Covid-19 Health Tips

Can you believe how many months we have been living under the dark cloud of a deadly virus?

Photo by CDC on Pexels.com

I’m not talking about tRump this time; I’m referring to Covid-19, formally called the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2.

I remember back in February when I heard some chatter about a new virus first noticed in China, more virulent than the common flu, and my ears perked up. With my chronic asthma and reduced lung function, I’m pretty careful in the best of times, and this seemed to be something else entirely.

I’m glad I listened to my inner voice and stopped going to the gym in March weeks before the official shut down, a preventative measure on my part because it’s normally never very clean and the air never smelled fresh.

During the shut down when everyone was hoarding toilet paper and Lysol spray and hand sanitizer, I asked my doc what I could do to protect myself.

Besides wearing a mask in public and staying away from crowds, her suggestion (and what she does) was to add zinc and Vitamin C to what I already take: D3, K2, turmeric, magnesium, and a B complex ‘cos I’ve been vegan for such a long time. I also take Carditone for cardiovascular health.

I’d rather eat healthy and take a few supplements than fall victim to high blood pressure meds, statins for cholesterol imbalances, and a compromised immune system.

I think probably the most important supplement we can take is a D3/K2 combo.

Years ago, my doc checked my D levels and was concerned that it was 24, way below the recommended healthy levels of 50-60. I started taking 5000 mcg daily and three months later, my levels were up to 40. Now they’re at the optimal number of 60, and I feel much better than I did in the beginning.

It’s been suggested that there’s a link between low levels of D3 and depression, and I believe it.

It’s a good idea to take D3 with K2 as there’s a synergistic relationship between vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 for bone and cardiovascular health. Vitamin K is essential for the proper utilization of calcium.

Separately, K2 regulates normal blood clotting, while D3 supports a healthy immune system and muscle function.

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

So far, I’ve been lucky not to have been infected by Covid, but I still wear a mask when out and stay away from crowds or gatherings of any kind, and wash my hands often.

Stay safe, everyone!

A Tragedy: WOLVES DELISTED

As if 2020 couldn’t be any worse with Covid, the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and oh, I don’t know, simply the death of our entire DEMOCRACY, THIS happened and I am truly distraught…

From my friend, Jamie Rappaport Clark, President of Defenders of Wildlife:

It’s a sudden and tragic end to what should have been one of the great wildlife comeback stories of all time. Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially stripped gray wolves in the lower 48 states of their federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

This ruthless decision leaves gray wolves at the mercy of states, some with increasingly hostile anti-wolf policies – even some where we’ve already seen wolves slaughtered. This isn’t over.

We’re taking this administration to court to defend gray wolves fighting for their lives. Will you help?  

Wolves need your help today. Please make your emergency donation to help fight back to save the lives of wolves and other imperiled animals!

We cannot and will not allow wolves to be abandoned, and their recovery to be cut off after decades of work.  Wolves occupy only 10% of their former range and need continued federal protection to fully recover. There are still vast areas of suitable habitat in the lower 48 states where wolves have not recovered, including Colorado. 

As recently as last year, a wolf spotted in Colorado brought a spark of optimism for the future of wolves in the Southern Rockies.  That hope could now be smashed. Delisting wolves is the wrong move at the wrong time. We’ve already seen a wave of violence as some anti-wolf states have allowed even more barbaric methods to trap, shoot and kill gray wolves – and things could get a lot worse for these wolves without our help. 
Give to Save Wolves
We’ll never stop fighting against anti-wolf extremists and politicians working to turn back the clock on wolf recovery. Today’s setback isn’t the end of the gray wolf story. 

If you agree, please consider pitching in to keep up efforts to save these wolves and protect them across their historic habitat.

Thanks for your compassion and your steadfast support for the wildlife we love.

On a personal note, I’ve been fighting to save and protect wolves pretty much my whole life and while we rejoiced when wolves were originally placed on the endangered species list, it didn’t stop the senseless murder of wolves and their families.

Check out some of my other wolf-related posts:
https://enchantedseashells.com/2013/11/26/saving-wolves/
https://enchantedseashells.com/2013/09/26/actress-jessica-lange-is-amazing-her-letter-in-defense-of-wolves/
https://enchantedseashells.com/2015/03/12/the-sad-song-of-the-wolf/

Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park is an American national park protecting a mountainous area located east of the Salinas Valley in Central California, eighty miles southeast of San Jose.

Could the sky have been any more blue?

#WordlessWednesday

Help Protect Orcas

https://www.southwhidbeyrecord.com/life/hope-dwindles-as-resident-orcas-disappear/
Time for a post and a plea about animals.
Defenders of Wildlife needs our help to protect southern resident orcas!
Stop a proposal that could allow serious harm to over two thirds of the entire southern resident population of endangered orcas.

A proposed rule from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) would allow Naval sonar activities in the Northwest Training and Testing area to seriously harass up to 51 of these orcas (68% of the entire population!), putting the recovery and even survival of this population in jeopardySouthern resident orcas are still struggling to survive and recover – we can’t let this population go extinct on our watch!

Take a stand: Tell the NMFS to reduce the danger sonar activities pose to the survival of southern resident orcas!

Orcas are the largest member of the dolphin family, and just like their smaller cousins, orcas depend on echolocation to find prey and to communicate with other pod members. With so few salmon left, it’s essential that we reduce underwater noise as much as possible to make it easier for orcas to find the food they need to survive.The ear-splitting shrieks of the sonar can make life nearly impossible for these majestic and vulnerable animals. 

These sonar activities can disrupt critical natural behaviors like feeding, nursing, surfacing, migration and more. These orcas already face dire threats from pollution, collapsing food supplies and climate change. They’re fighting for their lives – but if the NMFS approves this sonar disruption, it could be the threat that pushes them over the brink.

Tell NMFS not to approve the incidental take rule on southern resident orcas in the Northwest Training and Testing Study Area!

Time is running out to save these magnificent whales. Given this population’s already critically endangered status, we need to do all we can to help these orcas – including protecting them from disruptive sonar activity!

That’s a lot of exclamation points, but I love Defenders of Wildlife and hope you’ll help them save the southern resident orcas!!

P.S. For some crazy reason, WordPress is inserting unwanted horizontal lines in my post and I can’t delete them. I give up trying. WP, you baffle me.

[pah-tay-toe] Confessions

“GRANDMA ATE ALL OF THE POTATOES!”

I don’t care how you pronounce it, but I need to share my secret love for potatoes and there’s a recipe at the end.

Specifically, the much maligned WHITE potato: simple, sturdy, earthy.

On the last day of my most recent visit to the Angels, sadly, a very long time ago, DIL thoughtfully made a special going home dinner for me, all from scratch by the way, which made it even more wonderful.

There was vegan lasagna with a side of roasted potatoes and apple crumble. The lasagna was made with chard and kale from the garden and was SO VERY YUMMY and healthy.

Apparently (and rightly so) she thought I didn’t eat white potatoes because for the longest time, I would scowl at anything white: white rice, white flour, white sugar, white potatoes–as the source of empty calories, zero nutrition, and a great friend of diabetes. Not too healthy.

From the oven there emanated a most delicious perfume. I asked DIL what I was smelling and she said, “It’s roasted potatoes but you don’t have to eat them. I know you don’t like white potatoes.”

Not so fast, DIL.

I want to not like them, but I’m addicted to French fries (has anyone ever seen me hoard them? It’s not a pretty sight.) I actually dearly love white potatoes, but I try NOT to eat them and have some semblance of self control, like I say I don’t eat chocolate, only because I have no off switch. Once I start eating chocolate, I can’t stop. I don’t ever have any around because of my lack of restraint, which is also the reason why I buy Halloween candy like Skittles and other stuff I don’t like so I won’t be tempted.

OK, enough of the sidebar; back to the story of the roast potatoes.

Dinner was ready and we were setting the table. I was actually STARVING and had most likely once again forgotten to eat for the entire day.

DIL handed me a bowl of roasted potatoes and before they even reached the dining room table, I had eaten EVERY SINGLE ONE.

I brought the empty bowl into the kitchen and asked DIL where I could get seconds. She took one look at me and the empty bowl and started laughing.

“That was a sharing bowl! Did you eat all of them?”

“Well, yes, oops, sorry! I didn’t know they were for sharing!”

“T, Grandma ate ALL the potatoes!”

“YOU DID? HEY DAD, GRANDMA ATE ALL THE POTATOES IN THE SHARING BOWL! SHE REALLY DID!”

I hadn’t tasted anything so delicious in FOREVER; OMG they were so good, I’ve been thinking about them ever since I came home.

And by the way, I had never heard of the term “sharing bowl” before that day. It must be a British thing, as DIL is from the UK.

I finally broke down and bought two WHITE IDAHO potatoes and since it’s a bit rainy today and not devil hot, I’ll attempt a recreation of DILs heavenly dish. I’m even going to add salt and that’s also something I rarely do.

They tasted pretty yummy, but to be honest, not quite as good as DILs, but maybe that’s because it’s such a treat for me to have someone else cook, ‘cos I usually have that job.

I’m not sharing these, either!

Ma…the space between things

I’m inspired by the spartan aesthetic of Zen Buddhism.

Is less really more?

Ma (pronounced “maah”) is a celebration of not things, but the space between them. It’s negative space, voids, emptiness. The place you get to (if you’re lucky) in meditation. Like the space where that tree used to be.

I’m not exactly sure why this tiny little ceramic vase IS. Like why it even exists.

I mean, who designed it, procured a company to manufacture it, and filled a cargo ship full of them bound for the USofA?

I have no idea, but I fell in love and brought it home for $1.50. How could anyone NOT love shopping at Daiso?

Only four inches tall, it holds about a tablespoon of water and I continued to replace flower after flower until I got the brilliant idea of searching around the garden for beautifully shaped little twigs.

These are the last remnants of the ficus tree that is no longer there, and I decided it would be a simple way to honor that once living entity by saving a little part of it.

At first I was going to embellish them with faux gems, pearls, and seashells–like I usually do–but the more I looked at it, the more I loved the bare simplicity. I didn’t want to detract from the design of the vase.

I should write a haiku about the tree and these twigs. Being a minimalist with words is just as difficult for me as NOT gluing shiny things to those tiny little branches.

Goodbye, Tree

A while back I wrote about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and I’m guessing I could also call this post “A Tree Dies in SoCal”

Usually the loss of a tree I’ve lived with and loved for years feels like how I imagine a phantom limb might feel- a certain emptiness, a vacant unfillable void–like mourning the loss of a loved one, but this was different.

It actually feels lighter; freer–all in all a good decision that I had procrastinated about for years because I hate to destroy any living creature or growing thing.

The first cut is the deepest–I know those are song lyrics, but there’s a point you can’t go back, when the decision to cut down a tree is beyond the point of changing your mind. Too late to say WAIT, let me rethink things! You can always plant a new tree, right? Replace the old tree with a new one, right?

This was a ficus. I know ficus trees have invasive roots, I know they are much better as potted plants, but I seriously had thought this one was situated far enough away from the house so that it wouldn’t become a problem.

Then I looked under the deck and saw roots, which meant that it would only be a matter of time before there could be real damage to either the foundation or the plumbing.

It’s gone now, and I really don’t miss it at all. I’m thinking about what to plant as the empty space looks a little barren.

Maybe a fruit tree or two? Something that’s a bit more giving than the ficus which was definitely NOT an example of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree–more like the TAKING tree, sucking all the life out of the plants around it and leaving a mess to clean up.

I feel as if I most deserving of some reciprocal quid pro quo in return for all my love and nurturing and caretaking.

…to an infinite degree

Did you think I was referring to love? I could have been, but nope, not this time.

While this isn’t my photo, it’s worth sharing. In a cool social media twistyturny kind of way, I was chatting with a fractal artist on Twitter and shared my previous fractal post with him, Fractals Freak Me Out.

Here’s a link to Dan’s site and a post about fractals:
https://www.redideostudio.com/what-in-the-heck-is-a-fractal-why-should-i-care/

His book of fractal art is soon to be published and he kindly shared a photo with me, so here it is for a very wordy #WordlessWednesday. I am sooo jelly of creative people.

I wish you every success in your awesome endeavors!

Daniel Travers
Multimedia Producer & Artist
www.redideostudio.com

Vote!

Because somebody set fire to several ballot drop off boxes in California and because there are rumors of fake and tampered ballot boxes, I decided that it was worth the one-hour roundtrip drive to the Registrar of Voters office to have the peace of mind that my vote would be counted in this most important election year.

They had created a drive-through drop off at the Registrar’s location. It was so easy and there was no line, just a steady stream of cars. The nice lady confirmed that my signature was correct and that I had dated it, said thank you to me, and sent me on my way with the “I Voted” sticker.

Now I can check online to make sure that the barcode was read, and I’ve done our most important civic duty.

I believe this is the most important election of our lifetime. I’m beyond shocked at the racism and misogyny and targeted hatred that’s been uncovered these last four years.

In my opinion, it will take a lifetime to scour their systemic toxicity and re-educate certain sectors of our country about things I thought we all learned decades ago.

Here’s just a couple of the major things that piss me off.

  • Black lives matter. We can’t continue to allow this systematic murder of people simply based upon the color of their skin. It’s INSANE.
  • NEVER EVER strip babies and children from their parents and put them in cages because they were looking to escape violence. This is beyond disgusting. Those poor children.
  • Women have the RIGHT to choose what happens to our bodies. No one else. NO ONE.
  • Trust Dr. Fauci.
  • Stop killing animals to profit from their habitats.
  • Climate change is real.

There are many more issues, but for me, these are intrinsically the basis of what I fight for. Also, NEVER EVER again allow a failed reality TV show narcissist to run for office and cheat the system. EVER.

We all know Hillary won the popular vote. That’s why an overwhelming turnout this year is the antidote we need.

VOTE!

#BidenHarris2020

Walk with me again

Join me on yet another Odysseus-like journey through my town. I’m not sure what I’m searching for, but maybe like Odysseus, I’m trying to find my way home, facing challenges along the way.

This was an interesting morning.

When I began my pilgrimage, there was so much fog! It was coming down from the heavens like rain. Super cool for walking, not so good for curly hair, but I like to look on the bright side so I braided my curls and wore a hat.

Check out the Halloweeny spider webs on this pine tree, brought to life by the heavy fog.

For a while, I was a few houses behind a woman who was walking her Rottweiler. I was actually across the street, but couldn’t help but notice that she was roughly pulling on the poor creature’s leash/collar. The collar was one of those mean ones that have little barbs in them. I was already upset that the dog had a cropped tail. I believe that sort of mutilation is outlawed in other–more humane–countries, as is that nasty hurtful collar.

OK, I said to myself. Don’t say it, I said to myself. You know what to do, girl, I said to myself, keep walking and don’t speak. Don’t say a word this time, I said to myself. Just DON’T, I said to myself. Look away, I said to myself. Take a deep breath, I said to myself. You can’t protect every animal in the world, I said to myself. This might not go well, I said to myself. Take another deep breath, I said to myself. Mind your own business, I said to myself. Slow down your pace so you’re out of hearing distance, I said to myself. I mean it, have some impulse control; this time just don’t say it, I said to myself.

And then the woman and her dog slowed down, so they were within the range of my voice.

What do you think I did?

Yup. I really did. I couldn’t help myself. I TRIED really hard to get my Zen on, but my one little inner voice was joined by yet another little inner voice and the words spilled out…

“Umm, excuse me, but I couldn’t help but notice how you’re jerking your poor animal’s neck that way with that awful chain around its neck. It looks really painful from my point of view.”

“She needs to learn to listen. It’s just a little pinch.”

I said…”Well, you might want to learn another more positive method of training that poor girl because as I’ve observed during the last two blocks, your way isn’t working out very well.”

I concluded by saying, “I’ve trained a lot of animals, and actually think those types of chains with the hooks on them are banned in other countries. It’s abusive. You might want to research using a harness which doesn’t choke your beautiful dog.”

Well, she didn’t say anything else to me because at that point she walked up a side street, in all likelihood to get as far away from me as she could.

To her credit, we didn’t get into a screaming match. Walking away was her best choice, as she would have lost.

I took a deep breath and felt good that I had spoken truth and possibly opened her brain to a nicer way of training. Or not. Maybe I just ruined her day. Either way, job well done, in my opinion.

I looked down and was rewarded by a treasure! This is the most beautiful hawk feather. I carefully picked it up and placed it in my backpack. I think this might be a tail feather, don’t you?

At the beach, there was the usual non-compliant non-mask wearers, but I wore mine, took my ocean photos, and turned back to walk home.

No wave too small if you’re on a SUP.
Still foggy, but beautiful.

The lights were out at the intersection of Carlsbad Blvd. and Tamarack. There was utter chaos with cars and pedestrians, near misses, and impatient drivers. I crossed the street, defying a white SUV who was inching slowly toward running us all down, and saw a few police cars show up to direct the shitshow, so I thanked them for saving our lives and continued on my way.

This was a new sign at the railroad tracks. I swear there’s a deeper, more profound meaning here, but I can’t figure it out. I don’t have a clue. What do you think?

I stopped at RiteAid and bought a couple of cute Halloween decorations to add to my display ‘cos they were on sale.

Six miles or so again. Except for a still sore left arm where I had the injections, I think I’ve fully recovered from the horrible side effects of these vaccinations. I’m no closer to answering life’s existential questions, but the song that came on as I was almost home was Sting’s If I Ever Lose My Faith in You, and I’m even more confused.

Happy Sunday!