Friday, May 29, 2020

New things for me, my mask, Instacart and more

Above is the new pottery I treated myself to, which was hand painted in Mexico by a family who has done that for 30 years. The pot is large, the biggest I could find and is flat on the back so it will hang on my fence outside a window. If you buy this type of pot be sure to find one with a drain hole on the bottom, for some strange reason, most pots in this style lack that. And see the cute Chihuahua pillow? I bought that the first Christmas Bounce joined my family.
I have noticed new things in my life since the lockdown. Here are some of them:
Wearing a mask outside when in public.
A year ago would you have believed you would wear a mask when outside near other people? No way. Masks used to be used by bank robbers, probably still are.
How glamorous is this? Ha ha. I like this style of mask, which looks like a sleeve, because there are no ties behind the ears and it is easily pulled down and worn around my neck. See photo below with mask pulled down around my neck, handy at a moment's notice. If you search online to buy one, a term used by sellers is rave masks. Anyone else like women's tops from Jess and Jane? The ones I buy, including this turquoise floral one, are 100 percent cotton and made in the USA.

Using Zoom
I had never used Zoom until this crisis and I think increased use of Zoom and similar programs will continue. It could have a good effect because people will drive less often to business meetings, hang outs with friends, school meetings, etc. One thing that irks me is that well known environmentalists and politicians schedule big conferences on saving the environment and fly hundreds of people from all over the planet to meetings. Teleconferencing would be much less polluting, listen up people! That would be a good change going forward, not just during lock down. I joined my first environmental group when I was eleven, it was called Defenders of Fur Bearers, and focused on protecting coyotes from being poisoned and trapped and I am still a member of that group albeit it has a new name Defenders of Wildlife.
I attend our once a month book discussion group, our weekly church group which usually met right after church, and friends had a birthday party for me, all on Zoom.

Cleaning in my house in a new way 
Feel free to laugh at the photo above, my life has some boring aspects to it these days.
Since I am home almost all day I have noticed things in my house; I saw that my stainless steel kitchen sink, which is only two years old, looked less bright than it used to. If I didn't have all this time home I would not have noticed this; no matter how carefully I cleaned it, it looked a bit shabby.
So I ordered some Stainless Steel Sink Cleaner, Perfect Sink, used it, and am pleased how the sink looks renewed. I had never before thought of such a product. So that is a bit of a plus.
Ordering Groceries Online and having them delivered to my door using Instacart
Services like Instacart will continue to be used by many people after the crisis, especially by our aging population. It has a cost but saves me big in time and in driving, and I am at the age where I am supposed to not go in stores during the crisis so this is an all around good service for me. Instacart includes a tip in my bill, the standard tip is 5 percent and I give tip of 10 percent. The delivery is no contact, and they wear masks and disposable gloves, for their safety and mine.
Going for 10 weeks and more with only me in my house
Well that is not happy! Most of the time it is just me in the house, and I am excited when my adult sons visit me. I will love when I can give my favorite friends and family hugs and see them in person. My dog Bounce reminds me that he is here in the house with me, so I am not alone. A loyal dog. A prayer I am saying more often recently is "I am not alone. God is with me. He is my protector. He is all powerful, and no problem is too big for Him."
Searching online for cleaning supplies
Toilet paper, masks, disinfectant wipes, disposable gloves and paper towels. After this crisis when supplies are available I will order enough to have supplies on hand. It is frustrating that some people are hoarding these supplies in large quantities! I am almost out of disinfectant wipes and have read about some alternatives involving hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol. In a comment Lin asked about the wipes; I use Lysol or Clorox Disinfectant Wipes that kill 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria; guidelines from many sources recommend using them to wipe frequently touched surfaces like door knobs, refrigerator door handles, TV remote controls, exterior packaging of foods (for example, plastic bags that hold loaves of bread and plastic wrapped around packaged cheese), etc. and that is what I have been doing. Also car door handles, gear shifts and steering wheels if I have been driving where people are. I am a senior citizen so am being extra careful.
Some positive results of this pandemic
Junk phone calls have almost disappeared
I keep a landline phone and usually get 25 junk calls a week. I don't pick them up, they usually hang up when they reach my answering machine. Now the spam call centers seem to be shut down, since I am only getting about 7 junk calls a week on my landline. I am also getting less junk paper mail.

Dogs are happy
Above is Bounce and his new Crocodile toy. Dare I tell you that the first day he got the toy, Crocodile lost a front leg!
So many dog owners are home and bonding with their dogs. I see people walking their dogs, keeping a proper social distance from other people, all around my neighborhood. I think all this time spent with dogs shifts people's perspective in a good way. Dogs notice everything in the minute, which is very meditative. On each walk I pray prayers of protection and of thanksgiving as I see beauty around me.
Have you noticed anything to add to this list?

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Yellow roses in my garden, and poem My Neighbor's Roses

My Floribunda rose is in its full glory now in May. It is Julia Child floribunda planted in 2018.
I like the tight buds before they open.
The full size watering can shows the size of the bush which is about five feet all and five feet wide. It was small when planted two years ago.
Are you like me in that you greatly enjoy all the flowers and gardens that your neighbors grow?
Bounce gets me to take two walks a day and I love seeing the beauty neighbors provide. A jacaranda tree. California poppies. A stand of sunflowers each summer.

My Neighbor's Roses
The roses red upon my neighbor's vine
Are owned by him, but they are also mine,
His was the cost, and his the labor, too,
But mine as well as his the joy, the loveliness to view.

They bloom for me, and are for me as fair
As for the man who gives them all his care.
Thus I am rich, because a good man grew
A rose-clad vine for all his neighbors' view.

I know from that that others plant for me,
And what they own, my joy may also be;
So why be selfish, when so much that's fine
Is grown for you, upon your neighbor's vine?
                    written by Abraham Gruber. I haven't found out more about this poet, except some sources say he was a 19th century poet and that his middle initial is L.