Posts Tagged ‘personal’

Nothing prepared us for for a year like this, did it? Things are very different right now: masks, distancing, stay-at-home orders, and worse: job loss, businesses closing, people dying. Some of the consequences of Covid are terrible. But let’s be real. Many are inconveniences nothing more, what I like to call first world problems, such as having to wear masks, not being able to go into bars, not being able to hang out with friends.

Even if you don’t complain, what do you miss? I think I miss spontaneity: meeting a friend for lunch, going on vacation without wipes and disinfectant spray, finding waiting at the airport a pain only for being boring, walking into a library, hugging someone, going to a craft bar, my yearly trip to France, deciding to browse at a store, and while I don’t have a problem with it, not wearing a mask would be pretty exciting. Without spontaneity, I feel as if I’m just hanging around most of the time.

So, lots of negatives. The more challenging question is has Covid done anything for you? (Spell Check wants to know if Ovid has done anything for you!) I’m not saying we should be glad Covid came along to screw up 2020, but although I know seems as if all its impacts are negative, maybe they’re not. Maybe some good has come out of this year.

Covid has made me realize again what’s important: family; keeping in touch with friends by actual mail, text, or phone; having a home to spend time in; my husband having a job even if he has to work ridiculous hours; how a blog can help me stay in touch with people; how blessed I was to be able to take things for granted; the value of libraries having e-books. It’s also made me realize that many things I complained about really weren’t worth complaining about!

How about you? What do you miss? What might Covid have done for you? ( And if Ovid’s done anything for you, you can let me know that too.)

Everyone has a superpower. My dad’s is being able to call on the phone at the most inconvenient time: when I’m as far away from the phone as possible, on another call, forgot to take my phone off vibrate for the night, etc. My husband, in the same vein, starts a conversation when I’m in the bathroom, doing something noisy, or have just walked out of the room. He can also nap any time and any place, something not in my super power arsenal.

Some have the superpower of always being elegant,

while others look great in feathers and a hat.

I’m a mom, so I obviously have a multitude of superpowers! But one very useful super power is being able to pack well, whether estimating how much will fit in a container for the fridge or freezer or packing the most possible items in the space allowed, whether in a suitcase or boxes in the van. My other superpower is being able to drive for long periods of time without having to stop (gas stops and bathroom/food breaks should always happen together if at all possible) and actually enjoying it.

What’s your superpower? I know you have one! If I don’t see any responses, I might be forced to come up with one for quite a few of you who follow this blog, so get your choice in so I don’t have to do it for you. 🙂

BTW, I look great in hats, too. 🙂

Patti today has set a challenge which for me is very difficult. One of the things I love doing with my photography is to take unusual photos of everyday objects, although often my objects are outdoors. Today, however, after spending a long time browsing through files and amassing way too many possibilities for the challenge, I finally decided on just four, plus a quote I came across only minutes before the challenge arrived but what I’d like to think inspires my photographic aims.

Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. ~Roald Dahl

Let’s start with a little something for the body as well as the soul.

Sometimes when cooking, or in this case baking, I have to quickly get my phone to take a photo. These are liquid ingredients for a recipe.

Years ago, my sister-in-law and I went on a splendid trip which included Vicenza, Italy where I found some beautiful perfume bottles which I managed to get home intact. 🙂

Finally a little something from our living room in Illinois, where nothing is free of the possibility of being decorated for Christmas.

One enjoyable sidelight of this challenge was seeing many photos I hadn’t seen in some time and was delighted to discover all over again. Thank, Patti.

for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #111: Everyday Objects

Ever since we got married (36 years ago next month), we’ve been driving the same route to Wyoming, whether from Cleveland’s east side or Chicago’s southwest side. This year, except for the last 30 miles or so, it was new territory. I’d planned to get up at 4 am, but woke earlier, heading out in the dark to cover just under 700 miles, a trip that would take over 10 hours. I don’t stop much with a goal of gas/bathroom stops coinciding. I had food packed, tea in my Contigo thermal cups, plenty of snacks, and the wonderful BBC radio “Lord of the Rings” production for the CD player. Incidentally, that recording has made the trip with us for almost all those years, first on tape, now on CD.

I didn’t see much scenery the first several hours, the sky only lightening around 5:30 am. I saw where a wildfire had devastated acres and acres and then it was through the White Mountains, onto I-40 (paralleling or overlapping with historic Rt. 66 in many place, and to Albuquerque, where my route turned north towards Raton, New Mexico just south of the Colorado border where I’d stay overnight.

Rain in this part of the country and at this time of year is scarce. We’ve been in Arizona since the end of March and have experienced only a couple “showers”, in quotes because there often not enough to measure. But past Santa Fe near Wagon Mound, there was more than the promise of rain, although most of it was to the west of me. It looked wonderful!

I could see the rain coming down in the distance. All these shots were taken with my iPhone while driving BUT with one hand firmly on the wheel and eyes on the road. It gives point-and-shoot a whole new meaning and also means lots of deleted shots when I finally stop, but I often get some good ones, too.

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The strange year that is 2020 continues. However not everything has changed. I’ll be loading the van tomorrow, pointing it toward Wyoming where I plan to wallow in mountains, horses, and relaxation plus a bit of family time with our daughters. We don’t have internet in the mountains, so I’ll be incommunicado for at least several weeks. In the meantime, stay healthy and happy and know you’ll be missed.

Tell me you don’t notice color (skin or hair or eyes), size, gender, etc. and I’ll say you’re being disingenuous. Tell me men and women are alike, I’ll say stop being ridiculous. (And heavens, why would we want them to be?) We do notice those things and that’s fine. Differences exist, they do matter, and that’s generally good. How boring it would be if we were all the same!

Where we really need to be is the point at which those obvious differences are only some of many characteristics of that person and they don’t, as Martin Luther King said, define the content of their character. If someone asked me how they would identify a friend of a difference race, why would I not mention color as one of the characteristics? Why wouldn’t I be called white? I am (and trying to stay relatively that way in Arizona to avoid possible skin cancer!!)

Let’s stop asking for the impossible and the ridiculous and start thinking about the inward person. We won’t move past all the nonsense going on now (and no, I’m not saying everything is nonsense, so just relax) unless we spend time with people who are different in situations where we can both/all meet as just people and not members of “groups” or “parties”, but people who may have more in common than we thought and talk civilly with each other. Then perhaps we can regain some measure of sanity. It’s easy to scream, blame, call names, and cause destruction. The hard part is actually talking to and listening to people who are different. The hard part is trying to actually do things that will deal with the issues and start helping to solve the problems while realizing it won’t happen overnight.

But it will only happen if we acknowledge that differences are fine and that people are generally just people, people to be treated with civility. Let’s be radical and give it a try.

“We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more.”
― Bill Clinton

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Today I can’t do a Monday walk. My heart is broken, broken because of the violence: the violence of a death and the violence of burning and looting.

I believe George Floyd’s life mattered and his death was criminal.

I believe all lives matter.

I believe peaceful protest is a right and should be exercised.

I believe looting and burning is stealing and is wrong. It is not protesting.

I believe violence is not the answer and is divisive rather than healing.

I believe not all black men are criminals and not all police are racist.

I believe we need to be outraged at the number of black people killed weekly by other black people in cities such as Chicago as much as we are outraged by this killing and others like it.

I believe racism isn’t confined to one race or country.

I believe we can and must do better than this.

I hope I can believe that light will emerge from all the dark surrounding it.

for Jo’s Monday Walk

Since not everyone can go out, let’s use the Beach Boys’ “In My Room” as inspiration for today’s walk. Afterwards I’ll make some tea and we can sit on the patio, although it might be quite warm.

Let’s walk into the bedroom, take a closer look, and hear some stories. Stories are especially good these days, don’t you think?

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There’s a saying, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Where I usually walk, there’s a lemon tree heavy with fruit on the other side of the wall next to the sidewalk. The first time I walked by, there were some lemons along the path (yes, of course I picked them up!), so I started taking a bag along. Today I hit the jackpot: 5 lovely lemons.

I looked online to find some recipes/proportions for lemonade. Starting with simple syrup seemed to be the thing to do, but proportions varied greatly.

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I’d planned to make dark chocolate cherry scones, but that didn’t work out. (I’m also trying to find more whole wheat pastry flour but have had no success so far. Maybe people are making toilet paper from it.). But I had some Trader Joe’s croissants in the freezer, so last night I pulled out one chocolate (AKA pain au chocolat) and one almond for my husband. Just let them sit all night and bake in the morning. Easy peasey and quite tasty, too.

The mug, filled with Mao Feng black tea, was a gift from my parents a few Christmases ago. Not as fancy as some of my teacups, but much used. I’d be happy to get you a fancier, more delicate cup of you like.

Happy teatime!

For Teatime in the Blogosphere