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Number Two, Y’all!

February 28, 2021

And we’re not talking poops.

I seriously feel like we are in a rebirth. It’s spring, so there’s the traditional rebirth stuff: flowers are blooming; tree blossoms are popping all over town; the green of new leaves, new crops, and new ground cover is brighter than bright. The air is warming up, the breezes are still a little biting but feeling lighter and softer. And with our garden nearing the end of the installation & build phase, we will soon have vegetables to plant which will feel like spring as never before!

But…. in addition to that kinda annual spring excitement, there are a couple more things making this moment feel more transformational than usual.

  1. Biden. Nuff said. We are in a whole new day politically, daily news-wise, planetarily. Bring it!

And….. drumroll…

2. Vaccine regimen complete.

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine #2 on board! Awaiting reactions… So far, 7 hours later, just a sore arm. We hear that the first shot is like boot camp, the second is like a war game with full deployment of all immunity soldiers… meaning, #1 kinda gets all the virus fighting parts in place, #2 gives them something to practice on. This is not to say that a lack of symptoms is a sign that your body will not fight when the real deal comes along (most won’t react to the second shot)… but rather it’s a warning that some people will react and if you’re one of those you shouldn’t be alarmed. So… we’re waiting to see which camp we’re in .

All that aside: incredibly, deep-breathingly happy to be vaccinated. Eager to mingle masklessly with other vaccinated folks!

Coveralls

February 27, 2021

Here’s a stealthy little shot from this late afternoon … Jim in his happy place:

Every day. Hours on end. Projects, making stuff, taking care of whatever business there is to take care of.

Did I mention it might make it harder to travel? And by travel, I mean leaving town.. not just for a week or two, but for a day, or any late afternoon. And not just leaving town… leaving A Street. We may have to reinvent travel for ourselves.

Chip Chip Chip

February 26, 2021

Which is to say, little by little the yards are coming along. Yesterday the irrigation crew dropped in and completed the front yard drip system. My remaining to-do list is feeling attainable, and I’m allowing myself to imagine that the great screened in porch project (*) is coming to a close.

Here are a few shots of that front yard irrigation checked box:

There are more, but you get the idea.

(*) What started as a lark about screening in the porch for maximum bring the outside-in enjoyment, morphed to strategizing a way to move the piano safely into such a space (wow, a less crowded living room!), which required that potentially new space to be “conditioned,” thus having real walls and windows, which begged the question, “if we’re extending the living room 12′, why not the entire west side, which would give us space for a utility/pantry off the kitchen and expanded space for a garage workshop,” thus necessitating a new (very complicated) roofing design, and if a new extended roofline in back, why not a whole new roof for the entire house (it’s time) and therefore a good time to replace the solar panels…. which all lead to a new back yard (since we stole 12′ along the entire property line), so why not a whole new front yard while we’re landscaping… and new siding for most of the house, as long as we’re improving things, and a whole new paint job, and hell, let’s replace the entire west fence, since the neighbors to the north had replaced the north fence, and while we’re at it, let’s build a new deck, stain all the fences to match and about a billion details, design decisions and a gag-worthy wad of dollars later… voila!

Did I leave anything out? We gained things we had no expectation of ever having.. Jim’s insane new workshop and storage annex that he’s reluctant to be away from (like, ever), attic space galore, new furniture to fill the spaces (including that charming custom tile coffee table), a nice guest & media room (sorry honey, it happens to every kid who dares to leave home), a laundry & project room to die for (yes, really), multiple spaces in the back yard to hang out in, and raised beds to garden. I mean..

I’m not sure whether or not to count the bathroom remodel that took place a year before (with soaking tub and wi-fi-enabled shower head). But sure, go ahead and add that, why not.

All because we thought… hey.. how about a screened in porch?

I hope we are both alive for at least three more decades in order to enjoy all this. So far, we sure are.

Double Ducks

February 25, 2021

… and other sweet discoveries down at the Arboretum this morning.

Let’s start with the double ducks:

Did you know they sleep on one foot?

And maybe even sun themselves on one foot, as well.

Directly across from the two above were these two:

And then.. a single duck…

I took this picture before I realized I had a visitor in the shot…

Here’s another of the lake through another set of branches.. I just love this view and take this same picture a lot…

Looking back at Spafford Lake, taken from the bridge next to the redwood grove..

And a couple of the blooming yellow bushes… not sure what they are:

Yolo advanced from the purple tier (the most restrictive) to the red tier this week. Yay us. This means people can go to restaurants and eat inside (25% of them anyway).

That fact notwithstanding, I’m still going to eat outside until a few weeks after vaccine #2 (which happens Sunday, as a matter of fact). Outside, even though it was blowing like a banshee today.

Weather’s warming; smoothie season is upon us.

Tiger in the Woods

February 23, 2021

The good news: Tiger Woods will be okay. The spectacular single-car accident this morning in which his car rolled and rolled and rolled (and yes, landed in the woods, on the side of a cliff), and resulted (so far) in numerous compound fractures to his legs, did not kill him. He’s alive and will live to see his two young kiddos grow up (if nothing else bad happens).

The bad news: Palos Verdes will probably be the place his golf career ended. That’s not a very nice distinction.

It was a bit shocking to be listening to CNN at the moment they interrupted coverage of Senate confirmation hearings to go live to Southern California, where, at the boarder of Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hill Estates, Tiger Woods had run his car off the road (Hawthorne Boulevard, right by Peninsula High School!), had been removed from the vehicle using the jaws of life (turned out not to be the case) and was being transported to the hospital.

Goodness!!

Well, I texted Betsy right away to find out if he’d been taken to Torrance Memorial … right to her ER! (But she didn’t answer right away and no he hadn’t). I then texted Matt and Chris and we had a nice three-way (text conversation) all about the details and tried to imagine what was going on — why was he there, where had he stayed, where was he going. Chris reminded us that that stretch of Hawthorne is very treacherous — lots of accidents — and even has a runaway ramp for trucks and cars out of control.

I watched more CNN … their coverage was breathless and hyped way up (but interesting to me for lots of reasons) and learned–finally during a press conference a couple hours later–that he was taken by ambulance to Harbor (now a UCLA trauma center.. but of course I know it well because I was a candy striper there, back in the day). We learned that he was lucid and aware when the police folks arrived (quickly, I might add!), and had likely just underestimated the nastiness of that road, taking the turn at too high a speed and just lost control of an unfamiliar vehicle. He’d been, as I guessed, staying at Terranea, and was on his way to an 8am shoot at the Rolling Hills Country Club… I think some kind of a Golf Digest tips for celebrities film gig.

For sure the world was paying attention for lots of legitimate reasons.. he’s more than just a golf legend as so many articulated (all afternoon!), and his talents, charisma, ground breaking and celebrity transcended the sport. I’m sad for him, but glad he’s okay, and hope he’ll claw his way back to some kind of showing on the golf course at some point. His is a complicated story, but mostly he’s a supremely talented world class athlete and a role model to lots of black kids. And a dad.

Half a Million

February 22, 2021

We surpassed the 500,000 mark today in Covid-19 deaths in the United States. I remember a year ago when Dr. Fauci was projecting a range that I think fell well short of half a million, maybe 250-400,000? Whatever it was, it was breathtaking (literally.. I just gasped) and I felt scared.

A year later…

All the knowledgable folks say these deaths were preventable. We’d have lost a lot of people, but nothing like this. We lead the world by orders of magnitude. We are among the richest, most resource-rich countries on the planet, and yet we lost more Americans per capita than any other nation.

There is a single reason. There is one person you can point to and say, under his leadership (intentional lack thereof), people died who absolutely should not have.

~~

We are now so much better off than we were a month ago. We can all breathe again. We have a human being in the White House who actually cares about the welfare of our nation and the people in it. Who sees his role as compassionate protector, fierce defender, moral leader. He spoke to the nation tonight — a moving address — while standing in front of the “People’s House.” Five hundred candles arrayed on the steps, each representing a thousand lives. Wow.

Since the start of this tragedy, I’ve kept a record on scraps of paper. I’ve been writing down the number of cases reported daily and the deaths. The scraps are bound together with a paper clip. I feel like it keeps me in touch with the reality of the deaths. While I don’t have anyone close to me who had died of Covid, I know people who know people, and I just don’t want to be inured to the losses. Because it is truly horrific and just so so sad.

… and other shots on the day.

First, the red rose, as seen on the way to breakfast this beautiful Sunday morning.

#universityandfourth

And, taking advantage of some cleansing, disinfecting sunshine this afternoon… what we do these days to extend the life of our mask filters.

#lifeduringapandemic

Peter’s Hood

February 20, 2021

All that beauty comes with commensurate temps… though looks like they’re in a warming trend…

Covid Hair

February 19, 2021

I’ve been eager to write this post for awhile. I’ve been looking forward to the one year hair compare and contrast...

I got my hair cut exactly one year ago… in the afternoon of February 19th (3:15, to be exact). Jim and I had been in La Jolla with Peter for our mid-quarter visit, and then Jim flew home and I’d headed up to the South Bay for a few days. I stayed in a lovely Airbnb on Ave A — a place I’ve stayed in before and can’t wait to rent again, soon as we can travel. And just a few avenues away (Ave F), got my hair cut with Claes.. such a wonderful guy and mom’s longtime hair cutter (until he wasn’t.. she was fickle that way). She found a new guy who’d come to her house, but I stayed with Claes… until my monthly-ish visits to PV sorta dried up in 2017. (Thinking of you, mom.)

Anyway.. it was a short cut (and no weaving that day). This is either that evening or the next .. out to dinner with Matt, Chris, Betsy and Bev…

Here’s one a couple weeks later, in the wild, where you can see how short (don’t know about that poofiness in the back.. usuallly doesn’t do that)..

I know this is goofy.. but it’s the hair I’m after, as close to the haircut date … (this was March 5, just before lockdown went into effect).

And here’s what it looks like now.. these have been taken in the last couple days, a day apart (sometimes the bangs hang, sometimes they cooperate). I’ve cut my bangs maybe three times during this year, but didn’t dare try the rest of it. No color/weaving.. so this is now my hair color.

It really is a lot more grey than the pictures suggest.. but not too bad, huh? Could definitely use some sun shine to lighten it up (it’s not as light as that picture above).

That is a lot of growth in a year! Totally not sure what I’m going to do with it.. go back to short, keep it a bob, let the grey keep coming, go back to weaving.. I’ll decide as soon as I’ve received my second vaccine and it’s had time to settle into my immune system… probably one more month.