Category Archives: Uncategorized

Some reminiscing

Late Tuesday afternoon. I’m sitting on the couch, having finished the big job of the day, making beerocks. I’ve written about making these before. It’s only done a couple of times a year at most. I had a large roast and I have friends who would like to share in my foo production so decided now was the time because it’s a quiet week around here.

I will return to Columbia next week for in-person storytelling. When I contacted the principal of the school about coming back, he immediately returned a reply that said, “yes, come back on campus. The kids need you. It will be better in person.” So, there’s my answer to that dilemma. I have been reading about vaccinated people being unlikely carriers of the virus so that makes me feel safer to be around small, unvaccinated children. It looks like vaccinations for those under 12 may be coming soon. I hope so. I would feel even better then. Maybe we can even dispense with masks, but for now, the stories will be read with a mask.

About that title for this post…I went over to Ronni Bennett’s old blog, Time Goes By, and it’s pretty much just sitting there, nothing happening, but the blog roll she put together six or seven years ago is still there, and many of the blogs are still being kept up to date. It’s fun to travel around and see what others are up to. If you would like to check out some other older bloggers, click here for the list. You, too, can do some reminiscing.

End of a glitchy week

The technology was more glitchy than usual this week so only two storytelling sessions happened. I feel that God is sending me a message–go back to the campus–so I sent an email to the principal, after voicing this to one of the teachers who said, yes, it would be good to have me IN the classroom rather than on the screen. We’ll see what happens. Next week is parent-teacher conferencing so I won’t be doing any of the sessions as the school has a special schedule of shortened days.

We are up and out early this morning to get our flu shots with our medical group. We will wait to see if our doctor assigns a booster COVID vaccine. I’m not going to hunt one down, preferring to wait and see what my doctor says to do.

How I spent my Tuesday

We had a big wind storm on Monday. Trees came down all over town. Power went out in numerous places. Dust blew. Grass fires started and the smoke added to the bad air. At one point, around 3:30 in the afternoon, the air quality was 420, in the purple category, just about as bad as it can get. I ran the air purifier in our bedroom so we would have good air to breath overnight.

The leaves blew off of the trees and onto the patio. They piled up so high that the cats had trouble maneuvering. Their food was covered in leaf trash and their water was so dirty. I had to toss it all out and then put the food and water near a corner, up against the back patio wall, a location that seemed clear of the wind trash.

The winds died down overnight but the mess was still there this morning. I had errands to run and our green can was full, awaiting the city pickup later today, so no room for any more yard trash. I was able to get to work after lunch, clearing all of the furniture off of the patio and raking up the leaves. Once the green can had been picked up I could move the piles into the can. Then I swept the patio floor. I washed all the fabrics and cleaned the furniture, getting it all put back by 5 p.m. The cats walked around the patio, seeming to be pleased to have their habitat back in order. Clean bedding, clean food, clean water. All neat and tidy again. For awhile, anyway.

Friday and it’s raining

Although dark at 6 a.m. when we awoke, we could HEAR the rain falling on the patio roof. What a joyous sound. This moisture will clear the air and may even help with some of the forest fires. The fires are farther south than the storm track, though, so it may not make a lot of difference. The cooler air will help, though. It may give the firefighters, who are exhausted, a better chance to get in a control the flames.

I was able to reach four of the five classes at Columbia this week with stories. One of the first grade classes still has a substitute and he never clicked on to connect me with the class. I’ve now missed that class for two weeks. I’ll try again next week but the following week is parent conference which means early dismissal so less class time. I usually stay away during that week.

With the rain comes the news that the COVID vaccine for children has been sent on the Federal Drug Administration for approval. One step closer to being back on campus.

The battle of the blog platforms

I do not know why Blogger and WordPress cannot play nicely with one another.

My WordPress blog, that I usually use on my Safari browser, does not allow me to post on Blogger blogs, or so I think. Maybe it’s Blogger who has decided my WordPress identity is not good enough to speak up on its sites.

I have switched to using Firefox when I want to make comments on Blogger blogs, and those two seem compatible for the moment. I’m waiting, though, for Blogger to figure out I’m a WordPress deviate and send my comments back into the black hole, never to be seen by the writers with whom I wish to communicate. Blogger does make me jump through hoops to make those comments, requiring me to click on all of the sidewalks, bridges, and mountain ranges in the whole United States and probably some foreign countries, too. Perhaps there are WordPress bloggers who are robots, but not me.

Yesterday, after I commented on Shirley’s Blogger blog, she wrote back to say she had been attempting to comment on my WordPress blog but to no avail. While in Firefox, I wrote a long comment on Kathy’s Blogger blog, checking all the boxes for traffic lights and bicycles, and it disappeared. See, the two platforms just do not get along and the bloggers are the ones who suffer.

New week, more bad air

The past weekend was hard…hard to breath, that is, if you ventured outdoors. We ran the air purifier around the clock because the smoke never cleared. Here it is Monday, and the sun is obliterated by the smoke. It looks like a winter day. We kept the lamps on until mid-morning.

Church cleanup day was on Saturday, and in years past we would open all the doors, but not this year. Four us worked in the sanctuary for a couple of hours, polishing, dusting, vacuuming. Two of the ladies then went off to the kitchen to see if they could do some cleaning in the pantry there. The room is not set up very well, having been open to the outdoors for a long time and even now there are only thin walls because of venting for the water heaters. Dirt and dust come in and settle on the storage boxes in there. Terry spent another hour vacuuming the pews and I dusted the choir loft, even though no one is using it right now as the choir was shut down due to the pandemic.

After getting home Saturday afternoon, I sat on the couch and read. That’s all, just read. I was tired and knew we would have to be up early on Sunday because we both had tasks at church. Terry is filling in for two people during the next few weeks. The two fellows who operate the sound and visual for the church are both out, one with open heart surgery and the other with hip replacement. We have hired a high school student, who is also a Girl Scout, to run the Sunday worship online service. Not too sure what we will do when she leaves for college on the East Coast.

Again, after church on Sunday, I sat on the couch and read. The air was thick with smoke, and as much as I would have liked to work outdoors, I knew it was too unhealthy to do so. My throat is again raw, but it behaved itself well enough for me to offer the prayer for our congregation during Sunday’s service. I had been concerned that it might have been like last Sunday when I had to make a hasty retreat due to coughing and choking. That would not have been a good look from the pulpit and over the airways!

This is the week our neighborhood is scheduled for the big garbage pickup as we call it. The city allows you to throw out all the stuff that’s too big for your garbage cans. I had been storing two non-working standing fans in our storage unit, just waiting for this event, so I went to get them early this morning. There was an old metal folding chair there, too, which had originally belonged to Terry’s grandmother, so I brought it out. After getting those items home, I cleaned out the patio toy box and put all the items at the curb for this pickup. Didn’t have to wait long for the scavengers to come by and pick it all up, keeping it, for awhile, from the landfill.

Addendum: Terry took our Dyson vacuum to the repair shop today for a new handle and new filters only to return with a replacement for the vacuum’s canister. So, now the old canister will go out there on the curb. Wonder if any scavenger will want it?

Sometimes all you can do is try again

The technology didn’t work as expected this week and I only read to two classes, one first grade, one second grade. Next week we will try again.

A retired teacher friend is in a rehab facility after breaking her leg. Things are not looking good for the long-term. There are memory problems as well as agility issues. Family is pretty much all gone except for one elderly sister. I tried to go visit her one day this past week but she had been taken back to the hospital with chest pains. Next week I will try again.

On Friday I was able to visit Columbia Elementary and take See’s chocolate jack o’lanterns to the staff. The students and staff were wonderful and it was so good to just say hi, talk to a few people, and hand out stickers to the kids. I’m going to plan on returning in person for storytelling by the end of the month. That is, unless the virus numbers go crazy again. This plan was made once before, but I will try again.

It’s Saturday morning and we are up early so as to get some work done around the house before heading to church for a workday. We have not had a church cleanup since March 2020. We will try again.

What gets you moving in the morning?

I’ve written often about being a morning person. I spring out of bed, plans in my head, energy in my toes, ready to get the day started. Usually. But not today. The last Friday in September finds me feeling a bit low.

Although up at the usual time, just a few minutes beyond 6 a.m., the darkness and bad air do not give me a good feeling. I wish we could return to standard time RIGHT NOW. I need my sunshine at 6 a.m., not 7 p.m. Of course, with the forest fire smoke shifting in our direction right now, the days are all a hazy blur. Maybe that’s the problem with my motivation. It too is blurred.

I have not been well the past few days. Have no idea if it’s a bug I picked up or one of my food allergies. By Thursday evening I was so exhausted, having used every ounce of energy on the necessary tasks, right up to finally telling Terry he was on his own for dinner, I could not do one more thing. I sat on the couch and went to bed just past 7:30.

There are no obligations on today’s calendar except to pick up dinners from our neighborhood cafe/bakery. Thank goodness I had the forethought to order those earlier in the week. However, there are tasks on my list still undone. My car begs to go to the car wash. There are items I need from Target for a project I have next weekend. I should go grocery shopping as the produce has run out. I knew things were bad when Terry resorted to eating raw carrots with his dinner.

Because I often analyze my life by writing, I thought putting my lack of motivation into a blog post might just provide some insight into this malaise, but I’m not seeing it now. Maybe when I come back and read this at a later time it will be more evident. For now, though, I just want to sit and do nothing.

Bad air, bad air, bad air

The Sequoia National Forest is on fire. This national landmark is only 90 minutes from our home. Terry and I, when younger and braver, would spend our Saturdays hiking its trails. The Giant Redwood Forest is home to the largest and oldest living trees on the planet. When you stand underneath them, you are awed and inspired.

The small town where Terry and I honeymooned and returned many summers for vacations with our daughter is also close to this inferno. The town is closed right now except for the firefighters. Last night’s news highlighted a lodge owner who is feeding the fire crews with his best steaks, chops, and fish. We know they are eating well because we have stayed there and eaten many meals on the deck overlooking one of the rivers that flows through the area.

The fires all add to our bad air down here in this large bowl that we call home. Tuesday’s color was orange. The sun was an orange ball. The skies were an orange glow. All the shadows reflected the orange. Another apocalyptic day when I stayed indoors and ran the air purifier.

Although I have a list of errands sitting here beside me on the desk where I type this, I will stay home today. Wednesdays and Thursdays have become my virtual storytelling days. I have three sessions today and two on Thursday. I need my voice. Breathing bad air will not help it.

It’s been a week…

Lots going on here…baked brownies and made more caramel corn for a dear friend who just lost her 97 year old mother. The goodies were actually for her grandchildren who she cares for during the week except when she had to be gone to another part of the state to see to her parents. Hard times for the family and the best I could do was a few yummy treats.

Another retired teacher friend is in the hospital with a broken leg and visitors are not allowed due to the COVID disaster playing out in our community. The situation is beyond sad. This woman has only one family member, an older sister, and very few friends. Her cognitive skills have been dwindling over the past couple of years and the pandemic shut-down did not help. Please, dear Readers, keep moving. This friend did not, and her balance and ability to get up from a fall continued to deteriorate. Now, hospitalized, we hear that she is not taking well to physical therapy as it is too hard for her to move. None of us can go see her to help motivate her.

The California recall election came out well. What a harrowing few weeks we have had, though, leading up to the final vote count. Should the recall have passed, the frontrunner for replacing our governor, who has done an excellent job guiding the state through the pandemic, would have been a clone of that former president. Or should I say “clown.” His television ads were so abusive that I would run from the room any time his non-blinking face came on the screen. No more of that horrible man, for now, anyway.

I virtually visited three classrooms this past week and read two books to the first and second grade classes. They are delightful children. It looks like I will have four classes on next week’s agenda. Plus, I get to meet with all the other resiliency coaches on Monday and catch up on what has been happening with their storytelling.

Cooler temperatures are in the forecast. Triple digit days look to be a thing of the past for this summer. I was still out early this morning to do a bit of yard work, but not feeling quite as pressured to get much done before the heat sets in. We will still have some smoke blowing through from the various forest fires burning around us. Let’s see what next week brings.