1. What changes, that you made in your routine due to COVID. will you keep?
2. What activities did you start?
3. Do you see hopeful things happening? If so, what?
4. What will make you feel safe to go out to eat or to a public place indoors again?
5. Where is the first fun place you will travel to?
6. What's your favorite food?
7. What's your favorite pastime?
8. What's your most memorable encounter with a person of color?
9. What's your favorite childhood memory?
In the past that term, "masks", would have brought to mind a masquerade party, or Halloween costumes or even medical personnel. But not anymore; since the pandemic our understanding has changed a lot. Now I find that I am suspicious of persons who don't wear a mask when out in public. The Arizona governor lifted the state wide mask mandate but many cities have not and continue to require masks in public.
Chris and I have both had the Pfizer vaccine, both shots, but that doesn't make me feel that we should throw caution to the wind. I'm concerned that the "herd immunity" many are counting on is not that reliable yet.
As the Queen of Denial I never realized how transparent my mask was to the world around me in the years that our family lived with alcoholism. Karla praises me for "holding us together" during those years, and I did work my butt off keeping up appearances. By the time Ray and Karla were leaving home and I decided to get off that Merry go Round the question I heard was not "what happened" but "what took you so long". That really made me feel I needed to start being a lot more honest with myself.
I started in the AlAnon program a couple of years after the divorce. A few years of listening to the brutal honesty from the others in those rooms taught me about facing myself. I also learned that reality is a lot easier to live with than any fantasy life. But it also made it more difficult for me to be part of a "social" group where I have to hide my true thoughts and feelings.
I have no patience with social faces and keeping up appearances any longer. Since I have been so isolated during the pandemic I may be pricklier that I was before. Maybe I'm becoming that cactus that is difficult to hug! Perfect for Arizona!
PS. Hope that doesn't add to your stress!!
Masks during covid are only interesting because of all the ruckus about them. What a dumb thing to make into a political issue. I don’t know what we are coming to if we are that stupid.
The more interesting kind of mask is the type we wear to conceal our real selves. Babies don’t wear a mask and are completely transparent about their feelings. Obviously we can’t continue like that if we are to function in society. So we learn to wear the socially appropriate mask. We may have to be pleasant to unpleasant people or act like we feel fine when we don’t. Sometimes we wear role-related masks such as a professional persona that doesn’t show our lack of confidence. Sometimes my mom role is a mask because I have to set aside what’s really happening with me in order to take care of the kids or grandkids. I wear this mask less often now that my kids are grown.
Some people wear masks to keep them from knowing themselves. That’s sad and can cause all kinds of pain and destruction.
It’s important to have people with whom we can really be ourselves and not wear a mask at all. This group is like that for me. I almost never wear a mask with my husband. He gets to see the good, the bad, and the ugly, but he loves me anyway.
Masks serve a multitude of purposes--some literal and some figurative. We all wear figurative masks at times. In a polite society, it's a necessity if we want to get along with each other. We hide our fears, our anger, and sometimes even our love, if we feel our emotion is inappropriate for a situation. It's a sign that we care about acceptance and want to spare another person what may be harmful or uncomfortable for them.
In 2020, we learned to wear literal masks anytime we went outside our homes. As families, we went mask-less and shared both our germs and our fears, anger, and love. The masks we wore outside our homes signified concern for others, as well as ourselves. In a polite society, that concern for each other is valued, at least by some. While there are those whose concern for themselves and their "freedoms" outweigh their concerns for the welfare of others, I've found most people I encounter share my desire to safeguard our community's health. Since I'm fully immunized, I'm not at great risk of contracting the circulating Coronavirus variants (yet). My mask demonstrates love for my neighbor, whether my neighbor appreciates my efforts or not. I'll continue to wear my mask as long as pandemic dangers persist and will let it hide both my literal and figurative emanations.
Yesterday, the day before Easter, had all the commotion, bunnies and eggs and neighbors with noisy relatives, and a bright shiny warm day to be outside. And Svea was here, first time in a year, a great time together!
But today is Easter Sunday and there’s no one on the golf course, none of the neighbors are having parties, no wandering Easter bunnies, and the candy is gone. There is only peace left after all the pre-celebrating. I sit quietly on my deck, knitting my counted cable stitches and listening to the dozens of different bird calls in the air. I listened to an extraordinary sermon earlier from my pastor Kara, the first Easter sermon I have ever heard in terms of a love story. So beautiful! I sent a link to Kent to listen also, and he sent back a beautiful message about feeling close to Jesus.
Peace, hope, love, family, that is a resurrection I can believe in, a resurrection that propels me forth into the days ahead, a springtime of new life.
It is becoming more apparent to me that I have a great deal to learn before I shall have any success at all. At this point, I am thinking it is going to take years!!
We have a large paving stone and cement parking place/patio/parking space that is 22ft. X 64 ft surrounded by a block fence. This area has Southern exposure with full sun. We have a beautiful tree on the West end of the enclosure which gives a lovely shade from about 2pm on into the evening.
I had thought to build raised beds from clocks, like I had in Tulsa. Fortunately, Karla squashed that plan quickly. I really don't need to be hauling tons of stones to build anything. But I do want to have raised beds for growing veggies and things.
My next best bet for this year will be very large pots. I have a beautiful agave just waiting for me to make up my mind about which colors to choose. The large pots are expensive and will be with me for a long time. So I am going to wait until I have a patio plan in place to buy them.
I have a few pots, medium to small, for rosemary and parsley, my thyme has already burned to a crisp and the geraniums are holding on. The little succulents are pretty and seem to be doing ok in their little garden. the brass rabbit seems happy too.
The ice storm in February did a lot of damage to our shrubs, so we'll have to replace several. The Knockout roses in the front of the house weren't my favorites anyway, so we pulled them out. I expect the builder planted the roses and the nandina there next to the house (the dwarf nandina in back and the large roses in front...???) and didn't think about how they might look when they reached maturity. We've got plans for that bed but haven't completed it yet.
Surprisingly, most of the newer plantings in back survived, though the salvia is kind of leggy now. We'll replace a few. It's always fun to plant new things and watch them grow. I've got three raised beds now and have planted the usual peppers and tomatoes and herbs. I've also got some zinnia planted. I love cut zinnias throughout the summer. They're so colorful and they last a good while in a vase after cutting. We added a jasmine against the back fence and I'm enjoying the lovely smell. The butterfly garden I planted last year didn't pan out (almost no butterflies!) so I'm just concentrating on the zinnias that I love. The butterfly bushes are still there and leafing up nicely, so we might see a few. The hummingbirds love the butterfly bush and the salvia flowers, so I'm satisfied that we're feeding some lovely creatures anyway.
Spring is full of promise that fades in the heat of July and August, but I'm enjoying experimenting with some new plants to see what does well in a Texas garden. It's fun to see what works and what doesn't. The geraniums I love don't do well in the hot and dry Texas summer :-( But I'm discovering some new species that are native to Central Texas, so it's a trade-off. I also have begun composting, which has been satisfying.
Something about gardening is calming and rejuvenating, so in spite of the disappointments of lackluster vegetable crops and butterfly no-shows, I'm compelled to continue. Nurturing God's creation is a fulfilling exercise.
I am not sure if what I am doing can be classified as gardening, but it is working in the yard to be prepared for the coming warm weather. It has been a week of discoveries. One is that the mower needs to be replaced. After mowing last Sunday afternoon, I was informed that the new (to us) wheels don't really roll very well. Only then did I understand why I couldn't complete the yard. (Did I really lose that much strength during COVID?) A new mower has been purchased! Take that!
Two is that pulling weeds that have appeared in the flower beds is NO fun! When making changes last year I removed mesh, mulch, etc. in order to remove old plants and put us new gardening ones or transplant bulbs and other plants. The good news is that the vast majority of plants seem to have made the transition, even some that were dug up and are growing in a new place have also appeared where they used to be. I am anxious to see what the plants I got from Terese will look like and how they will do. My irises seem to have successfully made the transition. I worked in 3 of the 4 beds last year and now the 4th seems to need some care. I guess that is the task for this year. I may have lost most of my azaleas and a nandina. It's too early to tell on the crape myrtles, but they are cut back. My back really tells me I have worked hard at these tasks. OW! My plans for more plants are a few bedding plants in the flower bed by the front door, probably begonias or petunias and then tomato plants. I hope I have the same good fortune with tomatoes that I did last year. It is really amazing how well the plants survived this truly nasty winter and that hope in plants is evident every day. Now that needs to be translated to people!
My parents subscribed to the Readers Digest for YEARS! And they saved every issue, and took the back issues down to our lake cabin to store them, I guess. During long summer afternoons I read those old magazines and took lots of quizzes that were in them. We were not allowed to swim between noon and 2pm because the sun was at its hottest and we could burn.
The Readers Digest taught me vocabulary in the form of a quiz, read the word and pick the correct meaning from the 3 choices given. Since I was an avid reader it was a good source for me to pick up new words. Of course, then supercalifragelisticexpalidiscious came along. Who but Mary Poppins could spell that one?
Lonnie loved "autumnal" and "celebratory" and others he could rattle off.
I blame my Southern upbringing for my inability to hear the different vowel sounds. When I hear a word I have to take it in context to know if it is A or E or I, they all sound the same to me. I can't tell if a person is asking for a pen or a pin. As a result I am a really lousy speller and have to have lots of helpers to get thing right. Thank goodness for Spell Check on the computer and on my phone.
And we have Bill Clinton to thank for bringing "Abeyance" into our everyday lives. That's about as good as the Ladies of the Delta offering to "Put a Patch" on your drink.
My favorite word or idea is "New", probably due to my ADHD inability to focus on anything longer than a few seconds.
When we lived in Hawaii from 1973-1975 we rented a house on the north end of Oahu, right on the ocean. We had our own beach, and had 31 palm trees in our yard. My Pascual, a 5 foot elderly native Phillipino, came with the house. He would come around every other day to trim the trees and make sure none of the tall branches fell on little Britta. What was amazing is that he would shimmy up the tree barefoot, some of the trees being 10 or more feet tall, and pick the ripe coconuts, before they too fell to the ground. He taught us how to open the coconuts, and how to know when they were ripe.
We had a community of Hare Krishnas that lived a block away, and often came to pick the green coconuts for their milk. However, we knew that the green milk would give us diarhea, and wondered how they could drink it. It was interesting to get to know them, because they were all young guys just out of the military. What I discovered is that they missed being part of a group of men, and the Hare Krishna group filled the void. They liked being different, dressing that way, and eating only vegetarian, but underneath they were just young boys searching for an identity.
I loved the beauty of the palm trees, how they swayed with the strong Pacific winds. After the tsunami that attecked the island while we lived there, the only trees surviving were the palms.
It must have been fun to wave whole palm branches for parades such as Jesus entry into Jerusalem. Truly a wonderful way to celebrate.