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Archive for the ‘New Year’ Category

Here’s the good I discovered in my nine months — so far — of isolating at home.

1) I can still sew, and I like doing it more than I remembered. Made and donated many masks, as well as three quilts.
2) I can cook dinners night after night if necessary, and trying new recipes actually energizes me. Buying a dutch oven early in the pandemic prompted me to try making no-knead artisan boules. Easy and delicious!
3) I can keep my short story discussion group going on zoom, so we’ve met twice a month without interruption and have read some terrific stories.
4) I can find and practice new and challenging exercise videos on YouTube.
5) I can continue my volunteer tutoring of ESL students on zoom, meeting more often than we did at the library pre-pandemic. Their progress is inspiring.
6) I can cope with the depressing national news and ever-present worries about the pandemic better by doing all of the above.

Wishing everyone good health and brighter days in 2021.

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Hmm, we cannot escape the fact we are living through a pandemic and, at times, quarantined, which drew a lot of us closer together through phone calls and texts. It was also a lot of catch up TV, closet cleaning, reading, sleeping (those never before naps) or breaking out and blasting the stereo to Bruce Springsteen and dancing throughout the house! As a 73 year old preschool teacher, we created a happy place for our children. Up with an early Christmas tree and jingle bells. At home the tree and lights were up before Thanksgiving and Christmas songs played constantly. Too throughout this pandemic, there are times of awareness of those that have passed from COVID and thankfulness that my family and friends are here with me. God Bless.

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Not only is that not an original thought, it isn’t even my thought. I don’t sleep through the night very often, but learned that having a small breakfast type meal in wee hours, helps me fall asleep afterward. This morning I read, for the first time, that saying, on the package of my favorite version of Thomas English Muffins: “Wake Up To What’s Possible.”

Yikes. I’ve been buying that brand for most of my life, and never noticed that before… Thinking about another saying: “An Ill Wind Blows no Good”, I realized two insights this pandemic year of Gifts (from the past) that came to me that certainly did not seem like gifts, but turned out to be.
Not sure why it took me 20 or more years to realize what a gift having experienced blood clots in my right leg turned out to be. I did realize how lucky I was to have escaped permanent damage from three separate unrelated events, but there was something far more important that I realized very recently.
I never spent time worrying much about the fact that I am definitely a stroke risk, if looked at genetically.   Both my parents suffered different types of strokes in their senior years; a daughter also experienced a minor stroke in her late 40’s.
My insight: being on blood thinner for since my 2005 knee surgery that led to my first diagnosed blood clot has been an unappreciated gift that has protected me from experiencing a stroke!
I used to live in a large condo not that far from where I live now, in which I experienced disability discrimination that made my life hell on earth. After bad luck in Federal lawsuits did not provide relief, despite having the law on my side of the matter, I made a decision to move from a home I loved, for 17 years, because I knew the stress was not good for me. One way of looking at that decision is that I woke up to what was possible. And, that was a good decision.
But, just this month, I realized it was more than that. Yes, I love my new condo; it better suits my current needs than where I used to live. But, in terms of the pandemic, I am far safer where I live now.  In this smaller condo the management is able to enact, and enforce, rigid requirements re masks, only one person in an elevator at a time who are not related to each other.  None of that would have been possible where I used to live: it was just too big to enforce the types of policies that are enforced where I live now.
It’s never too late to Wake Up To What’s Possible…Even without that mantra, looking back into the ill winds of Covid19 restrictions, I realize that my lifelong habit of talking to strangers has led to friendships with some of them, and unbelievable kindness and support from others. I wound up cooking hot meals for the homeless; am currently forming a support group  with a jump-start pro bono offer from a seasoned group therapist; I’m instigating the incoming administration with a proven concept from the 2007-2008 recession: Build America Bonds.
With all the losses that living through a pandemic has brought to me this past year, I find myself thinking ahead into what’s possible, as opposed to finding out many years afterward what was indeed possible.

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The specific question is about 2019. Unfortunately, even with some small hope seeing the new Congress, I am not feeling hopeful. Every time I feel things in the world and specifically in this country cannot possibly get worse, they do. Although taking a news break seems like a good idea, and I have done it periodically, the catch-up is almost worse. Thousands of people are actually working without pay and with no real guarantee of getting back pay. Thousands more are furloughed and have no hope of getting back pay. They are not spending money on local shops and restaurants, so these businesses are affected. If I hope to get a tax refund, and there is no guarantee of that thanks to the new tax laws, even though I have consistently gotten one for years, no one seems to be working at IRS, so refund checks will be at best late. People who rely on SNAP for help in getting food to eat will soon not have that, as the funds for that are almost gone and the program has not been renewed because of the shutdown. And we have someone in the White House who does not care. At All. About anything but himself and maybe his daughter. So I take a break and work in glass. And lately, I have been doing much more glass than previously. And I am pretty pleased with my progress. So maybe I should just close my ears and eyes to everything but my work.

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