* 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!

* Color your world

Tourmaline is back with her Color Your World blogging challenge! I MIGHT be able to pull this off because it’s only one color a week. I’m three weeks late, so here are my catch-up photos:

The first week was ferns. These beauties, from the Sunshine State, are a closeup of the image below.
The second week: forest green. Florida’s forests are so lush!
Last, but not least: fuchsia! And doesn’t she look lovely as she discovers her feet!

* The Sunshine State (4)

After such a terrific time with relatives in Florida, it was hard to leave. I walked the Orlando airport to get my fitbit steps, exposing myself to folks hacking and sneezing into their hands. Yikes, folks. Use your arm!

I did see a coterie of stunning women, all in a line, heading for service as flight attendants. If my dearest teaching widower had not been working on his paper, seated in a galaxy far away, he’d have told me to put my phone down. But I couldn’t resist.

On the flight home, a passenger next to us coughed into the air unceasingly. Our front yard was filled with dozens of flags and spray paint, like someone planned to excavate every buried pipe and cable. Our house ‘smart thermostats’ had reverted to 49 degrees, which was a real shock to our systems (and I got very grumpy). I caught a nasty bug and was bedridden. When I graduated to the couch, I tripped over my computer cord and fell really hard, smashing a dish and landing on two body parts that had already survived surgery: my knee and shoulder.

BUT, the trip was fabulous and we can’t wait to return!

* 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.

* TToT: my week

I’m joining a blogging challenge to share Ten Things for which I’m thankful this week. Here we go!

1. My stitches were removed from the finger I nearly lopped off almost 2 weeks ago. Whew! Glad to be on the mend.

2. This bunny friend comes daily to feast in our overgrown yard. He’s adorable!

3. Speaking of animals, oh say can see our patriotic deer? Thankfully, this one is in a neighbor’s yard.

4. The smoker my dearest widower won for Father’s Day was full of water and rust when we opened it yesterday. And it still worked! Here’s why the water got in. Not thankful for Dorian.

This photo was taken from the inside of the cover.

5. I prepared a rockin’ potato salad today! Thankful to Gimme Some Oven for the recipe.

And following ClarkScottRoger’s awesome book of rules, numbers 6- 9 are open for someone else to contribute! PLEASE!

As for number 10, I am grateful for my new, mostly-retired status: just hangin’ around!

* Rough bird on a stick

You probably noticed, I mean I hope you noticed, that I was MIA from blogging in May (and at other times, sadly). Times were decidedly rough. Right now, I’m recovering from food poisoning so I’m feeling very a wee bit sorry for myself.

Back in May, during that distinctly rough time, I saw that Cee had a marvelous Fun Foto challenge on feathers. (Be sure to check out her fabulous entries!)

At the start of our dolphin adventure a month earlier, before times got severely rough, a grackle serendipitously posed for us as we waited for the boat to set sail. As usual, all the passengers were effortlessly snapping photos while I scrambled to get the lens on my camera. That pleasant grackle waited while I took this photo, no doubt grinning at my efforts. I also managed to smudge the lens with sunblock, so all my photos from this outing have a nasty worm-like blob which I have cropped out which didn’t matter since I was following Cee’s “rule of three,” despite my haste.

When times are not extremely rough, I will catch up on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenges. I have plenty of singularly rough photos to use.

* digging for gold (ten things of thankful)

I have been a terribly sporadic visitor to the Ten Things of Thankful blog, but every time I go, I’m rewarded by the words, photos, and humor from such encouraging folks. It’s a great place to share gems of thankfulness.

Gem #1: My dearest teaching widower remains at the top of my list. His tech skills are sometimes clumsy but always endearing. I got him a Fitbit for his birthday and it’s already destroyed! I think his inner distrust of all things tech has created some kind of deadly force field. He’s a powerhouse when searching the web, though! (See #4.)

Gem #2: The patient families of the kiddos I teach, who must wonder if my body is falling apart. Yes, it is.

Gem #3: The Bible in One Year 2019 devotional by Nicky and Pippa Gumbel. They are an amazing couple, perhaps best known for developing Alpha courses. OK, I am now 42 days behind in reading, but onward, ever onward!

Gem #4: Thanks to Cee’s inspiration and support, I have a REAL camera! It was a delightful Christmas present, heavily-researched by my dearest widower (see #1). I haven’t used it much but I look forward to the day….

Gem #5: Cadbury’s milk chocolate, which remains sweet and silky and mood-changing.

Gem #6: Faithful followers of my blog, despite my erratic posting. Thank you!!!!!!!!

Gem #7: Suzie’s kind support and encouragement. Check out her amazing blog (Suzie Speaks), her cat’s bottom, and her new job!

Gem #8: My own Fitbit, a birthday present from my fam. Fitbit and I love each other. It purrs on my wrist. It cheers me on, even as I feel like body parts will soon start dropping off.

Gem #9: Amazon Prime wardrobe, which means I never have to expose my feet to strangers again. No one fainting in horror at a shoe store.

Gem #10: A physical therapist who reminded me to be thankful I have feet (even if you can find them by googling “ugliest feet in the world”). That PT works with folks who have prosthetic feet and they would give anything for my ugly feet.

Freebie: Don’t search for ugliest feet in the world.