* Weeds are fine, sweat- meh

As much as I loved spring, with its vibrant flowers and fragrances, the beginning of summer is great for flowering weeds, not so great for long walks. We’re talking about major sweating here- and the temps are still moderate for this time of year. I guess 6-foot distancing is best since I look like I have a dripping fever.

The weed below is a Carolina horse nettle. My dearest teaching widower would be proud that I didn’t touch it!

Magnolia trees are not weeds, but since I DO grab sniff all the lowest blossoms, I must include this gorgeous one. The flowers of this ancient plant do not have true petals. In fact, this early flowering giant has been around for 36+ million years! I guess the above blossom may be a fossil in the making. I do love to see the stamen, lying there like candy matchsticks. Truly delish!

* Oh, deer

You know how incensed I get when the local deer rip out my plants? And how I yell and bark at them to no avail? Well, I take all that back every year around this time, when our hill becomes a fawn parking lot.

Sorry for the photo quality. This was taken through the window. Quietly.

We do have a set of twins up there but it’s the only child, Fawnville, who entertains us daily. Fawnville started off wobbly and uncertain, but he’s now into dizzying sprints. His mom has to trail after him; keeping him out of mischief is a full time job. She already looks weary, kind of like other parents in quarantine. I keep reminding her that this, too, shall pass. In the meantime, I am silent as they rip out the remaining periwinkles.

* Fear of blogging?

Sometimes I hate to blog. I know folks have written comments for me to read and I know those comments are sitting idly on a runway to nowhere. I know I have neglected all those blogs taking flight to other worlds, with their photos and stories to enjoy. If only I could take off and fly this thing!

It has occurred to me that I’m paralyzed by fear of blogging- and worse. Here are some symptoms:

  • If I read too many of Pete Springer‘s awesome posts (like, just one), I immediately stop blogging.
  • I once paid a slightly desperate blogger for 5 re-posts of anything, but that was four years ago. I have yet to write a post worth re-blogging. And yes, I still ask a different, not desperate blogger, Suzi Speaks, to help me! She has righted the craft many times.
  • I never ever reread any of my posts unless under duress, such as when I’m quoted and then flabbergasted that I wrote such a nonsensical thought. I accidentally read what I posted today (Sunday) and immediately saw a typo, thereby reinforcing my desire to avoid rereading.

What’s worse than fear of blogging? What’s really at the core of my phobia? Foolish comparison with others. What other charming passenger lurks in the tail of my plane? Fear of what others think. And wait for it- there is yet another creepy item in the cargo hold. Perfectionism (which is a nicer name for pride).

I think it’s time for an oxygen mask to fall out of the ceiling. And I have almost exhausted my airplane analogies. You’re welcome.

As this post plummets out of control (gotcha!), let me tell you what the black box says: She tried writing quickly to keep perfectionism from stalling the craft. Too late. She veered off with a draft, which merely joined trillions of other drafts waiting to be deleted. Then she started chatting about Vesna Vulović, who fell 33,000 feet from an airplane and survived. Major ouch and nothing a sane person would desire! Finally, she thought about her dearest teaching widower, who would have had to listen to all these ramblings if she hadn’t written them down. He cannot tolerate any more phonics talk at the dinner table.

Well then….

Because I love him and I love all things education, especially the kiddos and their fams, I’m in. For at least this week.

* Weekend coffee share for tea drinkers

Hola! Hello! I have not felt like blogging much lately, as you may have noticed. Sometimes I feel so excited about blogging and at other times, I shrug it off like a wet coat. I’m in a tea-drinking-chocolate-eating mode right now, so I’m joining the weekend coffee share hosted by Eclectic Alli. She’s in the field of library science, which looked to be a dinosaur at one point. But it’s reemerging through technology and that kind of degree can now open more than library doors.

The point of this blog is to share what’s been going on in my life, so here’s a glance.

I was looking worse than this in many ways, but fortunately, hair salons opened Friday at 5! I was first in line.

The honeysuckle and privet hedges around here have been blossoming, their fragrances assuring me I don’t have the virus. Sadly, spring has started drowning in early summer heat and humidity. Speaking of drowning, I’d love to go swimming instead of walking, even with a hole in my head ear, but who knows when indoor pools will reopen? I do know that my knees can’t take much more walking.

On the topic of “can’t take much more,” how will students and families and school districts solve the conundrum of back-to-school in the fall? From an equity standpoint, we already poorly navigate educational waters with students of color and families in poverty. How much more have we curtailed their prospects now that learning is remote? What good is a Chromebook if there is no connectivity? That begs the question of how well students work in small quarters with larger families whose parents are unemployed or working long hours out of the home.

In my neighborhood, we had teddy bears in windows so that kids on walks with their parents could wave. Just saying.

My dearest teaching widower has a week of radiation under his belt. He’s still as sweet as ever. My great nephew is continuously looking for ways to help around the house. They watch tear-jerker movies together and I join them to watch action flicks. They drink coffee and I drink Tetley’s English blend. We all eat chocolate.

Thanks for joining me!

* What if….

What if I had not already lived through JFK and MLK and 9/11? Would I understand how this pandemic will likely change language and cultures?

What if I became immune to numbers like 30,000 and 2,000,000? Or what if I became immune to COVID-19?

What if I was trying to explain this pandemic to a kiddo with moderate AU? How could I do that without causing him to feel like he’d topple off the earth? What about all those kids who already struggle with anxiety? And what about their parents who are desperately trying to be family and school?

What if I did not already belong to Jesus? Would I turn towards him or pretend that I’m God?

What if I wanted to cut my hair? Or buy toilet paper?

What if the people who are suffering the most are not reading blogs? What if they have no internet or devices or running water or doctors? Or what if they live in a country where individual rights mean nothing? Where you disappear if you say anything negative about the president?

This photo was posted on Nextdoor. Sweet and talented!

* Bucket Man

I can hear the ‘Rocket Man’ tune rippling through my head. In an unparalleled time, this guy stood out.

I was in a row of cars outside a pharmacy, waiting for my prescription to be handed through the window. I looked up and saw a guy carrying a bucket, only it looked like he had no head! Yikes! This man had cut a square-shaped opening, covered it with plastic, and balanced the whole deal around his head.

If I had a mask, I would have gladly given it to him. On the other hand, he’s faring better than me, since I can’t even keep a scarf wrapped around my face!

* COVID-19 hunkering (#3)

What a difference a week makes! This is Day 6 of the president’s 15 stay-at-home protocol. I’ve been walking through neighborhoods, moving aside as many families hike the trails near our house.

The majority of folks are careful about keeping their distance, but I was unhappy to see a very small playground full of about 20 kiddos and parents. Yes, it was nice to hear laughter but even if those folks have no symptoms, they can be shedding the virus. Since most folks are fine if they contract this coronavirus, I’m not so much worried about them as I am the increasing spread of this virus.

Many folks are supporting our community of workers and small businesses who are greatly affected by the shut-downs and restrictions. One local business that has brought thousands of laughs and songs to our community is Balloons And Tunes. When we first moved to North Carolina, I was delighted when they showed up to celebrate special occasions. I’ve used them multiple times for math manipulatives, such as collections of miniature pigs and globes. Since no one is celebrating widely right now, a member of one neighborhood purchased balloons for EVERY house! What a delight to walk through a neighborhood festooned with balloons!

Stay safe!

* Covid-19 (#1)

Boy, was I missing the ‘real world.’ About a week ago, I went to the store to get some copy paper. While there, I remembered that we are low on dish washing liquid. I really need to start making shopping lists.

This is what I saw. And photographed. Many folks are using a LOT of dish washing liquid!

I was (almost) speechless, so I looked at other nearby aisles.

No toilet paper or paper towels.
And no bleach?

Did something happen while I was away? Yes, I knew all about the coronavirus. (I just added that word to my online dictionary.) But seriously? I stood there, taking these photos and chatting with other customers who had been looking for TP.

I am not downplaying the impact of Covid-19 on people like me and my husband (old folks with health issues). But let’s not panic here. In fact, let’s treat all germs as relatively equal if you have a compromised immune system. I have already caught a couple of plain-Jane viruses circulating in the schools. Being sneezed and coughed on is no joking matter and I’m thinking of chastising the people who cough into their hands. I’m not able to see my medically fragile kiddo because I’m sick with a non-coronavirus. And as much as I want to see him, I’m not going to pass this one along.

* The Sunshine State (3)

My dearest teaching widower (DTW) and I were really spoiled on our Florida trip. Our Sunshine relatives made this such a memorable time.

The Sun Rail was a delight! A three-story light rail with great views and touristy places to visit. It’s too bad that our local (North Carolina) light rail plan was such a dud. The GoTriangle organization spent $190 million and still needed $237 million plus a change of heart from Duke University/Carolina Railroad. The project was abandoned last May. Ah, well.

It only cost $3 for us to ride. I refuse to say whether my DTW and I paid the senior fares.