A Clear(ish) Sky and a Science Project in Everyday Ramblings

  • July 31, 2020, 7:09 p.m.
  • |
  • Public

Even in the middle of a pandemic and an unfolding and ever-present constitutional crisis there is still beauty in our world. Mt. Hood from “the hill” behind my place about an hour after sunrise yesterday. I know it is a bit dark but the sky is beautiful. At least to us who don’t get to see the sky in this format very often.

Last night our power company had a “flex time” option. This is something I have been doing for about 4 years now. On a hot day or a very cold day they send you a text usually the day before and ask you to actively not use power during a peak demand time usually three hours in the evening. For the first couple of years it was a Beta test and it would take days to see how you did. Now it is a formal program and they give actual cash rebates and we see how we did the next day.

I unplug everything but the stove, refrigerator, washer and dryer and microwave. That means I also turn off my internet. I charge up everything earlier in the day so I can read and listen to podcasts and basically spend my time normally. I still have cell coverage, so I am not totally cut off. It is easier to do this in the summer when it is warm and light. But I do the same in winter if I am home, I get into bed. I don’t turn the heat off.

Last night I had two new books to dip into and a student to call back. Like so many people the isolation and dragged on nature of quarantine for those of us older or more vulnerable is hard on her.

Mrs. Sherlock did 10 check in calls to folks in our church group “the Alliance” and 7 of the women she talked to said they were struggling with loneliness.

I am so grateful for my family, Kes in particular, and Charity and Mrs. Sherlock.

My student has none of these grounding relationships and if I were to guess I would say she is clinically depressed. It is hard to talk to her and it is hard to abide with her in this place. Most weeks she does log in to class once and at least gets to see the familiar faces and experience the good cheer of her fellow classmates. I pestered her into joining after about two months of not participating.

It has been almost 5 months since I have been teaching on Zoom. There are benefits, no space constraints in terms of the size of the class, an ease in bringing the focus inward when one is in one’s own surroundings, and lately the ability to truly relax at the end of class because the student is already where they need to be. No commuting.

But I miss everybody! I miss chatting, I miss the humor and the energy and goofiness. We only get a little taste of that on Zoom.

Tomorrow I am trying something pandemic new. I will walk over to the Sherlock’s house (it takes about an hour) go through the side gate into their magical two lot garden and hang out and have a socially distanced lunch and then walk back.

We will be careful about the lunch. But still it is a risk. We’ll have masks on the whole time other than when we are eating. Our case counts are not going down and our Health Authority is saying it is all community spread at this point.

I am very much looking forward to the walk as I will be going through a couple of areas I have not seen in, well, five months.

Diego is standing next to me on the workstation. He’s been doing this thing lately where if I am in the kitchen or the bathroom he hops up on the counter and then puts his paws on my shoulder and the hops up and wraps himself around my neck. Doing one’s chores with an 11 lb. furball wrapped around one’s neck…

He does seem to be doing better. But it is a slog. Wednesday will be 8 weeks on the elimination diet. Of course, he threw up a hairball this morning when I was talking to Kes. At least getting the anti-nausea medicine down him is quick if not pleasant for either of us.

Last night I listened to a lecture on Sparta. On man, if one is looking for reasons to be grateful even in these seemingly insane times…I am so glad I am not living in Sparta or the neighboring state where they had slaves.

Apparently, we are engaged in a science project here. The effects of two months’ worth of tear gas on buildings, park plants, streets and oh yeah…people.


Last updated July 31, 2020


Jinn August 02, 2020

I think if you are eating outside you all should be fine . I don’t worry about outside things if you distance . Of course we wear masks if we are not eating . We can not stay in our houses forever and with Winter coming we need all the outside time we can get ! I do miss socializing :-( We eat dinner with our neighbors quite often and that helps. We have our little “ bubble”.
I stopped leaving cat food down all the time because my oldest cat ( almost 16 years old ) was throwing up so much . It’s helped immensely . Both my cats are outraged and meow piteously often ; but they get fed in the morning and evening . Al, the old guy, is overweight , so less food is good for him. The throwing up has stopped .

Marg 6 days ago

I had to go into town to the ‘Big Shops’ on Monday and had a bit of banter with a shop assistant in one of them. I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed that :)

noko Marg ⋅ 6 days ago

These casual encounters with others out in the world for those of us who are home most of the time I think are huge for our well being. Glad you were able to renew the practice in this modified form!

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