Fred Wasn’t Impressive

After preparing our home for the approach of Tropical Storm Fred, was a bit disappointed that all we are getting today are clouds and a light rain. Regardless, we are very thankful Fred wasn’t a category 4 or 5 that smashed into our section of the Gulf Coast. My prayers are with those folks in the Florida panhandle area.

The next storm, Grace, is strolling up along nearly the same path. That’s bad news for Puerto Rico, Cuba and the areas Fred just came through. The current path has the storm again heading out into the Gulf. Nevertheless, we shall stay prepared. We have plenty of water, canned goods (a manual can opener) and have moved and outside furniture that could become airborne, into our shed.

Still, I love living in Florida. This area has a few weather challenges, but nothing we can’t handle. I grew up in Northeast Ohio, a survivor of the Blizzard of ’77-’78. I come from hearty stock, rooted in the hills of West Virginia and Kentucky. A little rain and wind, ah, we got this…hold my umbrella drink!

Take care, Friends! Be kind to one another!

Pandemic, still…

Hey, how ya’ll getting along out there? I hope you are well and taking great care of yourselves. If Covid has touched you and your family, I’m so very sorry to hear that. It touched me and my family as well. Just a few days after my oldest son’s wedding last September, I tested positive. My husband and I became more sick than we’ve ever been. It was like we took the list of symptoms and split it between us, our cases were not the same. For two weeks, I had the most monstrous migraine headache and fever. I don’t wish that on anyone.

We got vaccinated as soon as it became available to us. We wear masks when appropriate. We still don’t like it, but it is the best thing we can do for ourselves and our family.

I live in Florida, where mask wearing has become a politically charged issue. Our Governor, bless his heart, has stood up and demanded there will be no mask mandate for children in schools. Some parents agree, many do not. It’s sad, in my opinion, and seems as if the Governor does not want these children protected. I don’t care what we does in his own home, but pushing schools to risk the health of children is not, by any means, a good idea. These kids are too close to each other all day long. Anything they pick up from each other, they take right back home to their parents, siblings, grandparents, neighbors…and ultimately, you and I.

So my view is, wear the stupid mask. Yes, it stinks, and nobody enjoys breathing back in their own exhaust. We can’t defeat this virus if we aren’t all on the same page, or at the very least…reading the same book.

Take care, folks! Have a great day, respect each other and be kind.

Masks Debatable, but Wash Those Hands

Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Are there two more popular phrases in our world these days?

I’m certainly in favor of hand washing and using those personal hygiene practices that we all should have learned as children.  Most of my adult life I’ve been fascinated by those folks who use the restroom and leave without washing their hands. Yes, ladies as well as men…and at public restrooms, no less! What are you thinking? I’ve no clue how one exits a restroom without proper hand washing. It must be something either missing from their genetic make up, or maybe extra piece that makes them a superhero incapable of any germ infestation at all.  Either way, ya’ll still need to wash your hands!

Masks are a constant debate. Do they prevent infection? Are they really only suitable for the medical profession? What about the breathing implications for asthma patients? Are children okay without a mask? How do we avoid our face breaking out with “maskne”? What if I just don’t want to wear one? So many questions, so few answers.

I’m required to wear a mask at work, but that has been the only place I’ve consistently worn one until recently. Since I live in Florida, a blazing hot spot for positive Covid tests, I’ve begun to wear one in public more. I hate it. No way around it, they are very uncomfortable and sweaty in the Florida humidity. And my glasses fog up. But I do it.

Now our leaders are saying that the younger generation are the highest in positive cases. Well, yeah…so you open bars and beaches, they flock there. Makes sense to me. Social distancing? Not so likely. I work at a college…not looking forward to students returning to campus from all over the country, bringing whatever they’ve got with them. Young adults and teens are social beings for the most part and hopefully they will take to these new social requirements easily. Many feel they are young and invincible…just like we all did at that age! We all need to be open to these new changes and regulations in our world. We keep hearing the term “new normal”…time to embrace that, whatever it is!

Now…pull your mask up off your chin, and go wash your hands!

 

 

Hand Sanitizer

Life’s little paper cut finder!

And who is getting rich off the increasing price of this stuff? First there wasn’t enough to go around. Now that it’s everywhere, it’s double or triple the price it was before the pandemic started.

There are three hand sanitizer stations in our office at work. We are prompted by signage to use it each time we enter and leave the building. I got a paper cut earlier this week that will not heal because it keeps getting deep cleaned by 80% alcohol 15 times a day! I know it can’t be infected, but it is an open gash.

And don’t even get me started on toilet paper hoarding…

So This is 2020

I know I’ve been away from writing here for quite awhile, but this change in our world is ridiculous!  Who knew back on New Year’s Day that at the end of June we would be in a worldwide pandemic and wearing masks? Cuz if you did know, why the heck didn’t you tell the rest of us?

I’m not always sure what to make of this virus/pandemic/weirdness that we’ve come to know. Is our society even ready to adapt to wearing masks? I’m not sure everyone is, though most seem to be trying.  I see young children wearing them and it breaks my heart that they have to experience this. I certainly don’t enjoy wearing one, my guess is they do not either.

But this is what is called our “new normal” and we have to learn to work with it. I’m certainly not going to be one of those people who storm into a business that has posted signs requiring masks and proclaim that I an not obligated to comply. I know that I am obligated, for not only my own health concerns, but the others around me. I still don’t have to like it, and I honestly do not like being told I must wear a mask. But I’m doing it.

I’m required to wear a mask at work now. It’s hot and uncomfortable, and every chance I get, it comes off. I hate it. When alone at my desk, or sitting outside alone and away from others, it comes off.  It does make sense, though I do see where some would think it will harsh their mellow to be required to mask up.  Maybe it does, but so does dying from a virus that you might contract if you had not worn it.

I know we will all come through this eventually. Whether we are a smarter and more aware society when we emerge, remains to be seen. There are some lessons we can learn from this. The main one, the basic lesson of wash your hands. Really? Did it have to take a pandemic to pound that into our heads? Apparently so, and that is a point that concerns me. Did our Kindergarten teachers really fail is so badly that we don’t wash our hands effectively enough? Sad.

I live in Florida, which has recently emerged as a growing “hotter spot” for new virus cases. I have not, to be honest, consistently worn a mask when out and about. I do believe in the concept of “Herd Immunity”…if we all are exposed, then we build up the immunity needed to fight this and we get stronger. I don’t know if this is the answer, and Dr. Fauci hasn’t really asked my opinion, but I’m putting it out here anyway. Take it for what it’s worth, just my viewpoint. We all need to be comfortable in our own opinions and feelings, so if you don’t agree, I respect that.

So take care out there, my Friends! And wash those hands frequently…twenty seconds with hot, soapy water.

 

 

A Long Absence

Hello, there!  I’ve been a stranger, not written in a very long time.  I have no excuses, reasons or anything to say on my behalf.  I’ve simply been “away”.  I’m back, and the plan is to not wander so far away again.

So what’s happened since my last installment?  A lot, and then again, not very much.  Still living in Florida, and we’ve bought a house.  That’s a huge deal!  I don’t ever want to go through the home buying experience again!  Our realtor was amazing, no complaints there.  Our finance guy…kinda a clone of the Energizer Bunny, only not so warm and fuzzy!  He did the job, got it done for us, but the hoops we had to jump through were a killer!

We haven’t adopted a new dog yet, can’t bring ourselves to replace Chewy.  He’s irreplaceable.  At times I’m ready, then others I’m just not.  Still cry over the good memories.  Now and then we do dog-sit for our buddy Shadow, he’s a black and white Cocker Spaniel with the sweetest disposition!  That helps fill the hole left by Chewy for awhile.  Maybe someday…

We’ve got our dream house!  Three bedrooms, a pool, nice neighborhood, etc.  It checks off all the “gotta have” boxes.  But of course, after just a few months, homeowner reality sets in and we had to replace the air conditioning unit.  Another few months later, the hot water heater takes a crap.  Now a possible issue with the pool pump…but it’s still makes me happy knowing that it’s our home, our special place forever!!

Halloween is coming quickly and I don’t know what to expect in our new neighborhood.  I asked the ten year old boy next door if there’s usually trick or treating.  He was so cute, said he couldn’t remember, but maybe he might be too old for it this year.  Really?  Since when are ten year old boys too old for costumes and candy?

Thanksgiving? Christmas? Don’t get me started on how quickly that’s coming at us!  I don’t even have outside decorations and lights for the house yet.  We can’t be “that house” with no lights in the neighborhood!  I need to figure out the best way to string lights in palm trees.  I’ll check for a video on the internet!

If you’re a friend of my previous posts, thanks for checking this out again.  If you’re a new friend, Welcome Aboard!  Until next time…have a fabulous day!

 

Lottery Woes

Yes, I’d love to win the lottery.  The Powerball drawing got to somewhere around $500 million on a recent round.  As Bill and I were walking one evening, we discussed what we might do with such a windfall.  Buy a house on the island? How much could we give each of the kids?  Definitely pay off any debt.  There is that dream car he wants…the black Trans Am from the “Smokey & the Bandit” movie.  We could open our own tattoo shop.  Travel extensively, for sure.  Charitable contributions?  What about investments?

But, as the saying goes, “you can’t win if you don’t play” and I’ve not been playing.

Of course, I understand money does not make one happy.  I’m already happy, so that’s not an issue.  My use of the money would enhance my current level of happiness and that of my family.  Accomplishing any the items listed above could certainly do just that.  Who wouldn’t love to give large chunks of money to their kids, travel wherever you wish, or make a sweet donation to a favorite charity?

I admire the folks who anonymously give of their fortunes to those in need. I love hearing at the holiday season of a Salvation Army bell ringer finding an extra special donation in their bucket.  I can see myself as a Secret Santa type, spreading joy to children who may otherwise do without.  Nothing sweeter than the smile of a child, right?

Along with such a win comes financial responsibility.  I admit, this is the last thing I will think about.  I’ll want to start planning vacations and purchases, not wise investments.  That’s where Bill comes in.  He’s my rock, my sensible side, the sane voice on my shoulder saying, “Hey, you are out of control.  This is how we’re going to work it.”  And he will be right.

Winning the lottery is a life changing event.  What would you do with $500 million?

Hmmm…..

Sticky Notes Rule

Think about this…how did the world even function before the creation of Post-It Notes?

I cannot even imagine an office anywhere that does not have a bin full of assorted colors of sticky notes in their supply cabinet.  These amazing inventions are likely the most helpful items ever.  Looking over my desk, I currently have two notes hanging from my monitor, three stuck directly to my desk, and another five on other sheets of paper pinned to my wall.  Not that I always remember to look at my notes…but that’s another day.

The uses for these sticky little marvels are endless.  They make great bookmarks, are handy by the fridge to note groceries you need to pick up, and are the perfect size for drink coasters.  You can use the sticky side to clean dust from between the keys of your keyboard.  Use them to mark events on your family calendar with specific colors for each person.  Maybe even decorate your friend’s car with hundreds of notes for a birthday surprise.

Besides being every color of the rainbow, you can find these handy little guys in various shapes and sizes, too.  I’ve seen holiday themed sticky notes and some pre-printed with grocery lists or chores for the kids to do at home, and even things for teachers to use in the classroom.

What a world we live in, huh?  Imagine how one sticky little piece of paper has transformed the way we do things.  If something like that can make a huge impact, what can you do to change the world around you today?

Crazy on the Tamiami Trail

My drive to work each day involves a stretch of the Tamiami Trail running between Bradenton and Sarasota.  A very busy strip with three lanes in each direction and a turn lane in the middle.  There are assorted businesses, hotels, marinas, and people.  Lots of people.

I grew up in Ohio where we learned to wait until traffic cleared, look both ways, and proceed cautiously across the road.  In Florida, apparently pedestrians are programmed to walk out into the middle of the street.  With oncoming traffic in all directions, there they go trotting right out between cars.  Every day I see people of all ages running across Tamiami Trail, playing a dangerous game of human Frogger.

For easy and inexpensive transportation, many people in Florida ride bicycles.  Great idea, the weather is usually sunny.  It’s a common sight to see riders going along with the flow of traffic.  So imagine my surprise one day when I see a woman sitting on her three-wheeled bike in the middle lane of Tamiami Trail, digging deep into her purse looking for some elusive item!  Really, that’s the most convenient spot to stop and check your gum supply?

Now I realize Sarasota is known for it’s connection to the Ringling Circus, but one day I spotted a small man in the middle of the road.  It startled me to see him bravely standing there, at way under four feet tall, with traffic whizzing past him at high speeds.  I’m just over five feet tall and not sure I have the courage to do that!

All this takes driving to another level for me.  Not only do I have to be aware of other drivers actions, but also the unpredictable stunts of pedestrians.  It feels like I’m driving with my head on a swivel so I don’t miss anything.  Still, I’d rather these distractions than driving during Ohio winters in the snow and ice!

Be safe out there!

Six AM Thunder Buddy

Something about an impending thunder storm sets Chewy’s spidey-sense on edge.  For ten minutes before the lightening even starts, he’s whimpering from his spot at the foot of the bed.  Soon he’s inching towards me so that right about when the first crack of thunder hits, he’s wrapped around my neck.

Interestingly, Lhasa Apso dogs were originally bred in Tibet to guard the Buddhist monasteries, alerting the Monks to intruders.  Huh.

Once Chewy is cuddled in close and shaking like a baby rattle, whimpering continues until the last flash and boom are a faded memory.  He peeks out occasionally to check if the storm is still brewing, but is content under a blanket until the end, as long as he’s being hugged tightly.  Once the storm is over, he follows his humans around for awhile, keeping at least one of us in sight in case the storm returns and he needs a hug.

This is how today began for me.  I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  Chewy is part of our family, our baby, best friend, and confidant.  We care for his every need, and he showers us with undying devotion and dragon-breath kisses.

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!