* 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.

* The Sunshine State (2)

Our trip to Florida was amazing. Did you know we could see a satellite launch while standing in our relative’s driveway? This was about 50 miles from Cape Canaveral. I thought the glow was a street light! Awesome! We watched the powerful rocket race through the night, eventually disappearing.

But, I think there may be dangers in living so close to the space center. Look at Vanessa.

I mean, that’s just odd. Too much satellite exposure, for sure.

* The Sunshine State (1)

My dearest teaching widower (DTW) and I just took a trip to Florida, where the sun is brighter and the traffic lights self-propagate. Of course, I ignored the laughter and took photos. Everything in Florida is worth photographing.

We visited relatives whom we have designated as our ‘go-to’ family during the zombie apocalypse. We would be safe here, unless I accidentally shot my DTW. I did accidentally shoot the chain holding the target in place. Quite a fancy bit of accuracy!

Did you know there are alligators about 50 feet away from me? Hiding and biding their time…. And no, I am not a boy! It’s just the angle.

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* Pick of the litter

Thanks to Kristi (Ten Things of Thankful) for her post and video of dog helpers. That reminded me of my most recent experience with the sweet folks who support these assistance dogs-in-training.

I was at an event to recruit volunteers from a local university and my table was right next to THE best nonprofit around, PAWS With a Cause. Okay, I’m a dog lover, so when I saw this adorable face next to me, I forgot all about my puppetry organization!

Look at this face! She’s watching me eat a peanut butter sandwich, hence the avid stare. Still in training, I think. But the fireworks really started when a very young pup-in-training showed up.

* This or That

I have surgery today. It is either scheduled for 6:00 AM or 12:30 PM. I was supposed to get a call…. The third person I asked about it said, “I’d go with the one you just spoke to.” Okay then.

I am either getting just a rotator cuff repair or an additional procedure to fasten the bicep to the bone somewhere. Three out of three folks I spoke to today were unaware of the biceps problem. So maybe it has gone away. Or not.

I was initially told I would have more range of movement than my procedure in March. I can drive immediately, for instance. Now I have heard that I will be immobilized for three+ weeks. It’s a 10-week recovery either way, optimistically speaking. I do need this fixed so I can swim again, so I’m good.

One thing is sure: I must bring a $250 copay. That reminds me of the game of Monopoly: Do not pass GO to collect $200, move directly to jail.

I’ll be going to Bull City (Durham, NC) for the operation. I DO like the hospital’s rendition of a bull. Just put that sucker in a sling and we are all set. I already have a pair of crutches!