit 90 degrees. I let a local cafe fix our dinners for the weekend. All I have to do is heat in the microwave. I got corn and watermelon at the college farm store. I even bought beer at the grocery store, something I rarely do except when the heat rises. I pour the beer in a mug and set it in the freezer for awhile.

Running the oven is not something I like to do in this kind of heat, but I did on Thursday, baking a pecan pie for a lady from church who had heard about my pecan pies. She texted me, asking for one and offering to pay. I had all the ingredients, and I do love to bake, so I was quite happy to do it for her as she is a sweetheart. I refused to take a dime for the pie as I know she will pay it forward. She’s that kind of person.

I think I solved the problem

Safari is my browser of choice. I’ve used it on all of my Macs and it works well for me. Until…it doesn’t.

WordPress and Safari just don’t seem to get along. Those who read here on a regular basis have heard my complaints about being able to post comments to Blogger blogs. Often, you dear Readers, tell me that you cannot comment on my blog. Is it the browser or is it WordPress? Who knows.

For the past month, I just cannot make a post to my blog from my computer, instead using my phone. This morning I decided a new browser was in order so downloaded Firefox to the new Mac. The old Mac’s operating system is too outdated for Firefox.

Now I’m typing this post on my new computer, within Firefox browser. Will it keep working? Oh, who knows with computers and all of the different applications out there. Will I be able to make comments on your Blogger blogs? Who knows if that’s the browser, operating system, or just an ongoing feud with WordPress and Blogger.

It’s very hot here in Central California so I’m not in any mood to be fussing with computer stuff. Everything just needs to work as it’s expected to by me.

California reopens

Lots of excitement in California as the state reopened with the end of most of the protocols like masks, distancing, limited capacities for restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms, stadiums. Stores and malls can return to previously regular hours and no limit on customer numbers. The local zoo reopened all of its exhibitions including the ones indoor with guided tours.

All of this reopening, along with school and summer vacations, the city traffic has increased. Many people have moved here during the pandemic due to our lower cost of housing. It’s pretty easy for tech workers to come here, buy a half million dollar home, and work from home, something they couldn’t do in the expensive Bay Area.

I’m giving myself a lot more time to drive across town and to remain calm, reminding myself that I have all the time in the world. For right now, I’m keeping that pandemic mantra. I may feel different as more obligations pile up.

I am concerned about the increase in traffic accidents. Many drivers act as they are the only one on the road, or should be. Speeding, unsafe lane changes, red light running. Then there are those road rage shootings. I guess those people don’t feel that they have all the time in the world.

One thing Terry and I have yet to experience in this post pandemic world is dining out. We were waiting for the reopening of a couple of our favorite places that are very tiny. Maybe next week.

A Saturday in June

It’s a gorgeous morning here in central California. Beautiful blue sky with no clouds. A cool breeze blowing through the sunshine and shadows. The air is even clean. Terry and I were both out early to work in the yards before the day’s heat will descend, later, after noon.

The first week of summer vacation has arrived with the advent of this sunny morning. Lots of warm (hot) days ahead of us. This next week promises temperatures over 100. We will need to do lots of watering, leading up to those wilting temperatures. I will run my errands and do my chores before noon each day.

School starts again August 12 for students. I’m sure teachers and staff will be there a few days in advance. Because of such an early start, I may begin my storytelling gig before Labor Day. We’ll see how the back-to-school days play out and what the teachers would like. That’s two months away with lots of time for summer relaxation.

Another recommendation

When I wrote about the movie, Elizabeth is Missing, about a woman with dementia, one of my dear Readers recommended the novel, Still Alice. I got the book from the library and read it in a couple of days. It is extraordinary.

The writer did an excellent job of researching the subject, and I’m sure she interviewed many people who either have dementia or whose family members and/or friends have been overtaken by the disease. I was sympathetic to all of the characters.

Although the book is about dementia, it touches on other areas of aging like loss of confidence in one’s ability, one’s relationships with friends, colleagues, friends. The things that gave us joy when younger might not do so in old age. Every page gave me something to ponder.

My time of the year begins

If you are a regular reader here, then you are well acquainted with my whining during the cold months. Mornings are cold and dark, making it hard for me to push out of bed and get my day started very early. It’s now summer, though, and the mornings are warm and light, waking me around 5:30 and calling me to get up and to take advantage of the best time of the year, the time of year that I love so much.

Also, if you read here often, you know that mornings are when I am in top form. My brain works well. My physical energy level is high. I am optimistic that the whole world will be a wonderful place on this day and it’s in my best interests to help make it so. I accomplish so much in the mornings, especially warm and light mornings. I can get so busy with chores and activities that propel me out of the house early on that I don’t take the time to sit and write. So, here I am. Taking the time to put some thoughts to paper.

Our summer is coming on full blast. June 1, what I consider the first day of summer, and don’t even try to argue with me on that, started bright and early with the air conditioning starting at 6 a.m. because it was already 80 degrees in the house. Eighty degrees is what we keep the household temperature during the summer. I love it, unlike the 70 degrees we keep it during the winter when I bundle up and grumble because every surface in the house feels like an icebox.

By 4 p.m. on June 1, the outdoor’s temperature was 104 degrees, but it remained a lovely 80 in the house. The shade trees, the air conditioning, the fans, all kept the house cool. We have a batch of kittens living in our backyard, and they had all melted into black puddles on the patio. We had a cool dinner of earlier roasted chicken, potato salad, and sliced fruit. Another reason I love summer days. I don’t have to cook late in the day when I’m tired. Just pull things from the fridge.

Our granddaughter FaceTimed us late in the day while her family awaited dinner to be delivered to celebrate her parents’ 19th wedding anniversary. She loves to show us her beauty supply purchases and other treasures. It’s a break from her school routine which still has 10 more days until the official summer break. She is on campus now, four days a week, with one day at home online. Because I never liked PE, she knows she has a sympathetic ear to her grumblings about the class. Some days, like June 1, she and grampa do exercises together, her showing him something that only flexible young people can do. He did pretty well with one contortion while I just sat back and shook my head.

There will be more hot days over 100 degrees this week and then a break for a few days in the high 80s. The sun will be bright and hot and I will get up early to make sure the yards are watered, the cats fed, and the chores done. With all the hot days, the fruits and vegetables that grow in the San Joaquin Valley and feed the world, will ripen quickly and the farmer’s markets will be full of the most wonderful produce. This is my time of the year.

The Ladies Who Lunch do brunch

It was a lovely morning to drive across town for a mid-morning brunch ay one of the lady’s home. We rarely have our meet ups in a home as it’s easier to let a restaurant do the cooking and cleaning. When the plans were made, though, there was still apprehension about eating in a restaurant and spending a lot of time with those who we don’t know. GeeGee was quite happy to host us, and there were only four of us. I made cinnamon rolls and another brought fruit. We had quiche and bacon.

It was all delicious, but even better was the conversation around the table. Since four of our usuals had bailed, GeeGee invited a newly retired friend with whom we have all worked. It was fun to get caught up with her and she will be part of the plans going forward. Our next outing will be at the end of June, on a Saturday, which is unusual for retired people who can do things in the middle of a workday, but that was the request of one of the missing. Because California has plans to be completely opened up and back to business as usual on June 15, we feel safe making restaurant plans.

And for my foot, it did just fine. I didn’t even mention the fall to the gals.

I highly recommend

Somewhere in all of my reading and meandering through various newsletters, blogs, book reviews, I must have come across the recommendation for a PBS Masterpiece, Elizabeth is Missing, starring Glenda Jackson. It may have been one of you, dear Readers, who mentioned it. I put it on my library hold list and went about my business. As I wrote last week, the library arrivals have slowed down now that the various branches throughout the valley are again open to customers. So, I lost track of this particular request. The DVD showed up last week, and Terry and I watched it over the weekend. I highly recommend it.

The screenplay is taken from a book. Glenda Jackson, in her 80s, does a remarkable job portraying Maud, an elderly woman bordering on dementia, who cannot find her friend, Elizabeth, who she last saw while gardening at Elizabeth’s home, a home in the “new division.” Taking place in current times, there are flashbacks to the late 1940s when Maud’s sister, Suki, disappeared. In the end, it all ties together.

Vogue has an article, published in the early part of this year, with an interview of Glenda Jackson and the making of Elizabeth is missing.

Looking back at looking forward

I had been looking forward to the past weekend, the fourth weekend in May. Friday I had a dentist appointment, and although I had been back once during the pandemic, I was happy to be back to my regularly scheduled appointments. For Saturday I had ordered meals from the Greek Orthodox Church which was hosting another drive-thru fest. Their annual Greek Fest has been set aside during the pandemic for these once-a-month drive thru pick ups. We had done this one other time and loved the food. Then, on Sunday, Terry and I were returning to our church’s sanctuary for Pentecost services which would also be a time to welcome new members.

Of course, things don’t always turn out as we would like them to…on Friday, excited to see the friendly dentist office personnel, I was talking and walking and tripped over the carpet and crashed down on my left ankle, banging my face on the low-nap carpet. I realized that I am out of the habit of walking, talking, turning corners, and, even though I know good balance techniques, like keeping your feet and eyes aligned, it all went out of my mind when I got caught up in a good conversation.

I was able to bounce back up, even the office personnel who all came running, commented on how well I could get back up and right myself. It’s all that exercise I do every morning, getting up and down from the floor. I thought I was fine and went on with my appointment which was just a cleaning and exam. All went well, the dentist and hygienist both commented on how good my mouth looked. I checked out with another six-month appointment card tucked into my purse and headed to the grocery store. Oh, my. That’s where I realized something was very wrong with my left foot. I was in pain as I walked the grocery aisles and quickly got my purchases and headed home.

My foot was turning purple and I realized I had abrasions on my face from the meet-up with the carpet. I spent the most of the day with my foot up, iced, and resting. I found some leftover pain patches from an achilles problem about six years ago. They helped, along with some tylenol, to ease the pain. I got out my walking boot for the last virtual storytelling at 1 o’clock as I do the storytelling while standing. I realized my left wrist was also sore when I held the book and turned the pages. The walking boot helped with the trip Saturday to pick up the Greek food, which we immensely enjoyed. Especially since I didn’t have to cook!

I wasn’t sure how Sunday would work, but I knew I was going to church, and wearing red. I have a red face mask and red shoes so I was set, except I kept thinking my left foot might have to go in that walking boot, not the red shoe. The pastor had asked me to say the closing prayer which meant three steps up to the pulpit. And then three steps down. There was, of course, the walk from the parking lot to consider. Finally, on Sunday morning the swelling had gone down enough to fit the foot into the red shoe, and with slow steps, I could walk fairly well. It all came off just fine. No one would even know I had a problem with my foot if I hadn’t told on myself. I was so glad to be back in the church building and able to participate in the service.

Now, 72 hours later after the fall, I am okay. Not back to my usual self, but able to do more around the house. My face looks a bit worse for wear. Still limping. Still using the pain patch and tylenol, but I’m mending. I’m looking forward to our abbreviated Ladies Who Lunch gathering on Wednesday.

It’s really a good day; I’m just not feeling it

It’s Thursday morning, just past 10. I am back from Whole Foods and the library. If I was a drinker, I would probably pour a glass of scotch or gin or something and sit here and wallow for awhile. But it’s morning, and alcohol is a depressant and I need no more depression so I am drinking a strong cup of coffee with a splash of chocolate soy.

I woke up feeling sad. A bit off. Do you have those mornings? I don’t usually. Evenings are my low point. Mornings I’m up and raring to go. The day spreads in front of me. There are things to do, and after a good night’s sleep, I am ready to get started. Although I had plans for the day, like the trip to Whole Foods and the library, I wasn’t too hung-ho to hurry.

When I turned on my phone, the message app bonged incessantly. I had 20 texts from overnight. They were all from the Ladies Who Lunch group about a get-together we had planned for next week. The host was verifying. The invitees were backing out. Not me. I’m going and taking cinnamon rolls. Hopefully another who verified her attendance will not forget or not find her way as that has happened in the past. The final invitee has not responded. Then we started texting about dates to plan for a June outing. I gave up and bowed out of that conversation. Will this become too hard for some? Will the Ladies Who Lunch become pandemic casualty? I don’t know and I don’t want to think about it, but it nags at the back of my mind.

As for the Whole Foods trip…aye yae yae. Ok, I know it’s Thursday, not my usual Tuesday, but it was early. I was hopeful that groceries would be well stocked for the upcoming weekend. I wasn’t expecting too many people at such an early time. Ha! The store was packed, and not with just the Amazon Prime shoppers as is the usual group I see on early Tuesday mornings. Oh, there were a few, but most of the customers were like me, older. A few young guys picking up lunch or snacks for later on. They moved quickly and with purpose. The older customers…well. I couldn’t think of anything I really wanted to eat, except produce, which everyone else wanted, too. I tried to move purposefully, too, but many items I would have bought weren’t in stock. I came home with three bags. I usually have five or six.

A few of my library holds came in. Three out of the eight that were in transit. I still have 24 holds. It’s as I thought, the libraries have reopened to the public and the staffs are busy, too busy to get my books moving along. I’m happy that people can return to the library, but it makes me peevish that I’m not getting my stuff as quickly as during the pandemic. I feel ashamed of myself for that attitude.

Friday is my last virtual storytelling day. I’ll wear another of the new polo shirts, the red one, which is actually more orange than red, but still bright. As I say goodbye to each class, I am telling them I hope to see them in person in the fall and, although I won’t be reading stories to them, I will come have lunch with them. It makes me sad that I didn’t get to physically see a whole group of students all year. But, I am thankful that we were able to do virtual storytelling.

So, a mixed bag of feelings here.