Thursday, August 27, 2020

Thursday Thirteen ~ DASHing

1.  My brother posted one of those "I'm going to see how many read this whole post" things on Facebook about diabetes devastating our family and how taking Metformin "may encourage the onset of dementia."

2.  He told us to copy and paste for friends to read, but I wrote that "instead of just posting this information and moving on past it, I'm going to share with you how I got OFF of Metformin, little brother.   I love you enough to share what worked for me."

3.  Here's how my story unfolded.  My doctor in Chattanooga suggested the Mediterranean Diet and, when I moved to St. Louis, my doctor here suggested the DASH Diet, I have followed each of these diets.

4.  Here's basically what I'm still doing:  Since having quadruple bypass surgery in February 2009, I have chosen healthy foods over processed foods and have lost 67 pounds slowly and carefully and safely over eleven-plus years.  Now I'm down from 224 pounds to 157 and still losing at an easy pace, by choice, by watching my intake.  I eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables, rather than processed foods.  The less processed, the better.

5.  I have bought three DASH Diet books by Marla Heller, a registered dietician.  These have been very helpful to change my eating habits.
  • The DASH Diet Mediterranean Solution is at the top, promising "the best eating plan to control your weight and improve your health for life."
  • The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution, on the right, says on the cover:  "2 weeks to drop pounds, boost metabolism, and get healthy."  It has two stages, starting with a two week "jump start" to reset your metabolish.
  • The DASH Diet Younger You (below) promises on the cover that you can "shed twenty years — and pounds — in just ten weeks."
6.  Here's the link to these three books by Marla Heller that I've purchased.  I think it's enough to just get the blue book at the top, which combines the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet into what Heller calls the MedDASH Diet for short.

7.  A key point is to think of "diet" as every-thing you choose to eat, and I told Jim (my brother), "Your library probably has a copy, if you don't want to buy it, or I'll have Amazon send you a copy, if you want it."

8.  I also told him there are Facebook pages for people to encourage each other to stick with the program, and I'm in two of them.

9.  If you are interested in the Facebook groups, the most important one for me is the MedDASH group, using the blue book at the top.

10.  I'm also in the  DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution on Facebook, which uses the gold book.  I joined it before the MedDash book was published, then added that one when the MedDASH book came out.

11.  There are other books by Marla Heller that I didn't buy, including The DASH Diet Action Plan and The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook, if you want to explore all of them.  You don't need a separate cookbook, however, because she makes meal suggestions in each of the books.

12.   Did someone ask what DASH means?  DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

13.  Ask me questions in the comments, and I'll try to explain better.

The only rule for Thursday Thirteen is to write about 13 things.  For more information and to sign up, click on New Thursday 13.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Birds, ocean, mountain, and a moving window

Monica's window looks straight out onto a plastered wall in San Diego, California.  But that makes it all the better to see a colorful bird feeder hanging just outside, which has attracted seven or eight dark-colored hummingbirds, poking their beaks into openings to drink the water.  "It's my turn, guys!"  I enjoyed watching the water slosh inside as the birds landed and darted away.  The feeder was something like this picture, but with a ring all the way around where they could sit until their turn to sip.  It also had a totally different pattern of color.  Oh, there was also a blooming plant in the window, adding to the color.

Kimberley's windows overlooks  ocean swells and some land jutting out into the ocean in St. David's, Bermuda.

Anton's window was moving in Moscow, Russia!  At first, I thought he was in a car, then I saw indications it's a moving train.  Excellent interpretation of "window" for us to enjoy a few minutes of the greenery growing by the tracks on his trip that sunny day.

Jim's view is a nearby stone building up against a rocky mountain covered in trees and bushes in Pyrenees, Catalonia.

Sarah must not have had a bookmark handy the day she videotaped the view from her window in Oldham, UK.  Although I can't see the book's title, she has it splayed open on her windowsill beside her cup of tea (coffee?), flanked by a couple of potted plants.  Her window overlooks neighboring trees and houses with buildings a few blocks away.

Okay, that's enough for me today.  Your turn to look out a random window or two in the world, using WindowSwap

Extra ~ a little nature tour of Iceland for us, thanks to my daughter.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

TWOsday ~ two issues

Black Lives Matter

I posted an article on Facebook about Rabbi Susan Talve.  Her synagogue is next door to Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who came out with guns when protesters went by their house.  She says of the McCloskeys, "They are bullies."  I wrote about her in 2015 when she spoke at the White House and told her how I admired her for being willing to be arrested to protest injustice.  She's willing to do what it takes to stand up to bullies.


I laughed at this official flag of 2020.  I'm still wearing masks, as are my neighbors here at the Crown Center.  Do you always remember to wear your mask?

Please wear your masks!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

I think I'll take a break today

  • Finish reading my book.
  • Savor a cup of tea.
  • Daydream.
  • Listen to music.
  • Unplug from my phone.
  • Take a nap.
  • Meditate or do yoga.
  • Take Clawdia for a walk.
  • Enjoy the small moments.
  • Read another book.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Beginning ~ with a note

"The note had been typed out, folded over two times, and pinned to the child's chest.  It could not be missed."
How to Pronounce Knife: Stories ~ by Souvankham Thammavongsa, 2020, stories
In the title story of this collection, a young girl brings a book home from school and asks her father to help her pronounce a tricky word, a simple exchange with unforgettable consequences.  The stories that make up this book focus on characters struggling to build lives in unfamiliar territory, or shuttling between idioms, cultures, and values.  A failed boxer discovers what it truly means to be a champion when he starts painting nails at his sister's salon.  A young woman tries to discern the invisible but immutable social hierarchies at a chicken processing plant.  A mother coaches her daughter in the challenging art of worm harvesting. The author interrogates what it means to make a living, to work, and to create meaning.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts
Book Beginnings on Fridays.
Click this link for book beginnings
shared by other readers.

National Senior Citizens Day

Everything on here is likely to happen in my world today, except I doubt if anyone in my family knows it's National Senior Citizens Day.  Since I live among seniors in a retirement center, I already had plans when I learned this is supposed to be our day.  Donna invited me to have lunch with her.  Lest you think we ladies are dining out, think again.  We'll find a place outside where we can eat socially distanced, and have the food delivered to us.  I like this part of today's world, that eating "out" can mean simply "out back" in our gazebo without having to mingle in a restaurant with strangers, some of whom may not have been diligent about wearing masks, socially distancing, and avoiding crowds.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Delcrest Plaza redevelopment plans

Click to enlarge the image.
The Planning Commission heard their proposal for a combination hotel and apartment development, but parking plans need improvement.  A hotel is shown in blue, and apartments are in purple.  That green in the middle is a dog park, with the Crown Center parking lot at bottom right.

This is an aerial view of how that corner looks right now.  Oops!  As I kept reading the comments on NextDoor, our neighborhood connection, I found more, including updated drawings.

The planning documents say there will be 29 studio, 102 one-bedroom, and 29 two-bedroom apartments.   The 5-story hotel will be an Element brand, by Westin.  They are geared towards longer stays, and include kitchenettes, etc.  Now the seven-story apartment buildings are along Delmar, in blue and green at the top, and the eight-story hotel is in red.

The designs look totally different to me, and the parking situation is much more evident in this illustration.  This is exciting, but I'm much more interested in when we'll be able to start construction on the new Crown Center apartments.  The building along the bottom of this last view is where I live, and it will come down when they finish our new building.  Construction was supposed to start in June, but was delayed because of the pandemic lockdown.  Hopefully before the end of this year, they say.

When, exactly, did you become an adult?

I was looking for something else on my blog when I came across an old post from January 20, 2012.  It made me laugh, so I'm sharing it again.  Hmm, I just noticed that Beth Kephart, the author, was the first to comment that day:
"Wow. what a story you have lived, Bonnie.  It seems to me there is the stuff of a book here!"

Throwback Thursday

Beth Kephart asked in her post today, "When, exactly, did you become an adult?"  Funny she should ask, I thought, as I dashed out the door before even reading beyond her title, which appears on the sidebar here, under "Blogs I read."  I had places to go and people to see, but now I'm home and have looked up what I wrote in 2006 about becoming an adult.  At the time, I was sixty-six years old, having been born in 1940.  (That's important to know when I mention 1960, okay?)  After reading this, you won't be surprised to hear that I still occasionally wonder what I want to be when I grow up.

Bits of Bonnie

When I started thinking about "becoming an adult," it seemed to me the first thing to consider was what makes a person an adult.  Once there were initiations to pass, as when a boy joined the men on a hunt and killed his first "food."   Once, a girl was considered an adult when she began to menstruate and could have children.  I had my first period when I was twelve; did that make me an adult?  I don't think so!

I married at eighteen; did that make me an adult? Apparently not. When we bought a house in early 1960, I was nineteen and my husband was twenty-five.  He could sign the papers, but I could not ... because I was a minor.  At that time the legal age was twenty-one, but that has fluctuated in my lifetime.  Anyway, I had to go before a judge to get my "minority" removed.  Then I could sign legal papers and be co-owner of our first house.

Did owning a house make me an adult?  Apparently not.  I couldn't vote in the 1960 election between Nixon and Kennedy ... or at least I assumed I couldn't vote ... because I was only twenty.  A few years ago it occurred to me that maybe I could have voted after all, since officially my minority had been removed earlier that same year and I was "legally" an adult.  But I didn't think of that until about 45 years too late.

When I was twenty, my twins were born; did that make me an adult?  When people asked me how I managed, I would tell them, "I didn't know what to do with ONE, and I got TWO."

My father died in a traffic accident when I was twenty-four, and my widowed mother was in shock; so my 21-year-old brother and I had to arrange the funeral.  Did that make me an adult?

Somehow, things keep happening and we keep going, doing whatever is necessary to cope.  Maybe I became an adult at the point I was able to put the pieces together sufficiently to be able to say with confidence that I now knew my own mind and could give a satisfactory answer to the meaning of my life.  If so (I wrote in late 2006), I became an adult only four or five years ago in my early sixties!  And THAT, dear heart, is why my email is "emerging.paradigm" ... because I am emerging into my new way of being.

Am I an adult now?  Maybe it depends on the day.  Some days I feel like I'm in my second childhood.

Okay, it's your turn to ask yourself, "When did YOU become an adult?"

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

What generation are you in?

This must be an older chart, since I found a younger generation (see below).
There are seven human generations alive right now:
  • Greatest Generation — born between 1901 and 1924
  • Silent Generation (Traditional) — born between 1925 and 1945
  • Baby Boomers — born between 1946 and 1964
  • Generation X — born between 1965 and 1979
  • Millennials (Gen Y) — born between 1980 and 1996
  • Generation Z (Zoomers) — born between 1997 and 2011
  • Generation Alpha (Gen A) — born between 2012 and today
Dates vary, but I found the idea here and edited it slightly, based on my online research.  Names is parentheses are alternates I saw.

The generation that has just died out was called the Lost Generation, born between 1883 and 1900.  My in-laws were born in the 1890s, and I can remember standing at the bedside of my maternal grandmother, looking at a bedside table full of pill bottles that was at my eye level.  She was born December 22, 1880 and died in May 1943, when I was three and she was only 62.  I can't find a name for that generation.

I'm not sure how "silent" I am, but I was born in 1940.  Although I'm in the Silent Generation with one brother and one sister, our "baby" brother born in 1949 is a Boomer.  Yet we are all the same generation of my family.  My three children are all Boomers, too, like their Uncle Jim.  Six of my grandchildren are Millennials, but the seventh was born in 2000, making her Generation Z, along with the first two of my great-grandchildren.  My other four great-grandkids are Generation Alpha.

This can be totally confusing, you know?

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Book of Two Ways ~ by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult came to St. Louis last year, so Donna and I went to hear her speak.  Donna, Jodi, and Bonnie (left to right) on September 25, 2019.

The Book of Two Ways ~ by Jodi Picoult, 2020, fiction (Egypt)
After months and months of being asked by readers, "When's the next book coming out?" I can finally tell you:  The Book of Two Ways will hit shelves on 9/22!  It's a story about life, death, love — and the "one who got away."  I've wanted to write this book for about a decade now, ever since my son Kyle was majoring in Egyptology at Yale.  He started telling me about something called The Book of Two Ways — and I immediately thought, "That's such a great title for a book."  THEN I learned more about it — we've all heard of the Book of the Dead — the funerary texts used in the New Kingdom of Egypt.  They evolved from earlier funerary texts — first the Pyramid Texts from the Old Kingdom, which were papyrus scrolls buried with kings ... and then the Coffin Texts in the Middle Kingdom, spells written in the cedar coffins of governors and the like.  Some of those coffins included the Book of Two Ways — the first officially known map of the afterlife.  Usually drawn on the bottom of the coffin, they incorporated a wave blue line and a wavy black line, separated by a red "lake of fire."  The idea was that the deceased could take either the blue water route OR the black land route in order to reach Osiris (lord of the Netherworld) and to be one with Re, the sun god.  No matter which path you took, you'd wind up in the same place.  The catch was that there were terrible monsters and obstacles and pitfalls, and you had to have the knowledge of how to evade those to get to your destination.  Cool, right?  I started to imagine how that might apply, structurally, to a woman who is perfectly happy with where life has taken her ... until she almost dies, and finds herself wondering about what might have been.  For those of you who are Egypt buffs — you'll learn a lot about Egyptology!  But in the spirit of other novels of mine, it examines yet another topic we all shy away from, but which is inevitable:  how to have a good death.  This book was a beast to write, and feels sweeping and epic, and I cannot wait to share it with you!  See below for details on pre-ordering a copy now!
Jodi (email on 1-28-2020)
Jodi Picoult emerging from a pyramid
THE BOOK OF TWO WAYS:  Available September 22, 2020!

Everything changes in a single moment for Dawn Edelstein.  She's on a plane when the flight attendant makes an announcement: prepare for a crash landing.  She braces herself as thoughts flash through her mind.  The shocking thing is, the thoughts are not of her husband, but a man she last saw fifteen years ago:  Wyatt Armstrong.

Dawn, miraculously, survives the crash, but so do all the doubts that have suddenly been raised.  She has led a good life.  Back in Boston, there is her husband, Brian, her beloved daughter, and her work as a death doula, where she helps ease the transition between life and death for her clients.

But somewhere in Egypt is Wyatt Armstrong, who works as an archaeologist unearthing ancient burial sites, a job she once studied for, but was forced to abandon when life suddenly intervened.  And now, when it seems that fate is offering her second chances, she is not as sure of the choice she once made.

This showed up on Facebook on July 18th, making me wonder which (if either) of these two show the actual cover of the book.  Well, according to Amazon, this pale blue and gold one is the cover we'll see.  According to my library, it will be the dark blue cover shown at the top of this post.  I'll find out when I get the copy I put on reserve on July 18th, although I was 18th in line for requests for the six copies that were on order in July.

I was happy the date of publication was getting closer.  I've had this waiting to be posted on my blog since the end of January, which was weeks before the pandemic and lockdown hit the world.

A whole wall of wrestling holds
Heiroglyphs for linear time and cyclical time

Heiroglyph for mother
I got email from Jodi yesterday (August 17, 2020), giving us a link to read an excerpt fromt the Prologue of the book.  There are also more photos of her trip to Egypt.  Take a look.  As you can see, this post has been a long time in the making.  Met Jodi in September, email in January, Facebook announcement in July, and another email in August.  I can hardly wait for her new book to arrive.

Read an excerpt of the book here, on Jodi Picoult's website.

Discussing Jodi's Book of TWO Ways is perfect for a TWOsday post.

Monday, August 17, 2020

National Black Cat Appreciation Day

Sandy just called to tell Clawdia she appreciated her, because today is National Black Cat Appreciation Day.  Oh, no, I almost missed it.  Sure enough, I found this cat's picture with "Mon Aug 17" and all sorts of facts about black cats, if you want to read that page.

This is my favorite black cat, though, and this is currently my favorite photo of her.  I call this window Clawdia's window because she loves to sit there looking out, sniffing the fresh air, watching the birds flit by, and listening to them chirp to each other in the trees just below our sixth floor windows.  It's the photo of her I have in the right sidebar of the blog, too.

Meditating on Japan, Australia, and Greece

Tokyo Metro

Four or maybe five tracks are visible below Marina's window in Tokyo, Japan.  It's a dark and rainy night view, and several times the Metros cars pass by, sometimes singly, sometimes going in opposite directions, sometimes side-by-side.  I can see lights on the buildings along the street down below the other side of the elevated tracks and in windows of the high-rise buildings beyond that.  Most people have shown us their windows on bright days, sunny or not.  Maybe this is the only time Marina could do it, or maybe this looks better than the daytime view.

Sydney, Australia
Paulina's window looks down on lots of small boats anchored in Sydney, Australia.  This photo has city buildings, rising high into the sky, but Paulina lives in a neighborhood of regular houses.  She looks over their rooftops from an upper window to the water, which is more like maybe a river before you get to this big bay.  I did not see anything moving, except sunlight on the rippling water and a breeze through the leaves of one nearby tree on the right.

Greek island of Kythera
Yiannis's window in Kythera, Greece overlooks what seems to be a small village, with people in the water below, that is similar to this photo.  A smooth mountain flows down from the left to a rise all across the top of Yiannis's view, blocking whatever is beyond.  I see several palm trees among the two-story houses.  The blue-and-white Greek flag is flying in front of a building on the left.

To see the view from a random window somewhere in the world, click on WindowSwap.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

2020 thoughts ~ #9 is my favorite

1.  I still can't believe people's survival instincts told them to grab toilet paper.
2.  I'm going to stay up on New Year's Eve this year, not to see the New year in, but to make sure this one leaves.
3.  If I had only known in March it would be my last time in a restaurant, I would have ordered dessert.
4.  At the store, there was a Big X by the register for me to stand on.  I've seen too many Road Runner cartoons to fall for that one.
5.  Having some states lock down and some states not lock down is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool.
6.  Until further notice, the days of the week are now called, thisday, thatday, otherday, someday, yesterday, today, and nextday.
7.  They said a mask and gloves were enough to go to grocery store.  They lied.  Everybody else had clothes on.
8.  The dumbest thing I've ever purchased was a 2020 planner.
9.  When does season TWO of 2020 start?  I do not like season ONE.
10.  Keep in mind, even during a pandemic, no matter how much chocolate you eat, your earrings will still fit.
11.  The buttons on my jeans have started social distancing from each other.
12.  I never thought the comment "I wouldn't touch him with a 6-foot pole" would become a national policy, but here we are.

Footnote:  I wouldn't say it was DUMB to buy my 2020 planner, but it definitely has NOT been used much this year.

Saturday, August 15, 2020


I don't know if Clawdia has an allergy or what, but she's been sneezing and her nose is drippy.  A few minutes ago, she had her left eye closed and was looking as me with one eye.  While I was watching her, a big watery drop fell from her closed left eye.

I feel so sorry for her.  On the other hand, I don't want her to sneeze all over me, either.  Any suggestions from cat lovers?  She has a regular check-up scheduled with her veterinarian on Tuesday, so I'll mention it to the vet then.

Friday, August 14, 2020


"Who in the world uses words like propensity?"  That sentence was in Elza's blog post today that quoted the opening lines of The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion:
"I was standing on one leg shucking oysters when the problems began. If I had not been a scientist, conscious of the human propensity to see patterns where they do not exist, I might have concluded that I was being punished by some deity for the sin of pride."
Word of the Day
pro·pen·si·ty / prəˈpensədē / noun =      an inclination or natural tendency to behave in a particular way.  Example:  "a propensity for violence."
Confession:  I, for one, have a propensity for using words like that.  LOL.  I wonder if my readers agree more with Elza? or with me?

Now I'm thinking of reading the whole series (of three).  I remember seeing the first book, but somehow I never quite got around to it.
  • The Rosie Project, 2013
  • The Rosie Effect, 2014
  • The Rosie Result, 2019
If you've read any of these books, please tell me what you think.  Hmm, I just noticed all the birds in this post.  Was it simply a coincidence?  Or was it my propensity to notice odd little things that happen around me?

Beginning ~ with a boy stealing things

Opening lines
"When I was four years old, I kept telling my mother that the little boy in our house was stealing things.  I should preface this by saying I was an only child — a precocious one at that."
Where There's Smoke: A Short Story ~ by Jodi Picoult, 2014, fiction, 9/10
In this original short story, Picoult introduces Serenity Jones, one of the characters from Leaving Time (2014).  Even as a child, Serenity knew she possessed unusual psychic gifts.  Now, decades later, she’s an acclaimed medium and host of her own widely viewed TV show, where she delivers messages to the living from loved ones who have passed on.  Lately, though, her efforts to boost ratings and garner fame have compromised her clairvoyant instincts.  When Serenity books a young war widow to appear as a guest, the episode quickly unravels, stirring up a troubling controversy.  And as she tries to undo the damage — to both her reputation and her show — she finds that pride comes at a high price.
I read Leaving Time several years ago, so I no longer remember details.  I ran across this Kindle Single and decided to buy it.  Looking for the description of this short story, I discovered another Kindle Single that's a novella and bought it.  Shall I share a BONUS book beginning with you?  Okay.

Opening Lines
"Moments after receiving the worse news of my life, I drive into the middle of a massacre.  The five elephants lie on their sides, dusty hills, aberrations in the landscape.  Flies swarm around the black blood that has seeped into the dirt, and overhead spins a pinwheel of vultures."
Larger Than Life: A Novella ~ by Jodi Picoult, 2014, fiction (Botswana), 9/10
A researcher studying memory in elephants, Alice is fascinated by the bonds between mother and calf — the mother’s powerful protective instincts and her newborn’s unwavering loyalty.  Living on a game reserve in Botswana, Alice is able to view the animals in their natural habitat — while following an important rule:  She must only observe and never interfere.  Then she finds an orphaned young elephant in the bush and cannot bear to leave the helpless baby behind.  Thinking back on her own childhood, and on her shifting relationship with her mother, Alice risks her career to care for the calf.
Alice is the main character at the center of Leaving Time, which I've read, as I said above.  Having read these two short fiction pieces, maybe I should re-read Leaving Time.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts
Book Beginnings on Fridays.
Click this link for book beginnings
shared by other readers.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Reading today ~ and checking out random windows

Ljubljana, Slovenia
The window in Ljubljana, Slovenia is an office on the ground floor, and I watched people walk past, including an elderly man carrying a bright green tote and walking slowly.  I wondered if he'd been shopping.

Kailene's dog wandered into the frame and looked out their window in Burnaby, BC, Canada.  A breeze was ruffling the hanging blinds beside a half dozen potted plants.

Click to enlarge the map
Crystal's window in Okinawa, Japan, seems to be at an eatery overlooking the ocean.  A young person was eating leisurely at a counter against the long window, while watching people go by.  When she finished, she got up and left.  The only thing missing was food for me.  As I wondered what might be on the menu at this place, a young woman wearing a white mask came along and spray-cleaned the counter before taking away the empty plate and sweating glass of water.  Mundane little things like this make it seem like I'm actually there.  As I kept looking, I realized it wasn't a window at all, but an open counter under a tarp-covered food court, held up by poles.  The "inside" hanging lights were swaying in the breeze that ruffles the palm leaves outside.  As usual, I looked it up.  Okinawa is one of the Rhjkyu Islands between the large islands of Japan and Taiwan to the south.

Storm clouds gathered outside Arnulf's window in Bavaria, Germany.

Maarten's window in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, overlooks a small canal.  I didn't see any boats in the canal or vehicles other than a few folks on bicycles across the way and, seven bikes parked in a row, and one parked at the foot of some steps.  I did see lots of pedestrians and birds flying beneath Maarten's window.  It was several minutes before I noticed the only "business" I could make out among the buildings was a Peep Show — with the words written in English.  Most of the people were young folks, including a couple sitting by the canal, talking.  At one point, the young man stands up, gesticulates, and sits back down.

Okay, enough of WindowSwap.  Now, back to my reading.

Why Did I Come Into This Room? : A Candid Conversation about Aging ~ by Joan Lunden
Lunden candidly shares her anxieties and breakthroughs and how she’s coping with the realities of aging.  She goes where others fear to tread, openly talking about wrinkles and age spots, diminished energy (my get-up-and-go got up and went), hot flashes, disrupted sleep, ageism, and yes, the real reasons we suddenly find ourselves always searching for those car keys!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

A new word for me ~ derecho

On Monday, we had a sudden storm move through, bringing a wall of rain so heavy that I couldn't see the buildings in Clayton above the trees — and they are only a mile away.  There's a leak somewhere above me that trickles through the wall and into my kitchen, so Scott called to ask if I had water in my kitchen floor.  I went to investigate, and I did have.  It was only a small puddle, so I told him I'd mop it up myself.

Neighbors, however, began inquiring on NextDoor (the neighborhood connection), if others had lost power.  Yes, a lot of people did.  Today, we got email about the electricity still being restored, three days later.  Trees were down all over the place.

Word of the Day
de·re·cho / dāˈrāˌCHō / noun US = a line of intense, widespread, and fast-moving windstorms and sometimes thunderstorms that moves across a great distance and is characterized by damaging winds.
This morning we got a "Restoration Update" online that included my new word.
"More than 800 co-workers have safely restored power to nearly 90% of customers impacted by Monday's weather event, which has been categorized as a 'derecho.'  Crews have continued to make progress overnight, but the remaining outages are extremely time-intensive and require difficult repair work.  Additional resources have been called in to help from neighboring utilities, and will be working through Thursday in neighborhoods to complete restoration."

Le Rousset

I am looking across fields and rolling hillsides, as I peer through Jean-Yves's window in Le Rousset, Burgundy, France.  I looked it up and learned that Le Rousset is a small village, with a population of 253 in 2007, with only 178 houses, and some of these were "second or occasional homes" or vacant homes.

Sebastian's window in Copenhagen, Denmark, overlooks a nearby apartment building beyond his balcony with its potted flowers and watering can.  As you  can see, I'm once again traveling the world by clicking on WindowSwap.


Uh-oh, while I was taking a look at France and Denmark at 10:15 am, it suddenly got very dark outside and thunder is rumbling around us.  It's 76° and raining.  The buildings of Clayton have once again disappeared, so I'm going to post this and turn off my computer.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Clawdia isn't too sure of the world these days

Clawdia at her open window this morning.  She's very antsy about going for a walk in our hallway lately.  She knows something is wrong with our world, so she stops at our door and peers out to look and to listen.  And sometimes, she turns around and goes right back into our apartment.

When we actually do go out, I have to keep telling her "it's all right" because she walks a few feet, stops to take her bearings again, and often looks back over her shoulder at our door.  If Nick, our loudest neighbor, says something on his phone (or to himself) as we near his apartment door, she runs all the way home as fast as she can.

Something's not right these days, and Clawdia knows it.  She watches me cover my face with a mask, just to walk the empty hallway with her late at night, and she knows it's odd.  She often sits quietly pondering like this.  Is she musing on the changes?  It wouldn't surprise me.

Her pic would have been posted with my earlier Two Charts post, but it took four hours to go from my phone to my email account on my computer, which was on my lap when I clicked "send."  Four hours!  And I get voicemail messages when my mobile hasn't rung — and doesn't even show a missed call.  What's up with our devices these days?  Or is it just my old flip phone?

Two charts ~ plus word of the day

Social distancing chart

Have you used any of these "socially distanced" greetings?
  • When I do the Air Hug (near the bottom middle of the chart), I first throw my arms out like she's doing.  Then I "wrap my arms around" a bunch of air, just as I'd do if I were hugging the person.
  • The Thumbs Up (at the top) comes naturally to me, so I've done that one many times.
  • Making Heart Fingers (bottom left) never occurred to me, but I like it and it's easy.
  • I might use Namaste (on the left) if I ever run into the folks who used to exercise with me on Friday afternoons.  We always ended with Shannon leading us through a short breathing exercise and saying "Namaste" to each other.
  • I have used the ASL (American Sign Language) way of saying I Love You.  I taught my grandchildren and we'd wave goodbye that way.  Holding up the pinkie finger means "I," and thumb with pointer finger means "L."  Putting them together makes "I Love You" like on this stamp from 1993.
Feel good chart

While we've been trying to find a balance while living the year that wasn't, I've mostly stayed at home.  Some days seem to drag, and a long time passes until it's tomorrow.  Other days seem to disappear when I blink.  Yesterday, big chunks of time seemed to pass between each blink.  I don't know why.  A few weeks ago, a friend said something about what had happened "a couple of weeks ago.  I reminded her, "That was Monday."  Whether you managed to do all you hoped to do, or whether you only managed to shower, I hope you feel good about something today.

Word of the Day actually three words that sound alike, but mean three different things.
1.  their = something they possess.  Example:  "She's their daughter."
2.  there = points to a place.  Example:  "The book is over there."
3.  they're = a contraction of "they are."  Example:  "They're not here yet."

Your turn to use words
Tell me about something you miss being able to do because of the virus, lockdowns, and restrictions.  John Pavlovitz asked what big things people had missed, like "a date, event, trip, or occasion they were looking forward to."  He called his blog post The Missing Year.  It does feel like that, doesn't it?