I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, April 27, 2020

Mo Walks A Lonely Out and About

Good evening, as April draws to a frigid end here.  The good news is it is still daylight at 8 PM despite dense cloud cover and spitting cold rain. Colder and windier than usual? Or just the way ''spring'' is here? I can't even remember, at this point. Mo and I of course must have our three or four daily walks. [We interact with no one.]
Pugs are lazy, snuggly creatures who will sleep 23 1/2 hours out of 24 if allowed. [The other half hour is spent eating or begging.]

So put on your masks, along with your winter layers, especially hat, gloves scarves [wool socks, legwarmers, and windpants], and keeping a mandated six foot spacing---come walk with us. The fresh air is always good, if you don't mind blue fingers and toes.

Off we go, "Look, Mo, yum yum!" Yes Mo walks for bribes only.

Many people have been tidying up their clamshell curbs and Mo inspects every single one.

The beach lane is especially dreary in the rain.

I do love dandelions, little sunshines in the grass.

Deeepest blue grape hyacinths, only the tiny bells are pretty.

One of my favorite trees, a very old pink crabapple. This area was first built up in the 1960s; I always imagine that this tree is maybe original, and now 60 years old.

 The trunk is so thick and wide, the bark so interesting with its many colors and textures.

Far above on now removed branches, the frills of candy pink bloom, along with the bright red unfurling leaves.

One day we traveled all the way to the koi pond. 

I was so pleased to see many of the koi were ''back''--had they been removed for the winter? Or do they shelter under the broad slate now set in the bottom of the pool? It seems the stone is raised and is quite large- 2 1/2' x 3 1/2' ?---and they did disappear and reappear as we watched.  Many of the carp are  quite large and I suppose, like the tree, quite old. I count 11 or 12 in the photos; there are usually 14, including two or three goldfish sized ones.

The pond was rebuilt last year, and is now quite glamorous, with two lighted elaborate waterfalls that interest the koi not at all.


Nearby we saw the feral kitties, Tuxie, Stripey and Newbie---on this doorstep. Photo blurry because they were far away.

I was surprised to see them there as the owner is quite belligerent and has yelled at me and Mo a number of times, for being there and walking by to see the koi. [Not his koi, either!] He must have a good heart and must feed the somewhat chubby, well-satisfied wild cats.
On a doorstep, pansies and sweet faux Goose, all in pink.

And this kills me, this gorgeous large and valuable stoneware crock that these folks leave out in their garden. Yes, you have seen it before, for years! They never take it inside.

One oddly sad aspect of the virus quarantine is that I can no longer pick up items of interest as we walk.

A nut for my ''odd circles'' collection:

It has been there for three weeks now, is it safe to pick it up?

A penny for my found money jar. It would have made my total 71 cents this year so far.

I also passed up a cute tiny Japanese electronic key-ring toy, I want to say Tamagotchi?, about 1 1/2" oval. It ticked and whirred as I toed it but I had to leave it. I hope the child who lost it came back.

Then home again, home again, jiggety-jig!

Have a good week. Please send me your out and about pics for next week's readers' Out and About. It's fine to take the pics from your back steps or bedroom window.



gone to the beach....

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Groceries ~ Where's My Charmin

Good evening everyone! Today was grocery delivery day. Yesterday, my friend went to the small fruit and veggie market by the train tracks for lovely veggies, because she and I always have loooong veggie lists.

Today was Trader Joe's.

I am stocked up lavishly with fresh meats, cheese, and veggies...

My fave spring treat, multicolored radishes.

Mo's chicken jerky wraps....

and my pantry is stocked up with plenty of things like pasta, rice, quinoa.

The only fruit I use is  lemons.

Since I have medical issues that make me high risk for the virus/ death, I am blessed to have my wonderful friend who shops for me. I was  hoping that the trips were not too onerous for her, she is normally a young, very healthy, very active business executive and she is not loving being isolated at home. Grocery shopping is her once every ten days outing. But today when she came after her Trader Joe run, she was tense and exhausted and very stressed. I felt so bad. She said, It's awful, it's like the Hunger Games. I won't be going again soon!"

More than an hour wait in line.

And it is cold and windy here. [Would we all feel a bit better if the weather was warmer? I'm shivering here in my hooded down vest as I type. It is COLD.]

Trader Joe's has consistently had the items on my list.They even had paper towels and dish soap!

And some treats, like a grapefruit soy candle she stuck in my bag, or a small box of chocolate macaroons.

No Triscuits though, anywhere. She brought chips instead.

No toilet paper.

Of course no flowers.
I was somewhat shocked today to read a comment on a British blog: "It appears to be the extremely elderly in our shops who cannot manage the social distancing. And I wonder why they are out anyway." 

How unkind! 

I have someone to shop for me; many many older folks do not have that network of friends, or their friends are also elderly. But they still must mask up and go to the store. Elderly people have to eat too. I think how frightened and shaken my mom would have been and though I miss her each and every day, in a way I am thankful she has passed on and is spared our world now.

I do feel like I impose on friends' kindness, and have been making masks to repay in a small way. Another friend brought a huge case of paper towels, he had gone to Costco. But I investigated online orders and delivery. Amazon is either wildly overpriced or out of stock; last week.  Target had a few necessities, 

but yesterday, nothing. 

And I tried the local big  supermarket chain, Stop and Shop, whose web info I'd clipped from Pennysaver at the crisis's beginning.

So after years of bragging up their home delivery service, their website has this to say:

Oh and why no Charmin? Same reason there is no milk etc etc. Because almost everyone is staying home there has been about a 40% increase in demand for use at home products; while the same products normally sold in bulk to schools, institutions, and other volume users cannot quickly be repackaged for home use [think school cartons of milk, or a hotel chain's massive unwrapped supply of crappy toilet paper. ]

And it seems quality TP is made from farmed American and Canadian wood pulp. In March Trump alienated the Canadians and their prime minister by refusing to share medical items {''you're on your own''] and the big paper mills, like Georgia Pacific couldn't get raw materials. And also P & G plants that make Charmin, Pampers and other paper goods are diverting to make masks. Add in corona virus in their plants and warehouses, social distancing creating delays in their manufacturing systems, and possibly trucking delays, and we have a shortage. 

Next is meat, as again, the virus is shutting down meat processing plants. 

[This info is taken from various sources on the web, including manufacturers' websites. It makes sense to me, even if it provides no fixes. But I cannot totally vouch for internet info's accuracy. I did my best to find answers, sharing my finds.]

Of course we just will endure. And make masks.

Here is dinner:

Looks like all is well, doesn't it. But portions are small [by choice at this point], foods must last.

love and hugs to all. Send me your out and about pics.



gone to the beach....


oh and here is a shrink weighing in on why everyone is having bad dreams:  dreams