Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Getting in shape

Getting in shape for what, I can't say.  I'm loving the treadmill, and rather than overdo it and then not use it consistently, I've been walking 5-10 minutes at a time throughout the day, and averaging about a mile a day.  I plan to raise it now every day and keep track of how I'm doing.  I think I feel better, although it's not translating to working harder!

I had started a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle that I just couldn't do more than get the outline of the puzzle.  My eyes just don't see those tiny variations in color any more.  Jeannie gave me a puzzle I had given to her kids, which is 300 pcs.  I started on it last night, worked on it now and then throughout today, and will no doubt finish it tomorrow.  At least I know where I stand and what my limits are.

So I have all my tomatoes planted and I'm sure I have them too close together.  I hate to dig some of them up - does anyone have suggestions?  Should I or shouldn't I replant them?  Tomorrow I hope to plant marigolds around the perimeter of the beds - that will keep the destructive insects away, I hope.  I think I'm going to plant a couple of squash seeds, and then maybe a couple more in another week.  Keeping Rocky out of the garden is going to be my problem this year - he hasn't harmed anything - just checks it out and leaves his footprints.

And speaking of the boy, I feel so terrible for him.  He wonders why we walk out to the mailbox and then come right back to the house.  Why don't we take walks anymore.   I've been throwing a ball for him to catch which helps him exercise, but it's not like a nice walk through the neighborhood.

This is the second day in a week that I've stayed in pajamas all day long.  There isn't much incentive to get dressed since I'm not going anywhere.

How is everyone else coping?  Is your area under quarantine, and if so, how is that interpreted?  All my good wishes go to the people of New York City and surrounding areas.  It looks pretty certain that we will all eventually be in that same boat!  Take care everyone, and if you have any tips for staying sane while being in virtual isolation, I'd love to hear them.  Thank goodness for the internet that allows us to stay in touch.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Social distancing -

 - whether I like it or not!

This is already getting old, and I'm tired of it!  It is so difficult for Rocky and me to not even be able to take a walk through the neighborhood, but I'm not taking any chances.  Rocky is lucky, in that he spent an afternoon at Jeannie's house playing with the kids recently, and they have invited him back this afternoon.  He is taking the isolation with a lot of difficulty, I can tell.  His personality is beginning to take on a new side, and that is one of perplexity, uncertainty, and whatever you might call doggie anger.  He wants his normal puppy life back.

An animal organization in Sacramento just put out a plea for assistance for the dogs in their care.  They desperately need supplies, and I found out they have several large dogs, so I'm waiting for someone to pick up a 30# bag of dog food.  Rocky is wondering why I pushed the box into the living room, and he'll be even more perplexed when someone comes to pick it up.  I can always order another, and if there is a wait for it because of high demand, I have enough on hand to last a while.  

I went out and  checked on the tomato plants I set out yesterday, and it looks like a large four-legged creature has already been checking!  At least he didn't nibble on them.  I still have 12 plants to go and will try to get them in the ground today.  I am really looking forward to my tomato harvest which will probably overtake me, once it gets started.  I think I may have planted them too close to each other, and don't know whether to pull a few out and plant them in another spot.  I hate to disturb them as they seemed to do well overnight.  I'd like to trellis them so they would grow up rather than out, but that is way beyond my current capabilities at this time.

I am loving  my treadmill, and trying to take it easy at first.  I set it to about 3 to 3.5 mph, but only walk about 5 minutes at a time.  I'm about brain-dead trying to correlate mph-distance-etc.  I would like to keep track of my progress each day, and also want to start some other floor exercises such as sit-ups, plank, etc.  Nothing too strenuous.

I quit trying to work the 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, and traded it to Jeannie's family for one that is 300 pcs.  I think I recognize it as one I had given them in the past.  My eyes are too far gone for those smaller pieces of a large puzzle.

Living alone with only a dog, and having no visitors, I'll admit I am becoming extremely lazy.  My house certainly shows it, but I can't work up a sweat about it, or even a bit of embarassment!  If I live through this pandemic I swear I will clean house every day from morning to night!  (Not!)

Sunday, March 29, 2020

My new toy!

Actually it isn't exactly a toy - it's a serious piece of exercise equipment.  I'm talking about my treadmill.  Donald came by yesterday afternoon and set it up.  I walked on it a bit last night and again this morning.  I love it, and am determined to get in shape, and since I don't feel safe even walking Rocky out on the streets now, I'll do my walking indoors!

Donald took Rocky home with him when he left, and Jeannie said he was a perfect angel, even when they were eating dinner he didn't beg or whine.  He played with the girls out in front of their house and I'm sure he thought he was in heaven.  I've noticed his behavior change since we haven't gone anywhere lately nor have we been in close contact with other people  or pets.  The poor thing doesn't understand what is going on, and his natural friendly labrador retriever personality is at a loss.

I have photos I want to add to this post, however I'm having great difficulty with them.  Evidently Google updated the blogger program, or maybe it was something to do with my photos, but I hope they show up clearly.  So frustrating!

 The first one shows the simplicity of the controls and the second is a photo of the unit.  As you can see, it is much smaller and more compact than the type you see in a gym, but it's perfect for me.   The quality of the photos is something I cannot do anything about.  I keep the wall-to-wall curtain closed most of the time for privacy.  This room was created from a garage, so instead of blocking in part of the front wall they just added a huge, garage-sized window.  There is a door set into the window, but I keep it closed and locked. This room is sort of a catch-all room - my printer and desk, bookshelf, art table (the kids love to sit at this when they come to visit), Rocky's supply of dog food, and even some boxes I still haven't unpacked from the move almost a year ago!

I hope you all take care and stay safe.  Please don't take chances - it is costing lives and many could have avoided it by staying confined to home.  Until next time - - -

Thursday, March 26, 2020


I just watched on YouTube, a rerun of the greatest horse race in all history.  I am talking about the Belmont in which Secretariat won the Triple Crown!

I saw it on TV when it happened, and I can tell you there was great happiness, celebration, and drinking in all the country after that race.   It was fun to be there, and I relived it again today, making me forget for a few minutes the awful state the country is in right now.

The sun can't make up its mind whether or not to come out today - and I can't decide if I should go outside and try to pull some more weeds from the garden.   All the rain we've had this year has made for an abundant crop!

I have been taking Rocky for a walk twice a day which really helps him get rid of some energy.  I read this morning that everyone should stay indoors as the virus can remain in the air for something like 3 hours.  That sort of gives me pause - I thought because I walked when there was nobody else around, that we would be safe.  Now I don't know.

I made up my mind when this whole thing started that I was going to survive it - mostly by quarantining myself and being very careful.  So now do I need to worry because I have stepped outside the boundaries of my dwelling to walk the dog?  I almost give up on everything and wonder if we are all doomed, except I'm NOT going to give that Lt. Governor in the state of Texas the satisfaction of watching me die for the sake of the economy!  I have never, ever heard anything so outrageous, and I'm calling on all my readers who are "of a certain age" to join me in surviving, just to piss that guy off!

Maybe I should just go watch the Belmont Race of 1973 rerun again, and hope I forget about all the total jerks in this country.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Interesting info

 I am always interested in knowing the country of origin when I buy a new product.  This can prove very difficult to determine.  I came across a great web page that I'm linking to below, which tells you how to find this info from the 1st 3 numbers of the barcode of the product.  I'm adding the link here in case any of my readers is interested.


 I don't know about you, but I am already sick of being alone.  I do enjoy walking Rocky and greeting/waving to other walkers, but I miss my kids and grandkids.  Rocky misses them and is really showing the effects of our isolation.  I have gotten really angry with him lately, but realize he has no idea what is going on except that he has no one to play with!

I will make this short as I want to go pull more weeds in the garden.  They are growing exponentially with the recent rains.  I'd love to start planting the tomatoes, but the temps are really chilly so I have to hold myself back. 

Have a good day to the extent you can!  I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Could things get worse?

Just when you thought it couldn't get worse, there is news of a virus that has now killed one person in China.  It's one that sounds familiar, is called the hantavirus, and is spread by rodents.

It is cool today but the wind has died down some.  When I took Rocky for a quick walk I was stunned by the beauty of the sky.  It is a gorgeous shade of blue lately, I suppose because there is less air pollution?  Right now the clouds are gathering and we will probably get rain.  I should go out and pull some more weeds in my garden before it begins - I can only do a little bit at a time which is kind of frustrating.  Also, I cannot find the spade/shovel anywhere and I'm having to use a small hand trowel.

I was hoping to get some topsoil delivered but it is almost impossible to do it by ordering over the phone.  I can order it, but someone has to stop in to pay for it, and it won't do to give a credit card number over the phone.

Is it me, or have any others of you experienced difficulties at every turn lately?  And where is it all going to end. 

 I'll admit that I'm getting discouraged.  I'm missing human contact and personal conversations.  I have trouble hearing on a cell phone so I don't really like to use it unless it is absolutely necessary.  Maybe when all this passes I should get my hearing tested.  I would have done it a couple of years ago if insurance paid even a small cost of a test and hearing aid.  Well, this isn't the time to try to do anything about it - maybe when the virus abates and we can get back to normal.  

When is poetic justice going to visit the officials who tell us we should get back to work and save the stock market?  And of all things, I read this morning that someone (a mayor or a governor in the Southwest) has urged seniors to get out and fill the necessary jobs in the country, because they are going to die anyway.  (I'm paraphrasing, but I think this is just about what he said.)

I hope you are all doing better at keeping a positive attitude than I am at this point.  I might just turn off all the news & noise, and clean my house!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sunday Morning

I just got back from a great walk with Rocky.  It must have made him sleepy because he is stretched out with his eyes closed.  What a beautiful morning, and not too many folks out yet.

One thing I always noticeis trash everywhere, and  way too much of it is along the school property.  Remember the old anti-litter slogan - "Give a hoot, don't pollute".  They would do well to bring that back again.  I cannot imagine one of my kids ripping open a bag of candy or chips and throwing the empty bag on the ground.  Imagine what these kids will be as adults.  I've often felt like writing to the school board, but realize I should mind my own business.  I don't want my yard trashed in retaliation, and those who openly throw their garbage on the ground would be the sort who would want to give "payback".

I had ordered an extra 30# bag of dog food just to be safe, and it came today, one week after ordered.  Delivery is usually the day after the order is placed, which shows how many people are thinking of their pets and preparing for the worst.  I sure don't want to run out of food for Rocky, although he is a little overweight!   Of course he goes ballistic when he sees the "Chewy" box and knows it is for him and him alone!

I'm so anxious to get my tomato plants into the ground - it's warm enough in the daytime but still gets down into the 40's at night.  I would hate to lose them to the cold after nurturing them for all this time.  I have my eye on April 1, but may have to do something with the taller plants before then.  I ought to get an outdoor thermometer that I can stick into the ground so I will be sure what the overnight temps are.

I hope everyone has a pleasant day.  When the sun is shining and the air is warming up, it's hard to realize the disaster that is going on all around us.  I wish we had decent leadership to get us through this, and there are some good leaders scattered across the country, but I'm afraid the worst is yet to come.  Most of us could see this coming, which is a bitter pill to swallow.  

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Let's Talk Turkey!

This beautiful creature landed on the railing of my deck this afternoon, and stayed long enough for me to grab my phone and get a couple of photos.  Of course, Rocky went ballistic.  After a few minutes the bird flew up towards the roof and I still have the smile on my face, hours later.

Sorry the darned blinds got in the way.   I hope you can see the turkey a little better by clicking on one of the photos.  It really is a beautiful creature.

I think there are lots of turkeys around this neighborhood.  I once saw 4 or 5 of them on someone's porch!  I have never had Rocky chase a bird although he watches them.  I guess to him a turkey is a creature that shouldn't be in his space, not a bird.

I ordered a treadmill this afternoon, and it is to be delivered March 28.  I'm so worried that there will be no deliveries of anything by then, the way it sounds.  The treadmill is one that is designed mainly for seniors, having good long arm rails, and a simple display.  There aren't as many options displayed as with most treadmills, and that is exactly the way I like it.  All I want is start, stop, and speed adjustment.  I think this one can tell you calories burned as well, but I won't ever use that option because I simply don't care.   My younger sister just got a treadmill of her own, although I'm not sure she has been on it yet.  She still has problems with dizziness and should have someone with her for the first few times.  Unfortunately, there probably won't be much getting together in the near future and for some time.

The gardener was finally able to cut the grass in the back yard after it rained so much last week.  I really wish I could get several bags of weed & feed for the yard, plus I need lots of topsoil, fertilizer etc. for my garden.  I am trying to get it ready for the tomato plants, and pulled all the peas that were ready.  I ate some for dinner this evening and they are really tasty.  I just don't think I'll grow them again (but I might change my mind after all) and they take up a lot of space.  If I was younger I would build a trellis for them so they would grow up rather than sprawl.  It turned out to be a great crop in this area for late winter/early spring.

That's all for now.  Stay safe, everyone, and avoid crowds if at all possible.

Friday, March 20, 2020

The New Normal?

It looks like the threat of virus is going to be with us for quite some time, and I'm trying to adjust.  So far things have not been too strict here - although I'm following the guidelines as  best as I can.  It seems to be ok to go for a walk, walk the dog, etc.  I notice that when I'm walking Rocky and another dog walker approaches, one of us always crosses to the other side of the street.  But one of my neighbors has a workman's truck in front of his house so people are still on the job in many cases.

Since I'm in the high risk group I'm determined to be extremely cautious, but it sure is difficult to know this is going to last for some time.  I personally think the way the government has handled this situation is completely awful!  Too little and too late.  We had enough warning of this situation and should have been better informed and  better prepared.  Thank goodness I live in a state with a proactive governor.  

Rocky is probably never going to stop chewing.  I thought it was just a puppy thing, but I remember our family dog when I was in my late teens that chewed clothing left on the floor until the day he died.  One of my brothers used to get furious but never learned to put his clothes in the laundry when he took them off.  This is what Rocky has done to the beautiful comfy pad in his crate.

 My tomato plants are looking so good and I'm anxious to put them into the ground.  I think we are forecasted to have some very chilly nights as well as more rain in the coming week or two, so I'm trying to get the first planter bed ready.  I pulled out all the pea plants and am busy eliminating the grass and weeds that have taken a foothold.  Today will be a good day to get out there and work on it.

I'd be very interested in comments from readers on how the spread of the virus is being planned for and handled in your state.  How are you being affected so far, and what do you expect for the coming weeks and months.  And since many of you are no doubt in the retirement age, what steps are you taking, especially those of you "on the road".  Personally, I've gone through several stages of thought:  first, I figured I was doomed and there was nothing I could do about but wait to die; second, I figured "Dammit, I'm not going to die!"  And here I am, and I'm going to be a survivor.  Think positively, and react proactively!  The world needs us, our experience, and our survival instinct.  Sending hope and blessings to all of you.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Gardening suggestion

Don't grow peas, unless you have done it before and know how to control the plants - staking, trellis, etc.  I used stakes and even tomato cages, but those darn plants overwhelmed everything I tried to do to control them.  I pulled out most of the vines and removed pods from them, and am going to clean out the entire plot and dump the plants.   They were fun to watch in the earlier stages of growth, but I began to recall the old story of Jack and the Beanstalk just recently.  I wish I had bought or made trellises as I think that would have been a better solution.

The sun has been alternating with the clouds today, but it has been a decent day overall.  I took Rocky for a walk, and was out in the yard with him for a while, alternately throwing a ball for him to catch, and tending to the pea vines in the garden.  I need the garden space because some of my tomato plants are about mature enough to be planted in the soil.   I have two trays of about 29 plants that I move outside in the morning, and then bring back indoors at night.  I'm not sure what nighttime temps in the 40's and 50's would do to the tender plants.

I have enough dog food on hand to hopefully last through August.  Just to be on the safe side, I placed an order for another 30# bag.  They usually ship the day the order is placed and I get it the following day, but it seems like everyone is ordering at once, and I was told it might take a few days.  I'm glad I went ahead and placed the order when I did.  It's not like I could run up to the store and buy more in case I need to - so I want to be prepared for a few months.  I am prepared with my own food and supplies, and have to take care of my best friend!

Speaking of my best friend, he is showing signs of lack of long walks and interaction with other people.  Poor thing.   And poor me - I'm suffering from social distancing, for sure!

Take care and stay well.

Monday, March 16, 2020

The rain goes on

I think this will be the last day of mostly rain and it will taper off during the coming week.  But we will get more the week after that.  I want to get out and pull weeds out of my garden and get it ready for tomato plants.  I hope I can hold myself back from trying to plant them as it will probably be best to wait until April.

It sure is no fun being all alone and kept indoors by the rain.  Rocky isn't used to not seeing people, and is really starting to aggravate me.  Jeannie came by last night with two bottles of wine she bought for me, and we sat for a while and enjoyed the visit, although she insisted on wearing a mask.  Rocky was overjoyed to see someone besides me, but misses the kids I'm sure.

Speaking of the kids, I'm thinking of having Autumn and Arianna over soon to give me some help.  I'll be glad to pay them for washing windows, mopping the floors, etc., and maybe with some help, I'll be energized to take everything out of the fridge and clean it from top to bottom.   Rocky will be the "wild card" though - he will take it for granted that they are here to play with him!  This is going to be a long, long isolation, and I'd be very interested if readers share how they are going to cope.  I'm especially interested in those of you who live alone.  If I was cooped up with any one of my ex-husbands for several days one of us would be brought up on charges!  Rocky is much easier to get along with, and responds to the word "treat" immediately and perfectly!

I'm also considering getting a treadmill to place in my home.  It's much better to walk outdoors, but I would be more likely to walk regularly on a treadmill.

Well, hang in there, and I hope I get lots of comments, ideas, suggestions, etc.  We are all going to be in this situation for a while, it seems.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

2nd Day of Self Isolation

And I am bored!  Nothing is actually different from what my life has been since moving here almost a year ago, but it feels like I am more alone than ever.

Last night I opened up a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle that I bought a few months back.  The lighting isn't good enough for me to be able to see minute differences in color & shade, which is more due to my eyes than to the lighting.  I might try pulling the card table closer to the door while natural light is still pretty good.  There isn't much I can do in the evenings though.  I'm surprised Rocky has left it alone so far.

I have one more dental appointment which I am going to happily cancel for now.  The last cavity I had filled was very close to the gum-line and I still have pain and find it difficult to chew on that side of my mouth.  

Rocky is well taken care of, with about 6 months of dog food on hand.  I was assured by the company I buy from, Chewy.com, that I will be able to order more when I need it.  I'll probably order another 30# bag next month so that will keep him fed and happy into the fall.  Who knows how long this disaster is going to last.  I know one thing, and that is I am going to survive it!  For any pet owners who haven't found this wonderful online source of food and supplies for all sorts of pets, I recommend you visit their site.  My order is usually delivered the next day, and Rocky recognizes the box it comes in and gets so excited he can't contain his joy!  I like to include a small toy or treat with the order, although he has way more treats than he needs and his weight needs to drop about 5 pounds.  And I need to quit spoiling him.

It has turned cold and rainy today, and I think the rain will last for most of the week.  When it stops, I am going to work hard and fast to get my tomatoes planted, and well as zucchini and yellow squash.  I haven't decided if I'll plant anything else this year, but I might if I have any room left.  And of course I am going to plant marigold and zinnia seeds around the perimeters of all the garden boxes.

Speaking of flowers, the flowering trees are in bloom everywhere, and they are so stunningly beautiful it almost takes your breath away.  Sacramento is so pretty this time of year.  (The heat of summer will put an end to that!) 

Take care and stay safe!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Sigh of Relief!

Donald picked up Autie from school today and they stopped by on their way home - spoke with me through the screen door.  Schools in this district are closed for now, and I'm so relieved I won't need to walk up to meet her.  I wouldn't be so worried being around the kids, but there are a lot of adults who meet their kids after school, and I definitely am in the "at risk category.  Now Rocky and I are totally alone, and I can only hope we stay safe and healthy.  Poor Rocky doesn't understand - why Donald & Autumn didn't come in the house really puzzled him.  I'm completely relieved that the kids won't be in school and possibly pick up something they could take home and infect their parents, siblings, etc.

 I will busy myself with what I can, and I certainly won't worry if there is a certain amount of dust on the furniture or dishes in the sink.  Actually I rarely have dishes in the sink as they go straight into the dishwasher.

I just made myself a huge pot of chicken vegetable soup, and used a lot of veggies I have on hand.  I will continue to order from my grocery (Raley's) as long as I can, although there are several items that have been out of stock lately.  I have enough food stored to take care of me for several months, so I won't worry.  I've always kept extra food and supplies on hand - just my nature to be prepared.

 I have a couple of new 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles and plan to start on one of them soon.  I just know Rocky will manage to chew some of the pieces, but I'll have to be on alert for it.  I don't think I can move the card table through doorways or I could keep the puzzle out of reach when I'm not working on it.

I'd be interested to hear how you are handling this situation in your area, and whether or not it has gotten to the point of quarantine.  There are lots of rumors floating about which I hope are not true - such as the National Guard being called out.  I don't mind them being on short notice, but I certainly don't want to see them patrolling my neighborhood, and I don't want them coming near my house.  I am going to survive this, I can assure you.  I would be despondent without Rocky though.

Have a peaceful and safe weekend.  

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Time to Hunker Down!

At least, it's time for me.  I have a sister who lives alone and is still recuperating from brain surgery, and she is desperate for some company.  Our niece does light cleaning for her on Thursdays, and I will probably go with her this evening for a visit.  After that I am not going out except maybe to walk the dog.  We went for a decent walk this morning and came into contact with no one, so I hope we are safe for now.  The back yard is large enough so I can exercise him there, but after a while my arm gets tired from  throwing a ball!

I've started weeding one of my garden plots because some tomato plants are almost large enough to plant now.  I want to wait until at least the first of April, but will undoubtedly have to plant a few of them in the next week or two.

I also plan to stain the back deck this spring.  I think we might have another day or two of rain, so I'll have to wait until that's over with.  I'll need some things to keep me busy in the coming months.  I'll take pictures as I go along! 

I hope you all stay safe, wherever you are.  We get so much conflicting advice it's difficult to know what to believe.  I am going to err on the side of caution and try to stay to myself for the most part.  I have enough supplies on hand to last me for several months, although I would hope I don't have to deplete all those supplies and doubt I will.  I've been having groceries delivered since I moved here, and hope that will continue to be available to me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

More Dental Work

I'm really getting sick and tired of all this!  I thought today would be the last, but I need to go back one more time.  My clock says it is 1:20 pm and I still have a bit of numbness left, so I haven't been able to eat.  I drank a cup of hot chocolate, and ate a couple of spoons of ice cream, but I'm still starving.

So now I don't know what I will do with the rest of my week.  I wanted to isolate the dog and me, but there are things I need to do.  For one thing I meet my granddaughter after school and walk her back to my place.  As long as she needs me to do that, I will be there for her.  I hope the schools are keeping up with what is happening with the virus and won't wait until the last minute to close down for the duration.

I'd like to hear how you are planning, or not planning, for a possible disaster caused by the virus in your area.  Have you stocked up on necessities?  Can you remain indoors for an extended time?  Do you have to go out to work? 
What other issues do you see ahead? 

I haven't done anything today and tomorrow I am going to devote some time and attention to Rocky.  I should walk him up for another nail trim, but i'm not very happy with the way they don't take enough off.  I need to find a professional groomer but I'll probably have to spend a lot more money.

I think I'll try to go to bed a little earlier tonight.  I probably will find it difficult to go to sleep because I'm hungry!

Good night everyone - see ya again soon.


Sunday, March 8, 2020

Some good news

Jeannie does my taxes every year, and she just called me to let me know what my refund is this year.  Out of  that I owe a small amount to the State of California, but since I sold my mobile home I qualify for a "renter's credit".  God bless California!  I have lived in several other states during my lifetime but this is where I want to be.  In my travels I have been in all 50 states and each has it's own beauty and attractions.  But I'm glad to call California home.  I realize that many people like to make fun of my state, but they can laugh all they want - I have a good life here.

The rain yesterday seemed to make the tomato plants grow even better.  I am not sure what I will do with all the tomatoes I hope to reap, but I will share with my kids if they want them, and I told Donald that I count on him to help me use them.  I visualize lots of tomato sauce, salsa, and whatever way we can think of to make use of them in the coming year.  It will be interesting to compare the varieties by taste, yield, hardiness, and so on.  I didn't really plan to grow so many plants, but when looking at the catalog and all the heirloom varieties, I just couldn't settle on just one or two varieties.  I could have grown many more than I did, because some of the seeds were wasted.  I hate to waste anything and it hurt to not use every single seed.  What I did was to plant several seeds in each cup, and save the best and largest in each cup.  That meant pulling the smaller seedlings and discarding them.  I hated to not have kept them, but then I'd be looking at 100 or more plants.  Maybe next year I can narrow it down to half the varieties I plant, according to what grows best.   Or maybe I will decide to plant and harvest even more tomatoes!

Today has been cloudy and chilly.  I am trying to keep the thermostat at a lower setting to save money on the gas bill.   I do have a small space heater that I turn on and aim at myself when I'm sitting on the sofa.  And I dress warmly.

I've been taking Rocky for a short walk every day.  We never come into contact with people although I exchange waves with some who are in their front yards.  I'm wondering if I should just  exercise him in the back yard if and when the virus gets closer to home.  I need the walk probably more than he does. 

I wish everyone out there the best of health in the coming weeks & months.  We seem to be in for a rough ride.  I waver between being positive and being negative (or maybe being realistic), but I think it's better to try to stay hopeful and do the best we can to stay healthy.


Saturday, March 7, 2020

Rain today...finally!

I am so glad to see it although Rocky will track wet paws all over the floor from his trips to the back yard!  I set my tomato plants out to catch some good rainwater.  Since I'm now mostly staying in the house, I don't mind the rain at all.

I have been getting strong feelings that I should stay home and away from the stores and crowds.   The virus is a threat to us all, and I was surprised to read that it is especially serious for those over 60.  Sixty???  That sounds pretty young to me - not even the traditional retirement age.  Of course there will be times when I have no choice but to go out.  Rocky's nails need to be clipped and I would try to do it except for my weird vision problems.  When I can't apply lipstick evenly, how in the world would I be able to determine where to make the cut on Rocky's nails.

And speaking of lipstick, I just got showered and dressed, and of course applied lipstick.  I even dabbed on some cologne that was given to me at Christmas.  I have to look at the comic side of all this - here I am all alone at home and will be here all day, but if I don't use the cosmetics and perfumes that I have on hand, someone will have to throw them away eventually.  Some of these products makes Rocky sneeze, and he's staying across the room from me right now until the worst of it is abated.  I've lost (or lessened) my sense of smell, as happens with many older folks, so I rarely get a whiff of the lovely scent.

The rain has stopped for now and the sun is out.  I think we have more rain in the forecast for a couple of weeks.  Bring it on!  Every morning I bring out my two trays of tomato plants and set them in the sun, and each evening I bring them back in.  Sacramento almost always gets chilly in the evenings and downright cold overnight, even in the hottest of summer.   I've tried to post a picture of one of the trays, but simply cannot do it.  Every time my computer gets an automatic update it makes everything impossible or more difficult for me.  I wish they would just leave it alone for a while.  I think having the photos come from my phone rather than a real camera is another part of the problem.  (Glory Be!  I kept fooling with it and it finally worked.  Why did they change something that worked so easily and so well, to something you almost need an engineering degree to figure out!).  This is one of two trays, with a total of about 30 plants!)

I hope you all have a good weekend, and those of you in the "over 60" group, please try to stay away  from crowds or even stay home if you can.  When this is over with we need to have some folks still here with the experience and wisdom we've gained throughout the years.  That said, I wonder if anyone will listen to us!

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

If it isn't one thing ---

...It's another!  The news is full of the coronavirus, which can really bring your spirits down if you are following it.   There have been several events over my lifetime that were frightening to me, but I hoped to get through old age without so much trauma.

Many of the news stories point to a very negative future outcome and that is depressing, especially since I am at the age that seems to be particularly susceptible to it.  Then, finding out that it can appear in dogs was the final straw to me.  Rocky and I are going to stay in our own house and yard as much as possible, and hope we can escape the worst of it.  As long as I get any visitors at all, however, I'm just a sitting duck waiting for the axe to fall.  This year would have been bad enough, with a nasty political scene ahead of us.

So when things get too negative or sad or infuriating, I listen to Cuban music and am transported into another world.  It's a world of beautiful people who have lived through trauma  and bad times, and have come out the other side being much better off. 

Today was my lucky day in one respect.  Donald can't take me to my dental appointment tomorrow so I had to cancel and reschedule it.  Now I have a full week's reprieve!  It must be my age that makes it so difficult to recover from the anesthetic, drilling, pushing & pulling on my teeth.  When I finally have everything taken care of I am never going back!

I've just checked the 2-week weather forecast and it looks like we will have plenty of rain in March.  That is fine with me as I'd like to keep my grass green as long as possible.  I started pulling weeds and grass from my garden plots today and have a lot yet to do in order to get everything ready for planting my spring garden.  I've started 30 tomato plants from seed (5 different varieties) and they are coming along nicely.  I hope to get them into the ground around the beginning of April which should be warming up nicely, and the threat of rain reduced. 

I've been trying to get to bed a little earlier each evening, and then be able to get up at a decent time in the morning.  I hate to sleep late because then I miss the best part of my day.

Wishing you all the best and hoping the world gets back to a better place very soon.  Take care and try to stay safe.

Monday, March 2, 2020

The state we're in

It's hard to believe we are already in the 3rd month of the year.  Christmas seems to have been such a short time ago, and even my family get-together back in November seems so recent .

The past two days have been  very windy, and I have stayed in as much as possible.   I have been trying to get Rocky out for a short walk each day, and I mean it is really short!  We both need a longer walk each day,  but when I heard that the virus can spread through the air, I just don't want to do it.  It's about time for me to do some work in the garden to get the soil ready for my tomato plants and squash seeds, and I'll start on that when the winds ease up.

I've reached the point where I want to stay at home as much as possible, rather than go out into crowds of people.  I even passed up a trip to Costco yesterday.  Unfortunately I have another dental appointment on Wednesday, and I hope that's the last of it.  The last time took me a full week to recover and to be able to eat properly.

My oldest son is in the Army Reserves, and has just come back from an 8 month deployment.  I'm so glad he is back and at home with his family, especially since today is his birthday.  He came back through El Paso, which I understand is housing some coronavirus patients.  My middle son's birthday was yesterday, and my niece, who lives in the unit next to me has a birthday on Wednesday!

I've been following the virus situation, and some of the ridiculous official statements:  "Disinfectants don't work"; "I have no information on that"; "Stop buying masks"; etc.  I think I have enough supplies in so that I don't need to go anywhere to buy things.  Also, I order a lot online and have the merchandise delivered, although it is way more expensive when you pay for shipping and handling, so the time will come when I just can't afford it.  I'm ordering extras for some things so that I don't have to worry about running out, no matter how long the worst of this virus lasts.

I hope you are all prepared for whatever comes next.  I think this will be a very tough year, but I don't want to wish away what time I have left by wanting to get through this year quickly.

Have a good week, and stay safe and healthy!