Walk With Me

Sights around my little town.

I saw an abundance of crows; not sure why, but quite a few of them joined me today.

Hello, friend!

This sign was posted a few blocks away; not a very nice person! I hope she’s caught and the dog is found unharmed.

Poor grammar; incorrect use of “they’re”…should have been “their”, but I’ll allow it this time.

When I got to the beach, I was astonished to observe how many people were walking so close to each other in public and absolutely defied the “Wear a Mask” order.

I encountered no one during my walk but I wore a mask when I crossed the street to stop at the restroom. I observed many non-compliant people huddled together on the seawall and sidewalk, pretty much 90% were NOT wearing masks, so I turned right around and went home. My own mask didn’t seem like enough protection and I didn’t feel like yelling at them.

They are not being good neighbors or visitors to our city.

The County of San Diego requires face coverings to be worn anywhere in public where you could come within 6 feet of someone you don’t live with. Face coverings should be worn in addition to, not instead of, all of the other health precautions.

At last, a couple photos of early morning surf before I walked back.

How was your Sunday?

We Wear the Mask (Poetry/Reality)

Here’s my assortment of masks waiting for me on the front seat of the car.

That’s REALITY, a temporary address where I don’t really like living for any length of time, as I’d rather dwell in the realm of fairy gardens with doors that open to a gentle forest of everlasting happiness.

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How’s everyone doing with the novel Corona virus, now officially called SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2)

Are you masking up in public?

Have you been to a restaurant?

Have you or anyone you know been exposed and/or tested positive?

Are you still restricting your daily activities?

Are you still washing your hands more than ever?

Disinfection game still at a high level?

ME:
• I wear a mask whenever I go to a store. As soon as I walk outside, I take it off.
• No restaurants or bars for me.
• My DILs brother-in-law got it, was extremely sick and hospitalized, it was touch and go but he pulled through.
• I’m in the high risk demographic and haven’t/won’t attend any large gathering and I also stay well away from anyone in public.
• Still washing/disinfecting daily but to be honest, I’ve always been a clean freak, so it’s not a hardship.

Here’s the bottom line…I HATE wearing a mask but I do it to protect myself and others.
Just in case. Kind of the same reason I wear a seatbelt. Or don’t drink and drive. To protect you and me. Just in case.

It’s a small price to pay, whether or not it’s actually necessary, but doctors and medical professionals wear masks and other PPE during surgery and when they’re in the presence of patients who present potentially contagious symptoms, so why not?


Here’s POETRY.

Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote a poem about another kind of mask. He was an amazingly insightful poet.

We Wear the Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
       We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
       We wear the mask!
BY  PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR

The Fine Art of Healing with Retail Therapy

Frivolous or not, the re-opening of Nordstrom Rack sent waves of happiness through every cell of my body.

Today was almost like a pre-Covid day, with the exception of mandatory mask-wearing.

(I started sewing some Chanel and Dior masks; look for that DIY post soon.)

My day began at Homegoods where I found an adorable beaded basket for $7.99.

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I moved to TJ Maxx, where I purchased these amazing summery earrings ($9.99) and a skateboarding dinosaur t-shirt for Angel Boy 2.0.

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At Nordstrom Rack (yay, they’re open again!) I couldn’t resist these Sam Edelman Passion Red Velvet Dot Tulle heels. I might not have anywhere to wear them right now, but they are SOO me. They’re a bit pricier than my other items; on clearance, right around $50.

I LOVE doing photo shoots with shoes and jewels. It’s so much fun, especially balancing that one shoe.

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But my shopping joy didn’t stop there! Marshalls is next to the Rack. I walked up and down every single aisle and that’s where I discovered this gorgeous handpainted mandala glass bowl (I’m fascinated by receptacles). I couldn’t stop snapping pics! It’s embellished inside and out, glowing in the late afternoon sunlight. Also $7.99, unbelievable. How could I resist?

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It was a thoroughly satisfying and mentally healthy day, the best kind of retail therapy, and it doesn’t always have to be a pricey Chanel to bring pleasure.

UPDATE: While I was out, Governor Newsom ordered a new shutdown, so it seems as if it’s possible that stores and malls will once again be closed. I’m grateful I was able to experience a few hours of normalcy.

Pandemic Journal 2020: Walkin’ around my ‘hood

It’s Easter Sunday and that always meant a traditional day hike or walk to the beach or a camping trip to the desert.

This year was a bit different because of the pandemic, isolating to protect ourselves and others from Covid-19.

But the beach always beckons. Well, not exactly the beach because it’s now closed, but non one can deprive me of a view of the magnificent Pacific Ocean.

My round-trip walk is about 6.5 miles, maybe a bit longer because I took a detour to include pics of Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

For those of you that didn’t get out for a walk today, here ya go!

It looks like an advert for a hallucinogenic (LSD) but that’s an ALTERED PERCEPTION haha. That’s just the way the light hit it. The sign really said “Beach closed.”

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And just in case you didn’t take the hint, this signage made it extremely clear…

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And if anyone is STILL clueless, this sign and caution tape is even more specific…IMG_9132

But here she is. Mother Nature. The Pacific Ocean. No waves. I bet a million dollars if there was a solid 4-6 swell, those waves would be packed. No one can keep a surfer from the water. That’s essential to life.

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I took the long way home around our Agua Hedionda Lagoon. Pretty daisies, the lagoon, and the power plant off in the distance.

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One of my favorite views; the lagoon and the ocean.IMG_9136

All the rain created a mudslide on Adams, the street around the lagoon.IMG_9137I’ve never before seen Adams closed at Park due to a landslide! Crazy times we’re in.

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And finally back home. There’s really no place like home. Dorothy was right.

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My experience as the virtual grandma at Passover dinner during a pandemic

Wednesday marked the first night of Passover 2020.

Although my grandfather was a rabbi and we used to observe most of the Jewish religious dates, it was much more for the fun than any strict adherence to dogma.

Hanukkah was the fave cos of all the prezzies of course, and Sukkot is cool cos it was a gathering of the harvest, and Passover/Pesach was chock full of symbolism and the time for the youngest member of the family (usually me) to have center stage reciting the Four Questions to explain what Passover is all about. (see below)

How is this night different from all other nights? This is one year none of us will ever forget.

Growing up, my son wasn’t too interested in anything Jewish, probably because we don’t live in a Jewish community and the lure of beach and ocean and skateboarding was more important, so I didn’t really push religion on him because in all honesty, I don’t really care.

For me, seeing a butterfly or growing and eating our own fruit and veggies is equally as spiritual or more so than being forced to sit in a smelly synagogue and recite endless words.

However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my son and DIL’s interest in dipping their toes (along with Angel Boy 2.0’s) into the ritual and symbolism of certain Jewish holidays.

For instance, last night we all gathered together to celebrate Passover dinner. Since they are physically located in the Pacific Northwest and I’m here in SoCal and we obviously can’t be together right now because of the pandemic restrictions, I was able to be included via FaceTime, which was actually pretty awesome. I think the original Charlotte would approve.

Keepin’ it real, they set a place for Elijah, upon which my grandson placed a very realistic looking furry fake rat. Yup, he’s his daddy’s boy for sure. He had grape juice instead of wine, and if the way he drank it and kept refilling his glass is any indication of future behavior, well, ’nuff said.

I still have the Four Questions memorized, tucked away somewhere up in my gray matter, so I helped with the pronunciation, while my son read the story of Passover and they followed the rules of eating the symbolic foods on the Sedar Plate.

Angel Boy 2.0 ran off to find the afikomen (a piece broken off from a matzo during a Seder and put aside to be eaten at the end of the meal. (It’s traditionally hidden during the Seder to be searched for by the children.)  There’s a really funny Curb Your Enthusiasm episode about a Passover dinner, not sure what season, but it’s on Amazon Prime.

It ended with latkes and matzo ball soup (for them) and tofu for me. There’s always a silver lining and always a rainbow after a storm, if you keep your eyes open.

Here’s some info about Passover:
The story about the origin of Passover is also the story of the life of Moses. For a time, the Israelites lived in peace and prosperity amongst the Egyptians until a new Pharaoh saw them as a threat to his power. He enslaved them and ordered all their sons to be killed at birth to prevent a new leader from arising.

According to the story, one mother was able to conceal the birth of her son, Moses. When she could no longer hide him, she hid him amongst the bulrushes. The Pharaoh’s daughter noticed the baby and decided to adopt him. She sent Moses’ sister to find an Israelite woman to nurse him, so he was reunited with his mother. When Moses was older, he moved into the palace where the Pharaoh’s daughter raised him as her own son.

As a young man, Moses noticed the suffering of the Israelites and his actions in retaliation forced him to leave Egypt to become a shepherd. God appeared to Moses one day in the form of a burning bush and commanded him to return to Egypt to lead his people into freedom with the help of his brother Aaron. Although Moses and Aaron repeatedly begged the Pharaoh to free the children of Israel, they were not successful. As punishment, God inflicted 10 plagues on the Egyptians. After the 10th plague, in which all first-born children of the Egyptians died, the Pharaoh agreed to free all Israelites and to allow them to leave Egypt with their possessions. As they had to leave in a hurry, they did not have time to allow bread to rise, so they baked unleavened bread, known as matzoh (plural matzah), for the journey.

Many aspects of Passover have a symbolic meaning. Cleaning the house to remove chametz, using a candle, a feather, a wooden spoon, and a paper bag, symbolizes the removal of egotism and spiritual coarseness from life. The matzoh represents the haste in which the Israelites left Egypt, and the red wine or grape juice represents the blood of sacrifices and male circumcision. Special kitchen utensils and the Seder Plates are used in the special Passover meals.

The Seder Plate consists of 3 matzoh piled on top of each other on a plate or clean cloth, which are then covered with another plate or cloth. Next, small pieces of symbolic foods are then placed on top. The foods are: zeroa , a roasted shank bone or chicken neck; beitzah, a hard boiled egg; maror, freshly grated horseradish or the stalks of romaine lettuce; charoset, a mixture of chopped apples, nuts, and wine; karpas, a non-bitter vegetable, such as an onion or a boiled potato; and chazeret, more horseradish or romaine lettuce. A dish of salt water and wine accompanies the Seder Plate. Each item on the plate represent a different aspect of the Passover story and they are eaten in a particular order and in specific combinations during the ceremonial meal. From https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/jewish/first-day-of-passover

The Four Questions:

?מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת
Ma nishtanah halailah hazeh mikol haleilot?
Why is this night different from all other nights?

1st Question:

.שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה – כֻּלּוֹ מַצָּה
Shebchol haleilot anu okhlin hametz umatzah; halailah hazeh, kuloh matzah.
On all other nights we eat leavened products and matzah, and on this night only matzah.

2nd Question:

.שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת – הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה (כֻּלּוֹ) מָרוֹר
Shebchol haleilot anu okhlin sh’ar y’rakot; halailah hazeh, maror.
On all other nights we eat all vegetables, and on this night only bitter herbs.

3rd Question:

.שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אָנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּעַם אֶחָת – הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה שְׁתֵּי פְעָמִים
Shebkhol haleilot ein anu matbilin afilu pa’am ehat; halailah hazeh, shtei f’amim.
On all other nights, we don’t dip our food even once, and on this night we dip twice.

4th Question:

.שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין – הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלָּנוּ מְסֻבִּין
Shebchol haleilot anu okhlin bein yoshvin uvein m’subin; halailah hazeh, kulanu m’subin.
On all other nights we eat sitting or reclining, and on this night we only recline.

https://www.kveller.com/article/the-four-questions/

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Some GOOD NEWS during the Covid-19 crisis: Green Goo

I’m sure there are other companies who have decided this Twilight Zone time we’re living in calls for extraordinary measures, but I liked what I read about Green Goo, a woman-owned biz, so I decided to highlight them on the blog today. Their story is really cool and you can check it out at https://greengoo.com/pages/about-us


In an effort to combat a market shortage and rampant price gouging, Sierra Sage Herbs, parent company of all-natural brand Green Goo, is proud to announce the launch of a new hand sanitizer, scheduled to arrive at its warehouse later this week.

Produced in the U.S., Green Goo’s hand sanitizer, made with an FDA-approved 63.5% alcohol, disinfects and kills 99% of bacteria and germs.

Green Goo will provide the Town of Lyons, Colorado, where the company is headquartered, 3,000+ units from the initial limited allotment, while the remaining products will be included free of charge with every order, in addition to being a part of three wellness bundles, via the brand’s website — greengoo.com.

Additionally, individual sales of the hand sanitizers will be available at greengoo.com and at a multitude of national chain stores and independent retailers by late April.

“Currently, we have a limited supply, so we are including a free hand sanitizer with every order to ensure our customers are able to share this inventory – a little for all,” said Green Goo Co-Founder and CEO Jodi Scott. “We’re producing more hand sanitizer which is scheduled to ship later in April, and at that time we will make it available for sale.”

Green Goo plans to donate 1% of the sales of the hand sanitizers to select local and international charitable organizations making a difference in the fight against COVID-19.

“In these uncertain times, we are all trying to understand how we can help. As a family-operated company and, ultimately, concerned citizens of the world, we feel an enormous responsibility to leverage our resources and partnerships to provide these much-needed products,” Scott continued. “Green Goo is an all-natural brand and this isn’t a ‘typical’ product for us. However, with the urgent need for hand sanitizers, we felt a duty to address the need for the product while complying with FDA-, CDC- and WHO-recommended formulas. There is time, as we learn more about this disease, to evolve the formulation.”

The brand will continue to produce hand sanitizer for as long as deemed necessary by U.S. health officials.

 

My Covid-19 journey of self-isolation: Day 21

March 30: I feel like I’ve been training for this pandemic pretty much my whole life, but especially ever since my life exploded and I became a full-fledged hermit in a self induced cocoon to try and survive and heal from my own tsunami of pain.

A loner by nature, I’m peaceful while everyone around me is in a frenzy. I find serenity in projects at home, the garage, and the garden. I have always enjoyed solo exercising, working out at home instead of the gym, and I’m even more self sufficient now. Beaches are closed, but my own backyard sanctuary is open 24/7.

There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. It’s a mindset. Home is not a prison; it’s a sanctuary. What a perfect opportunity to slow down and create your own retreat.

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Social distancing is a way of life. Not a problem. Avoid close contact? Not a problem. Shelter in place? Def not a problem.

I’m taking all the necessary precautions; washing my hands so often that I feel like LadyMacbeth minus the fact that I’ve never murdered anyone.

Doctor:
What is it she does now? Look how she rubs her hands.

Gentlewoman:
It is an accustom’d action with her, to seem thus
washing her hands. I have known her continue in this a quarter of
an hour.

Lady Macbeth:
Yet here’s a spot.

Probably because my mom was an RN and cleaned so often with Lysol that I’d often tell her I had Lysol in my veins instead of blood, but my house is VERY CLEAN. Like eat-off-the-floor clean. To me, the smell of bleach is as sweet as Chanel perfume.

Now I’ve ramped it up a bit. I disinfect food containers and cans before they come in the house, open mail with gloves on, and I have enough food to last three weeks.

The worst part of all of this is that Angel Boys 1 and 2 were supposed to visit and they had to cancel their trip. 2.0  just turned four and I missed his birthday as well as my son’s celebration, something that has really never happened in the 39 years he’s been alive.

When we FaceTimed, little Angel Boy 2.0. told me that all the libraries and toy stores and restaurants are closed. When I asked him why, he said it was “because of the virus.” I asked him what a virus was, but he didn’t know, only that all of his fun places weren’t available to him. Dad’s home because the university is closed and he’s teaching online. Mom and baby are home too, and I wish I was there to help, but I can’t go to them.

Everything is beyond surreal.

So far, I’ve had some good experiences and only one bad one.

This happened on March 11 and I wrote about it that day…”This virus is bringing out the absolute worst in people, including my own community. I was at our library, buying a couple books from the little store cos I’m going to have oral surgery and need to stay put for a bit. As I was paying for the books, I saw a huge bottle of hand sanitizer at the check out counter. I attempted to use it and the volunteer (about my age or maybe a little older) said it was “only for the workers” and “didn’t I carry my own hand sanitizer in my purse”. Needless to say, I immediately went over to the librarian who apologized and assured me that the volunteers are not supposed to HOARD the sanitizer, asked me to write up a complaint (which I did) as well as request of her to make sure all employees, volunteer/paid, knew that the library is a public institution paid for by my taxes and that was egregious behavior. What she should have said was “help yourself”. 

Except for the odd hoarding of toilet paper, that was really my only negative experience. Everyone else seems to have a feeling of community, that we’re all part of this strange Twilight Zone time, that 2020 will never be forgotten.

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So far, I’ve used five rolls of toilet paper. I know that seems like a lot, but I use it to clean, too. Did you guys hoard anything? How are you doing on paper products? Has this slloowww down changed your life? How? In what way? What kinds of adjustments will you keep when things go back to the way they were? What is it you’re missing?

I think we’re in for the ride of our lives. As above, so below.

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Learn about shungite, a powerful healing rock

Everyone’s talking about the Corona virus, Covid-19, information/misinformation, face masks, hoarding bleach, disinfectants, and how to avoid contacting this pandemic virus.

The stock market is falling like the crumbling stones of an ancient wall.

That got me thinking about rocks. I love rocks as much as I love seashells.

Rocks from the beach, the desert, the mountains-I bring a rock or two home with me on every visit to Angel Boy 2.0. I’ve conditioned him to look for rocks for me, “Here’s a really special one, Grandma! This one’s for you!”

On our last day together, we walked on the beach at Golden Gardens right on the Salish Sea, and he found a small perfectly round, extremely white stone. In an awed tone, he exclaimed,  “This is the most amazing rock EVER. I’m going to keep it ’til I’m as old as YOU, Grandma!” (Thanks for that, little buddy lol.) Something about that white quartz touched his little soul and that touched my soul. As soon as we got home, he showed it to mom and dad and placed it on the window sill in his bedroom– a treasure. That’s a boy after my own heart, that’s for sure. The apple (stone) didn’t fall too far from the tree.

But I love other kinds of rocks too; amethyst and carnelian, selenite, kyanite, rose quartz,  all the varieties that are attributed with extraordinary and spiritual powers. I gave crystals to DIL before birthing the babies. She loves them too, I’m happy to report.

Since I also love shiny things, I was attracted to a new rock I never before heard of called shungite, and it has an old and fascinating history.

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Shungite is approximately two billion years old. It was formed before there was known life on earth, deep within the earth’s crust. The main deposit of shungite comes from the Zazhoginskoye deposit near Lake Onega in the Shunga region of Karelia, North West of Russia. Shungite is composed of mostly carbon and as we know, carbon forms the building blocks of life.

There are claims that it’s an extraordinarily positive stone and using it may bring a variety of good fortune as well as health benefits.  Shungite contains fullerenes, which are powerful antioxidents and specifically thought to protect us against the dangers of EMFs.

Fullerenes are a newly discovered (1985) form of carbon which was previously only known to exist as diamond, graphite, or coal. They’re named after Buckminster Fuller, the American architect who designed geodesic domes which resemble spherical fullerenes in appearance.

Shungite is a stone of transformation with a huge list of amazing benefits, and because of its nature and composition, it’s unlike any other stone on the planet.

“Shungite cures, rescues, purifies, heals, protects, normalizes, restores and even stimulates the growth. It kills and devours anything that harms people and other living beings, and concentrates and restores all that is good. The scholars who have studied Shungite in one voice declare, it is a miracle! “ – A. Doronina “Shungite – the Stone-Savior”

Following are some of the benefits of shungite:

  • Assists in evolving spiritually
  • Restores emotional balance
  • Powerful protective stone – shields the wearer from negative energies of all kinds, including psychic protection
  • Removes negative energies and thoughts
  • Shields from harmful electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) from cell phones, computers, Wi-Fi, cell towers, TVs, etc.
  • Provides healing on all levels: mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual.
  • Cell rejuvenation
  • Cleanses and purifies water and adds beneficial minerals
  • Catalyst for growth and transformation
  • Increases personal power
  • Raises vibration
  • Grounds energies to the earth
  • Promotes positivity
  • Clears and balances aura and chakras
  • Enhances metaphysical abilities
  • Boosts energy
  • Normalizes sleep
  • Clears, activates, and aligns ALL chakras

EMF Protection — We’re bombarded by WiFi and electromagnetic frequencies 24/7; these disrupt our energetic field and negatively affect the cells in our body, leaving us feeling drained, mentally foggy, and out of balance. Shungite has been proven to neutralize EMFs.

Antiseptic — Shungite also has antiseptic properties. Russian Tsar, Peter the Great instructed his troops to each carry a piece of shungite to purify their drinking water. Allegedly, enemy forces succumbed to dysentery while the Russian troops remained strong because of the shungite advantage.

In addition to keeping a piece of shungite in our bedroom and near us when we’re on the computer or our cell phones, I found a simple recipe for Shungite Water that I’m going to try tonight.

Shungite Water — My cursory Google research reveals a recommendation to drink at least 2-3 glasses of shungite-infused water daily to heal or prevent digestive, muscular, or nervous system illness and to increase circulation. Daily use of shungite water to wash face or body improves elasticity of skin and gives it a healthy look. Hey, I’ll try ANYTHING to slow down the hands of time and reduce wrinkles!

Here’s what I did: so simple…I took my piece of shungite, placed it in a glass and used filtered water. I’ll leave it overnight and start drinking it tomorrow. Who knows? Maybe a miracle will occur and I’ll shed twenty or thirty years. Fingers crossed, right?

fullsizeoutput_d0bHave you heard of shungite?
Do you believe in the power of crystals and rocks?
What are your faves?