Friday, June 05, 2020

This Too........

I was at a Zoom meeting last night and a guy from Texas shared (almost humorously, almost defeatedly) that:

(a) his country was burning to the ground
(b) there's a massive pandemic killing his fellow citizens at a galloping rate
(c) police and blackshirted unidentifiable guys are shooting fellow citizens, focusing on blacks.
(d) there's an asteroid hurtling towards Boston, or maybe what's left of it by the time it gets there
(e) there's an absolute lunatic in charge of the biggest asylum in the world, his country
(f) any advice as to what he could do?

He was ex-military and one of his kids (military too) was flown back into Texas and armed up and put on mob detail.

There were two other Canadians at the meeting and honestly, our troubles just vanished away. I think most USians must be in a state of paralysis (to be quickly followed by PTSD) as nothing is making sense and the words "MAGA" bandied about so freely as something to return to rings extraordinarily hollow for most thinking USians.

But what a summary, succinctly put.

No advice of course, apart from just stay inside safe, hang in with us, hang in with those of like mind, wait for this nightmare to be over, because over it will be.

As the old wags had it: This too shall pass.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Covid and Hospitals and Food.

A good man died yesterday. He'd been in the hospital with heart trouble for a few weeks and of course there were no visitors. That must be horribly lonely, you're there, some part of you knows you're not leaving, and the family can't visit. Plus the food is usually pig swill so if you're lying there, all intubated and breathing assisted, what's there to look forward to? A decent meal? No. And in this time of Covid: no flowers or wee fruit baskets or some decent chocolates.

He was always very kind to me, about 5 years older than I, but there was a sympatico between us even though our lives were vastly different. He was a fisher and farmer and raised sheep and suffered from periodic depression which I totally understood. Late in life he went on a plane for the the first time to see an adult child in Alberta. It was a huge event, he was of the school "if we were meant to fly, God would give us wings" but after that he was inspired to get his driver's licence at the ago of 68. He only drive tractors prior to then and cheated the odd time in a car so his test was a cakewalk. He came to all my performances and applauded me vigorously.

I will miss him. He was very generous of spirit and quite shy until you got to know him. I cried for quite a while last night. He did leave footprints on my heart.

Another friend has her 96yo father (who she lives with) in hospital for the past week with pneumonia and can't visit him. It must be so very challenging as he is anxious to eat a home cooked meal and they can't bring it to him. An acquaintance had her 84yo mother fall and break a leg 8 weeks ago and she is also in the hospital with no visitors. I knew her well, played a lot of cards with her and admired her. A very cheerful woman and extremely well put together, always the lipper and bright blue eye shadow and high maintenance hair styles. She described the food being served at the hospital which sounded completely inedible, dried up meatballs and rubbery eggs and soggy margarined toast. She has lost about 20lbs as she won't eat so her daughters are really worried.

I remember the days when hospital food was nutritious, appetizing, and cooked in the actual hospital kitchens. Now it's all outsourced to the industrial "catering" industry who make obscene profits on feeding the sick and dying hospitals and hospices by serving cheap bland swill.

You'd think that hospitals would lead the way in serving local organic well balanced meals to entice the failing appetites of the sick and dying under their care.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Irish Loop

We have this marvelous meandering coastal route called the Irish Loop. It's where Irish settlers came and - ahem - settled going back as far as the early 17th century. Little villages and towns scattered along the whole 300 km of it.
Here's a map with the route marked in dark blue. Every turn in the road has a breathtaking view.

I live in St. John's. Daughter lives in St. Vincent's (where the whales roll in by the hundreds every year) so we decided to pick up a Jiggs Dinner in Fermeuse (approximately an equivalent drive for each of us)- all restaurants here are doing a roaring trade in safe takeaway as long as you pre-order and then they tell you what time to pick it up. What a meal this was!

This is what we overlooked as we ate in Port Kirwan:

Then we visited a local wood sculpture, I love his owls (my spirit animal):

Then we realized we had friends in the area so did a safe drop in and had tea and a slice of boiled cake, overlooking this view:

On the way back I stopped at St. John's Harbour to look at the ships that are in (one of my favourite things) but that sky caught my attention again.

What an absolutely splendid day, and yeah the lovely sun, and skyscapes, how magnificent are those?

Thursday, May 28, 2020


I take politics far too seriously. I think I've learned my lesson. My detachment from all social media is complete. I will only fight now, post-covid, for senior fairness and bringing the many of us living in Canada to the official poverty line. I know. Small potatoes but essential for survival here where many elders make $5,000 per annum below it.

So now. I can't get over myself. I am experiencing gallons of joy for the last four days and I hope I'm not jinxing this. I am reading a marvelous book called H is for Hawk by Helen Mac Donald

The rating isn't that great on Goodreads but I get why it wouldn't be to everyone's taste. It is a memoir by a woman whose father has just died and she gets into the business of training a groshawk, one of the most challenging of all falconry enterprises. I am learning so much from it, another underbelly of life unexplored. There are so many.

I have 21,000 words written on the new novel and it is taking me to extraordinary places. I am living and breathing it every day. I am also busy on the blanket I designed and have about 1/3 complete.

You will note the completed lighthouse, the partially finished house and of course the familiar diamonds of vines and cables of Irish knitting. On the left you will see a cream and black cord (it will wind up a marble-like frame for the work) which I knit away at as it is mindless when I attend Zoom meetings. The main body requires concentration due to its complexity.

You're the first in the whole world to see it as I'm not posting it elsewhere.

It brings me enormous joy. Plus I keep a notepad by me and jot notes for the book as they occur to me.

I think it's the first time in my life I feel undistracted as I write with no other responsibilities apart from feeding myself and basic maintenance.

Hence joy.

Monday, May 25, 2020

A New Life

A photo of my beautiful city, St. John's, Newfoundland.

The skin of all this politicism and activism has peeled off me and I am as newly re-birthed.

I am no longer gripped by Facecloth and all its doings or Twister and its evil manifestations and counterpoints scored and activists removed without apology if they don't toe whatever is the party line of the day.

I honestly don't care.

One thing still lingers in that tomorrow the newspaper is publishing what I wrote in my fit of disdain on the weekend and tossed off in a blast of the last volcano ashes of the rage I was feeling. That should bring out the pitchforks for me. But a staff member did call me today and assured me that, contrary to all Twister and Facecloth feeds, the journalist in question had not been fired but as personal threats had been made on him and his family he chose to fade into the background of other responsibilities within the newspaper's framework. Par for the course here, I have been attacked for speaking my truth and I fully anticipate this will happen tomorrow when the paper hits the stands or the devices. Negative opinions are not tolerated here. Critical thinking is unheard of and everyone knows someone employed by government. The smallness of the place can be such a negative. The record breaking show "Come From Away" tells one side only. There is a darker side. As there is in all places.

Enough on that.

The novel I am working on has come to life marvelously well. There is so much time to reflect on it and sit and be still and play music and think and reflect some more. I no longer have distractions so I can place myself in sixties Toronto and breathe in the aroma of that narrow wood paneled coffee nook with the huge spitting urns and the fresh pastries stationed in the lobby of the building I worked in and say good morning to Brenda the elevator woman (called "girl" in those days) who wore white gloves and never smiled but nodded politely at all of us as she pushed her lever and only asked for visitors' floors as she knew us all and our landings. All day, she sat like a queen on her green leather stool.

Every morning at eleven, one of the servers in that standing room only coffee corner would wheel up a trolley in that very same elevator and bring coffee and tea around to all of us with real mugs and small plates, along with more pastries, and pick our detritus up an hour later. A silent, cheerless grey haired woman ("tea girl"). None of that British lovie-have-a-cuppa stuff in her. I did wonder if she was related to Brenda.

So there you have it.

As one of our wise ones commented "Enough".

I have taken it to heart.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Wasting Time

I had one of those moments last night as I was responding to a long commentary on a journalist who resigned was fired after writing a column on public sector workers being paid full salaries during the pandemic and many private sector workers facing financial hardship. The views on this article were more than 10 times the views on a previous column in which he wrote about lifting all to a guaranteed income, even if it was just to the poverty line (my pet soap box advocacy as you all know).

The pitchforks came out for him and I defended him and his right to his opinion. Suffice to say, as I engaged once more with Facecloth and Twister and the privileged defending their rights to substantial pay-cheques, pensions and benefits while the peasants pay them through their income taxes, I thought: what the almighty hell are you doing wasting time on all of this?

Ever have one of those moments? It was around 10.00 pm as I read the latest attack on my miscomprehension of their rights. Did I not know that these same public sector workers did not complain when the oil sector workers were making more than they were? cos, you know, we are all in this together! This from a dude making both public sector and private sector income in his spare time from his public sector job. His income? Pushing close to $200,000. Nearly 10 times the poverty level. The air is thin up there when you can only count your own privileges against those making even more and think "bootstraps" for the rest of us if you have time to throw a thought our way at all.

So my moment came and I thought: stop it now. Make your life count for more than these ridiculous meaningless verbal sword-fights and just do exactly what you want to do. Stop the fighting. Remove yourself from social media. Cancel the subscription to the paper in protest of their pandering to the elite.

I had a dream last night of being swept away in this kind of tidal wave. I wasn't frightened. I landed on a huge rock and just calmly trudged on. I had a purpose and I was committed to it. The rock was washed clean by the wave every minute. It held a lot of meaning for me.

Write. Read. Knit. Disengage from politics and social media and meaningless debates. Make every day of what's left count. Read my blog buds for sustenance.

So here I am.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

To-Do Lists

I don't know about you but mine get painfully long and then a few fairly sleepless nights and the overwhelm sets in. Havoc is created when I don't return calls or forego what I think would be manageable commitments (will I ever effing learn?)and the guilt streams over the top of my head and I sink beneath that wave for a while.

I'd like to blog every day. I love blogging. But I find that the pleasurable tasks on the To-Do get drowned in the "shoulds" of what I need to do first and then nothing happens. Exhaustion hits me too, those sleepless, crazy, nightmarish nights underlaid with the anxiety and stress we're all feeling.

"In my remaining lifetime allotted," I announced pompously to some poor souls who indulge my ranting, "I will not see normal again."

So yeah, what do I intend to do with such limited options?

Good question.

I have absolutely no idea.

So I knit away on a startlingly large project with took me eons to design as the mathematical calculations are not as free and easy in the brain as they used to be. The designing is now painstaking and slow if I want to avoid ripping out madly. So, yeah, it's looking quite lovely in its birthing. A long way to go but it keeps my brain subdued as I work it a few times a day.

My "other" writing has died much to my dismay. The muse has fled appalled by my inertia and my "woe is me"s in this awful pandemic.

But today, I got myself upright, metaphorically at least, and started ticking some items and lined up some apologies to be given to those who I have abandoned but not forgotten.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

I Hate Downers (Day 50 of the Year of the Plague self-isolation)

This past week has had me with spasms in my back, sharp and exhausting in their frequency. Aging means not bouncing back. I find the pain sucks the creativity out of me. I don't return calls, not wishing to burden anyone with my whining. I sit in a pool of misery, wanting to sleep the day away and quite succeeding in that accomplishment and shocked that I actually can sleep through some nights and then maneuver out of my bed slowly and carefully. It seems like soft tissue as it's not near the spine, so some kind of sprain.

I will call the doctor on Monday as over a week of this is quite distressing. Along with that my BP shot through the roof and I don't know why. My old BP monitor whimpered and died and the readings from the new one reflect these new alarming readings.

So there you have it.

One 1 case in the last couple of weeks here so we are now in a progression of loosening restrictions, basically following NZ but without reopening schools. We are moving from Alert Level 5 to Alert Level 4. Really good news. Slow and steady is the plan.

I'm getting around to your blogs, slowly but surely.

Objet du Jour

4 healing vials sitting on my windowsill in my bedroom with little messages of comfort within or attached. My two young friends made them for me.

Facebook have a new emoticon which is supposedly created to show care/sympathy/compassion. Consensus is it's a Big Fail but great suggestions have been offered to expand their reactive images. (sorry for the quality of image)

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Day 45

Objet du Jour - old castiron railway clock in my office, it follows me around, loses time unexpectedly but responds well to TLC

I went through the email inbox this morning and answered everything I had been throwing on the long finger as "tomorrow" or "when life gets more interesting."

It is not even 11.30 yet but I was up at 6.30.

I find time is truly flying. I judge it by when I feel my weekly pill boxes. Yes, 2 large ones. Lots of pills. And as I was filling them today, Saturday, which is the day for filling, I thought: didn't I fill these just yesterday? Well no. The week slid out from under me. Also my mornings warp speed by. I think it is 8 but often it is closer to 10.

I'm reading this, sent by Niece and totally enjoying:

I'm playing Enya, it's that kind of morning. We've had a last outburst of snow last night. Enya always reminds me of spring. A long playlist. Sample:

I wrote a poem this morning. There's a poetry contest on CBC, deadline May 31st. I always hand write poems first. I like the sound of the pen on the page and how the poem can evolve as I read it and stroke and amend for clarity. Poems are succint. This one was complex and startling and I hesitate to share it but maybe I will eventually.

We've had no new cases here for 7 days now. So maybe, just maybe?

I hope you're all doing well out there.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Your Thoughts on the Year of the Plague.

I've been asked to do a radio interview on the effects on seniors/elders in the time of Covid 19.

Most of mine are positive as I do love my own company and my own activities and am not one for small talk and fluffy social gatherings that involve bingo and cards and darts, etc.

The down thoughts are as follows:

Not seeing my daughter as much as I normally do. Especially on Saturday which was her birthday.

Not seeing my niece and her little ones.

I miss going out for coffee with friends.

I miss meals out.

I miss theatre and other live cultural events.

I dislike the hit or miss quality of my grocery deliveries.

I fret about the cavalier and careless visitors without masks or gloves entering my building, cleverly evading our superintendent who is trying to police the building from such violations.

On the other hand, on the weekend, I watched a large family of young adults and children performing a dance in the front lawn of my building all wearing masks and gloves to entertain a grandparent watching from her window.

I also think (but not depressively I hasten to add) - is this all there is? Are these my final days on planet earth? What happens if people start dying in my building?

And large thoughts: what happens if there is an entire economic collapse. How will elders survive without pensions or savings and in possible ill health?

Have at it.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Notes from the Year of the Plague

It truly is not a poor existence.

I get to play indoors.
I get to not have to engage with the covidiots roaming freely and laughing at the rest of us.
I realize my privilege in having groceries and medications delivered.
I get to choose who to respond to in both my messages and texts and phonecalls.
I have all the time in the world to watch a series on a streaming service.
I can read all day if I want.
I have the luxury of designing a new blanket and surveying my yarn stash for colours and quality.
I can play a playlist from start to finish. Mozart, Beethoven, The Chieftains, Enya, Peter Paul and Mary, et al, et al.
I get to watch the birds nesting and hear their calls to each other.
I get to play Lexulous with those with whom I've been playing for countless years.
I get to slow-read newspapers
I get to kick off misbehaving members from my two FB groups (I know, a bit petty there but oh so satisfying)
I get to buy an expensive necessary gift for Daughter on line for her birthday tomorrow. After researching reviews, etc. Coz I've saved money on gas and going out, etc. She will be thrilled but not saying anything about it here as she may read this blog post.
I get loads of time to respond to so many interesting requests like a youth group hooking up with SOS in any way we deem helpful once this plague is over. A couple are writing a book on non-state terrorism and asked me assist with material I have collected over the years. And on.

So some pics:

My Easter dinner was dropped off safely by Nephew. I had 4 meals out of it.

Writing away, I was struck by this, we have loads of opportunities here, right?

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Covid-19 (Day 31 of Self-Isolation)

Our prime minister, Justin Trudeau. And this is how I feel today.

The thing about being an elder is one can't let one's honest feelings out, right?

We're supposed to be strong and wise with the mellow of our years wearing a lean on me countenance at all times.

But that inner four year old resides within. And boy does she come out now and again. The impatience, the judgement, the no-one cares.

Today is such a day.

So I am throwing it out there. Easter Sunday.

Easter Sunday is the old pagan feast of Oestra, honouring Ishtar, the goddess of fertility and sex. My childhood religion, long thrown to the curb by moi, caught the fertility of the Oestra part but missed out completely on the sex unless it was their evil preaching hypocritical representatives stealing the spirits of innocent children, but I digress.

I am aware my world has completely shrunk, not that it was very large before, but now it is minuscule so I tend to obsess on unimportant stuff. Like tasks to be completed but then neglected. So I need to carve off some unpleasant wee tasks and just do them.

Many out here on the Edge are not gifted with a grasp of the seriousness of this pandemic and since their only hobby may be shopping and wandering aimlessly, indulge in that to the jeopardy of everyone else. I've been offered take out ("like a burger?"), etc, from these happy wanderers, oblivious to their own behaviours and its effect on their neighbours. They get very upset if questioned on how they are picking up such foods and I feel foolish for having prepped little care packages for them under the delusion of their following the isolating rules along with me. One took my gift of a hand knitted mask (not transmission approved, I view it merely as a warning to stay the eff away from me if I have to go in the halls for laundry or pickup) as permission to shop freely now.

So my isolation leads to despair and feeling quite solitary in my persistence of paying attention to all recommendations and wishing there were some real enforcement of them. I honestly believe we ain't seen nothing yet in the spread of this nightmare.
Pretty hand knitted masks, (more material can be inserted in the inside pocket). They are merely a signal and protection of others from one's sneezes, etc., but most of all a reminder not to touch our faces.

May the goddess, Ishtar, be good to all of you today.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Covid-19 (Day 29 of self-isolation)

Objet du Jour - a shawl I completed in about 40 shades of violet. I left it on my couch as I like looking at it and can hardly wait to waltz about outside in it.

There's a form of routine to my days, it's loose but there.

So here it is.

I get up at my usual time and make my breakfast (always a frightful bore - a large pot of dark roast - freshly ground beans, one egg and some healthy cereal with homemade yogurt and fresh or canned fruit) and well, 16 pills to start my day. All for kidney and heart and blood pressure function along with some D drops, some complex B and a baby aspirin (they don't call them that anymore right?)

I read my latest novel while I eat, a habit I've practiced for years except in my B&B days when I had to serve my guests. Afterwards it's Tao meditation time (I light a small candle) and the gathering of my self. I plan my meals for the day then so when I get involved in other stuff I know what I'm eating. I jot notes on whatever I'm writing.

Every morning, I email my small family (we have a group chat) a good morning wish and maybe a song or a positive thought. Today it was gratitude for their love for me and mine for them evidenced by a huge care package dropped off by my nephew last night which made me cry. Niece had put it together. I saw him through the heavy glass doors of my building and it felt so lonely and surreal as we waved at each other but this is much worse for them as he hasn't hugged his wife or his children in 4 weeks as he works in an environment that is high risk.

Then I check the newspapers - all digitally. I post relevant news items on the Covid-19 site I founded. And read comments and moderate and kick off misbehaving members with their own hateful agendas. Then I write for a while, or I knit. Or blog. Or a mix of everything. If I attend a Zoom meeting I knit which is a bonus.

I am never bored. I feel enormously free to do stuff now without the pressure of other stuff, if you know what I mean. My meds and groveries are delivered, I can PJ myself all day if I want. I don't have to interact with small talk ever (it drives me bats, call me deranged, I truly have to scrabble around in my brain to find bland sentences to volley back at the ones that are thrown at me).

Here are Canadian woman physicians singing one of my favourite songs of all time (originally written and sung by the Rankin Family).

Have a listen. Try not to let a tear leak. But ah go on - do, it's good for you. You don't have to be tough all the time.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Covid-19 (Day 25 of self-isolation)

Objet due jour - non stop blooming since January in my kitchen.

Time ran out from under me. Not all of it good. I'm sure many of you out there are having the same doldrums I am, days of it at times. Akin to despair. For who is cheerful and optimistic all of the time?

Not least of my frustration and well, yes, rage, was directed at a bunch of communities/towns and their leaders who broke with all Health Service directives and had a huge gathering and lighting of a tree to honour "front line workers" some of whom attended this incredible breach of safety. Not to mention setting a terrible example for youth. Daughter lives in the midst of this on a front line job with a compromised health factor to begin with and I was horrified. And helpless. When we protested along with a few valued friends, the pitchforks came out in full force and we were castigated for spoiling the fun and not understanding the "community spirit" but denigrating it. And should hitch up our wagons and get out of Dodge

No more will I say as I really don't want to relive this appalling episode. I could go on for a good long rant here but let's move on.

I started another novel and actually wrote 4,000 words yesterday. I had done a bare outline of this on my blog years ago and it has taken on an expanded life now and based on my own life. Well so much writing is based on our own lives, right? Some aspects of our own truth and reality. This book is one of the closest and it takes me right out of myself.

I read this somewhere else and wrote it down to inspire me.

"Someone has to succeed and there's no reason it shouldn't be me!"

Words to live by. Whatever that success could mean. Nothing to do with money or fame. Sometimes I am successful just making my own yogurt or gathering the ingredients for a nourishing soup.

I need to up the ante on this blog game. Sorry for the delays. Sometimes I can't breathe out the words or the frustration or the despair or even the smiles. But today the sun is out, and I am back in the saddle and groceries will be delivered today.

How are you all doing?

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Covid-19 (Day 16 of Self-Isolation)

In the year of the Plague it's all fine and dandy for a while and then cranky sets in. I'm trying to drag myself out of it. Irritated with myself - but not with others who are valiantly doing their very best - as we all are. Counting the blessings ain't working today. Most days, well yes. I'm not perfect (surprise, surprise).

I believe in the concept of Gaia. And have for a very long time. The hypothesis is explained quite well here, James Lovelock, in the sixties wrote extensively about it.

Here's a good summary:

The Gaia theory posits that the Earth is a self-regulating complex system involving the biosphere, the atmosphere,
the hydrospheres and the pedosphere, tightly coupled as an evolving system. The theory sustains that this system as a
whole, called Gaia, seeks a physical and chemical environment optimal for contemporary life.[1]
Gaia evolves through a cybernetic feedback system operated unconsciously by the biota, leading to broad
stabilization of the conditions of habitability in a full homeostasis. Many processes in the Earth's surface essential for
the conditions of life depend on the interaction of living forms, especially microorganisms, with inorganic elements.
These processes establish a global control system that regulates Earth's surface temperature, atmosphere composition
and ocean salinity, powered by the global thermodynamic desequilibrium state of the Earth system.[2]
The existence of a planetary homeostasis influenced by living forms had been observed previously in the field of
biogeochemistry, and it is being investigated also in other fields like Earth system science. The originality of the
Gaia theory relies on the assessment that such homeostatic balance is actively pursued with the goal of keeping the
optimal conditions for life, even when terrestrial or external events menace them

I've often been labelled a crackpot for believing this planet is a self-healing organism, wondrous in its capacity to adjust and correct and attempt now and again to throw us parasites off into kingdom come in a desperate effort to revert to its natural balance.

And now here we are, a world slowly falling silent. Skies clean, oceans breathing. Factories ceasing to belch. Gas fumes not spewing from silent cars. Everyone looking at larders, looking at minimums, decrying excess. Getting comfortable (or not) with their own vibrations.

Taking time to think.
To ponder individual journeys to this point.

This crackpot apologizes to Gaia every morning in meditation.

We have dug deeply into her core, she is bruised and bleeding but her weapons are far, far mightier than ours.

She will help us huddled masses to heal.

If we listen to her.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Covid-19 (Day 11 of Self-Isolation)

Sorry for the gap. A wee bit overwhelmed with the Covid-19 site and my emotions too of course. Two of my moderators stress-quit, I took a short break. It is difficult to process all the news reports every day and realize that most countries are so far behind the ball that it is enormously distressing anticipating the rising toll of deaths. Our island didn't shut down as most wanted but put people rolling in from sunnier climes (we call them "snowbirds" here) on an honest self-isolation and you can guess the rest. Strolling into grocery stores and coffee shops and hugging neighbours. Not understanding or not caring what social distancing is or quarantine for that matter. I would have incarcerated them for 14 days. Without exemption. But that's just me. Knowing enough about contagion to terrify me.

Objet du Jour - an owl full of pencils. Owls are my spirit animal and I have many, many owls gifted to me over the years.

We are now up to 24 cases on the island. People from abroad infecting mourners at funeral homes, etc. So we're not on the ball at all.

I am keeping busy with Zoom meetings and modified exercise and my doc booked a call with me today at 3.45pm. That's socialist health care, folks.

The world is changing so rapidly and I read a marvelous article today on how the whole global economy will morph and change as a result. All is not lost. As long as we take every precaution to protect ourselves and those we love.

Here is the article

How are you all doing?

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Covid-19 Day 6 of self-isolation

Objet du jour = leftover yarn balls, bowl hand carved by my last gentleman caller a few years back. Signed and numbered.

@@Received a notice under the door that the building is in lockdown so it is most terribly quiet. The library and community rooms are off limits and no visitors allowed. I feel safer and am very glad they are finally doing something though it may be too late with so many wandering willy-nilly all over the city, caring for grandchildren and running to Costco.

@@I can't believe how busy I am. It took me a while to set up Zoom for meetings. Great when it works but because everyone here is just about remote working now the drain on the system means it gets a bit non-buffery which can be irritating. Also busy monitoring items for the Covid-19 site but I have 4 moderators/admins now and that helps a lot.

@@I am working on a collection for another book called "Elder Reflections" which will incorporate life stories of people over 65 with a weekend workshop planned for the early fall to finalize. And hopefully publication before Christmas.

@@I heard from three of my four brothers today and I am so grateful for their reaching out. I am again reminded that when the world seems so perilously dangerous, we have all the time in the world to type loving letters and emails and texts and make phonecalls and have have zoom meetings and start new rituals.

@@I was saving a huge book, Pachinko, that grandgirl gave me for Solstice (we all exchange books at Solstice). I started it this morning. Oh the wonders of a beautiful book!

@@So how's it all going out there? I do read your blogs but time constraints are rough on commenting and also on responding on mine. I will get there........

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Covid-19 (Day 5 of self-isolation)

Objet du jour - a little stand I have beside my PC with current mail or favourite pieces, right now one is a Maud Lewis postcard created by my daughter, the other is a note from one of my favourite bloggers down in Oklahoma. The message is of peace in our world and hearts and bodies.

Much more activity on the home front now. And by home front of course I mean my home. I did finish reading a book but got very involved in on line meetings and phone calls and of course monitoring our Covid-19 website. Extraordinary how that can eat into the day. I forgot to have lunch.

I placed my first grocery order from a local merchant who is delivering. It will be dropped outside my apartment door and I will wash hands and wear rubber gloves when I move it inside. And then wash my hands again after I handle it. And then wait a while before opening it. Not sure what protocols are during deliveries for this type of service. I will not face to face with him or her.

I have to say our PM is very on top of things every day. His wife is sick with Covid-19 and he must be worried but he's out there positioning himself as far as he can from the media to keep us informed.

It looks like it's getting worse here. I sure hope not but stats don't lie.

@@ Odd thoughts - why is the history of the world mainly written by men? What have we all missed of women's stories and doings? What were their thoughts, their inventions, their courage and bravery?

Monday, March 16, 2020

Covid-19 {Day 4 of self-isolation)

Objet du jour - my ginormous button jar - some of these are Granny's, some are Mum's. They follow me everywhere.

The website I started on FB is keeping me busy - you'd be surprised at how much time monitoring takes as we aim to keep it non-political and secular. Thoughts and prayers don't cut it. Science might though, n'est pas? One guy started threatening me last night when I removed him from the site, found my email, etc. etc. Thus proving over and over again how inappropriate he was. I threatened police on him for this harassment. And as I live in a building I feel relatively safe. In a house, not so much.

I am enjoying the isolation so far. I find I have more time for music, more time for emails, a kind of much laid back approach to life.

Worry underlines everything though. I have to practice a form of mindful meditation when I go to bed as my heart is palpitating so badly. The stress of the day, I think being on social media and reading so much on this virus contributes to this. Many of my friends are still free-ranging and it worries me. They can't grasp the contagion side of this. As in they might very well be infected already and it will be the 11.5 days statistically before they display symptoms.I am sure I am viewed as a kind of crackpot for pulling away so early. I view myself as a crackpot for not pulling away sooner than that. Every little pain or discomfort in my head I go: oh here it is.

Other items:
@@Free deliveries of groceries here for seniors and disabled. Nice touch.

@@I'm sticking to my routines even more closely: healthy meals, dressing in the morning, getting up at the usual time, Tao meditation, some mild exercise and washing dishes every night.

@@Wondering if I could go outside at midnight and do a bit of walking in the fresh air. Some are doing this.

@@In touch with other self-isolators and corresponding via email as I find my android is straining my eyes and I prefer being on my desktop.

@@I have clean laundry for about a month so not worried on that score.

@@Strange new world indeed and getting stranger by the minute.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Corvid-19 (Day 3 of self-isolation)

Way back in the summer of 1956 my parents took the remarkable step of isolating all 5 (we were eventually 6) of their children on an island off the coast of West Cork.

For the entire summer.

There was an epidemic of polio in 1956 and they took the preventive strategy of isolating their children from it. Self isolating in other words before it was too late.

This island was primitive, no running water, no toilets, no electricity. And we had to share a very small cabin with another family with 5 children who had taken the same precautions.

But we managed. We roamed the island, played cricket (a lot) and obscure ball games that still come back to me, read every book and piece of paper we found and wondered why our parents were reacting so strongly to something quite vague and invisible. We were 4 to a bed - tops and tails, youngest sleeping with the parents.and meals were in shifts for 14 people, young kids first then the older children and adults. Simple food from local farmers, milk picked up at milking time along with the eggs. We played indoor games when it rained and were marched off to the cliffs to cool off if we got petulant and truculent.
"You're not the only one feeling like this, we all have to get along or none of us do."

Close quarters alright.

And only in hindsight do I thank my parents, for when we finally got back to the city we saw how other children had been affected with this disease. We saw leg braces while many were in iron lungs in the hospitals, permanently crippled.

Mum and dad struck a brave, preemptive strike for the safety of their children, at who knows what cost - 4 parents, 10 children in a tiny, isolated cottage, dear gawd - but we were so very, very fortunate in their concern and love.

And a part of my heart has always remained there. We were right on this beach, the scene of daily cricket (called rounders) and all the swimming we could handle. You can actually see the rusty red roof of the cabin (long in disuse now) just up from the strand.