Sunday, March 29, 2020


I noticed a while ago an explosion of DIY face masks on Pinterest.

Then I also started seeing warnings about masks maybe doing more harm than good. Frankly, much of that did not make all that much sense to me. I really don't see how they could do harm unless you didn't wash them conscientiously just like your hands and any other household surface.

This article kind of sums of my thinking and answers some of my questions:

It is an individual decision. We each need to take responsibility for our own health and safety.

If you don't respect another's decision, no need to shame or harrass -- stay away from them. Be kind, we are all under stress.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Ways to Cope

Here are some ways that I am coping with social distancing that sometimes really can feel like isolation:

1. While washing my hands I pretend I am playing a character on Grey's Anatomy so that I am doing a lengthy and thorough scrub right up to my elbows.

2. Lots of patterns and how-tos on making face masks. I am not thinking these are terribly safeof effective, but it will help with my hand washing technique (see #1).

3. Cleaning out refrigerator and pantry shelves. Mostly transferring contents therein to my belly and hips.

4. Reading and Kindling (a word made up by Sextant). I am rereading some favorites but I am also making friends, finally, with Kindle as I stopped using the public library even before it was shut down.

5. Cleaning. I really do not like to use chemicals. I bought this product and have been using it for six weeks now. I am very satisfied with it. and I even use it on my tooth brush and nighttime dental appliance. No skin is peeling off my hands.

Yesterday I was wiping down all the spice and condiment jars. Today -- pens and pencils.

6. Texting and zooming and waving or calling out from a distance. Finally finding that there is an advantage to being an introvert sometimes!

7. Completely failing in me New Year's resolution to cut back on computer time.
BUT I forgive myself because I really am using it more intentionally -- for staying connected and for learning new things.

8. Turning on some music and dancing as if no one is watching -- because nobody is. When I start belting out the songs my neighbors have total permission to call in the authorities, but I keep the windows closed because the AC is on.

9. Experimenting with creative ways to cook lentils.

!0. Setting alarms to add structure to my days. Ooo . . . time for yoga now.

Any other tips out there? How are you taking care of yourselves?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

A Sign?

I was out for a quiet stroll around my neighborhood last night, maintaining a good social distance.

The times are trying but I looked up and saw this:

Now, I clearly see an angel watching over us. And so let it be.

Always Be Kind

This winter I started going to the Blue Lotus Buddhist Meditation Center where a small group of Sri Lankan monks lead a number of group meditation sessions. I also attended yoga classes there and several different classes and presentations.

Now, of course, the center is closed. However, some programs continue using the Zoom app. It's a way to stay connected.

And we get encouraging messages through the email list. Communication always ends with: Always be kind.

Words to live by, but especially needed in these times.

My kind neighbors left these on my doorstep:
Individually washed by gloved hands in vinegar no less!

Always be kind.

Thursday, March 19, 2020


I am sitting on my lanai. The temperature is pleasant, the humidity is pleasant, the breeze is pleasant. It's a bit hard to keep the chaos in the world in mind even though I watched the news just 30 minutes ago and it was not at all pleasant.

My son was here for a visit. Now things are kind of lonely. All my usual FL group activities have been cancelled. Don was going to come down to stay with me for the month of April and then we were going to drive back to VT together. He decided he would not be flying. I don't know about flying home either. Driving would involve stopping at a hotel or two unless I were to sleep in my car (not very likely). And who knows if gas will go the way of toilet paper or not.

But I have plenty of food and supplies for the time being. I am in the older group, but I am healthy. I am comfortable in my home and I have things to keep me busy.

A red shouldered hawk landed on the lawn. Now that was interesting. It's a real Florida bird.

Image result for red shouldered hawk juvenile

Nice to have a visitor and we kept a ten feet distance.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Elbow Bumps

There are many ways in which we are asked to change behavior in response to the terrible new coronavirus.

I wonder about this idea of greeting others with an elbow bump though.

Last time around weren't we all urged to cough and/or sneeze into out elbows so as to contain the spray of germs? I also tend to push unlatched doors open with my elbow.

Keep your soggy elbows away from me is what I say!

Widen your personal space bubble and nod in greeting.

May we all be well.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Super Moon

Did you get to see the super moon?

It was a bit cloudy here tonight but glimpses were abundant enough. Such a beautiful sight, it kind of takes my breath -- somehow way more magical than a large ball of rock in the sky.

They say it is the worm moon, apparently because the ground is starting to thaw so the worms are starting to wiggle through it and robins are returning and looking for a fat, tasty worm for breakfast. Something like that, totally irrelevant story here in Florida.

I had always heard the March full moon referred to as the sap moon because that is when sap starts running and farmers in Vermont collect the sap to boil down to sweet maple syrup. A Vermont story of practicality, but again totally irrelevant to anything happening here in Florida.

Some moon inspired music:

Perry Como  (my parents wouldn't miss his show)

Frank Ocean (I personally like this version better but it would break my parents' hearts to hear it)

Cat Stevens (college days)

Van Morrison (also my college days era although I like his music better now       than I did then)   

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong (classic)           

What's your favorite moon music?

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Dinner and a Play

I went to see the Venice Theater production of Guys and Dolls this Sunday afternoon. It was an enjoyable outing. It always amazes me how elaborate the sets are for this relatively small community theater. It really is very well supported by area businesses and civic minded individuals. There also seems to be no shortage of musical ability in the area and opportunities to attend theater and concerts. And there is no apparent shortage of those willing to volunteer behind the scenes.

The show ran for three hours, including a fifteen minute intermission. Not all of the actors were young, but they all had enormous energy. It struck me that it must be a labor of love because it has to be an exhausting endeavor and the show runs for a month.

Some people were heading out for dinner after the play but I had planned to go home and relax. I had gone out to dinner on Saturday night. It was called "A Taste of Sri Lanka," a fundraiser for the Buddhist Meditation Center where I go for both meditation and yoga. Monks from Sri Lanka and their friends and family members prepared the food which was very good although I avoided the spicier dishes. Wambatu moju was my favorite -- a pickled dish of eggplant and onions.

Meals in Sri Lanka are typically eaten with fingers -- no utensils. I didn't see anyone giving that a try, not even the monks. There was music and a silent auction to round out the evening. I didn't win anything in the auction -- I was too caught up in conversation at our table to go and check my bid status. 

I did make a donation for the auction though:

Two little gift bags filled with goodies.

Now the weekend is pretty well over and it will be back to my regular routine tomorrow. Yeah, retirement is a rough way to live if you can do it right.