Friday, July 3, 2020

New Podcast and Living in Isolation

I'm not quitting...not just yet. Probably never. So there you have it!

So this is what I have decided to do. I have to decided to start a podcast. It is called When I Grow Up! The name came to me because I do say...a lot..."when I grow up I want to be like you!" I have said this to elderly women golfers, talented artist and well educated people with talent and vision. 
In this world we live in today we need to take heart from those people that have lived this type of life forever. Housewives, retired couples and of course, those people that chose to buy a desert island. In some cases those choices were by choice but in others,

The podcast will feature things that happen to me personally, travel, books and always, always my thoughts on a variety of things. I will post a small blurb about each podcast here on my blog here with some insight that might help you decided to spend a little time with me. The podcast will generally be around 5-7 minutes, sometimes less. Not much time.

I have create three episodes so far. Most are very short...the one today went on for 10 minted but I think has some good information. It is about living in isolation...something i for one am very familiar with. Listen to my thoughts after you leave this blog post. Come back and leave a comment. I am interested in hearing from you.

In the mean time I am interested if you have any thoughts on what we should do to fill the days (and nights) as we learn to live within our own skin.

Have a wonderful day!


Friday, April 24, 2020

Living in LALA Land with My Head in the Sand!

April 24, 2020
Arizona is in bloom. Temp. 100 on Sunday
Tucson, AZ

Dear Family and Friends,

We are OK. How about you?

It is the year of the Rat in China (is that right?) and things are a little different than they were last year. Social interaction has been reduced to visits to the grocery store (which we get very excited about). The price of gas is below $2.00 and there is still no bleach or even toilet paper at our local grocery. Don't even think about rubbing alcohol. Flour, peanut butter and milk disappeared for a while. Well not everything is different. Beer is still flying off the shelves. But on the whole, yes is different.

We had planned a trip to China in March but we cancelled that and our children came to us instead. In fact, this would be the perfect time to own a dog or cat because we are not going anyplace for a while.

Did I mention that we are in Tucson still? Well yes we are. We had delayed for reasons I cannot even remember. We decided to stay later back in the year of March or was that February? We normally leave in late April. Then we tried to decide how we could get back to Oregon so as to avoid...well you know!

Living in LALA land is a wonderful, dreamy place to be. You can travel and stay in beautiful hotels and eat out. The sun always shines and the view is perfect. I think you know what I mean. It is so lovely. That is where I live so you can trust me on this.

Once in a while I hear my husband's voice calling me back but mostly I just ignore him.

But in my sleep...that is a different story all together.

Let me back track just a little...we had toyed with the idea of driving one of our cars home. It did sound like so much fun when it came out of MY mouth. I talked about it endlessly making up good reasons. We could take some plants with us. We could haul a few things back to Oregon that we don't need in Arizona and on and on and on. In my head it sounded so wonderful.

Then last my sleep...I saw an image of what that trip was going to look like and it didn't look so wonderful after all. First of all everyone that is in charge says not to take your car out to travel. I could see that rest stops would be locked and the service station rest rooms would be key, just closed. I am good but I cannot hold it all the way to Oregon and going beside the road...well it would not be pretty! And sleeping in a hotel...yuck!

Then there was that eating business...McDonalds for breakfast/lunch/dinner didn't sound nearly as good to me as it could have.

My head came flying out of the sand...reality set it...I could not sleep.

My husband ordered our airline tickets this morning...we will be in Oregon on May 12 in case anyone is interested.

Hope you day if full of fun today...wish us luck.


Saturday, April 4, 2020

Arizona's Unique it in the eyes of the beholder?

You get to decide....

Winery near of the Sandhill Crane

Rosemary in bloom...beautiful and fragrant!

Cactus reveal multicolor new growth.
They are called Mexican Poppies here...a carpet of yellow in the spring.

Humming Birds only share the feeder at sunset...a miracle of nature.
 Have a wonderful day.


Monday, March 23, 2020

What to Do, What to Do...back to China, Small Businesses and More!

Has it really only been 3 months since the Chinese notifies WHO of the Coronavirus outbreak? It seems like a lifetime to my family. Here is where we are now.

I try not to think about the past too much...yes I know, if we don't remember the past we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes. The mistakes, of course, are the problem. They cannot be undone. Words cannot be pulled back into our mouths unsaid and we cannot un-know what we know.

I think that is the problem right now...the un-knowing. Wouldn't you agree? For example, can we un-know that press conference where a NBC reporter asked our president to comfort those that afraid and was told what an awful person he was. I cannot un-know the last presidential debates nor can I even wrap my mind around how to make the foreboding go away.

These incidences are a snap shot of what our leadership is like. Scary, huh?

So, just finding a way to move forward is the best answer I guess. But what to do...what to do.

My oldest son has just returned to China and in living in a Hong Kong 4 star hotel in a room that he describes as a cell. He will stay there for 2 week in quarantine until the China official decide that he is not sick. Then, hopefully he will be allowed to re-enter Shenzhen where he works. He has two dog, an apartment and an organization with employees waiting. I keep my fingers crossed for him. His wife and our two granddaughters remain in Portland.

My youngest son is a small businessman. He and his wife are experts in the Portland Oregon metro area. The governor in that state has ordered the population to shelter in place. The mortgage must be paid as do the utilities. They have three children at home and three grown children that are struggling themselves. My husband and I watch and wait to see what we can do for them. The mortgage must be paid. Banks will do the worst in this type of situation. But if there is no declaration of emergency, no financial aid is available from our state or the feds.

In the case of our government not taking action, what I see is that corporations need help or our economy might collapse. But most importantly, if my past experience serves me right, bank will foreclose, people will loss their homes so we will see an already burgeoning homeless population grow even more. The little guys need the most help short term.

So even as we look to the future, it is not good.

BUT, what if a miracle happened, a vaccine could be found sooner rather than later and within a short period of time we can go on with our lives. China is reopening schools now. The epidemic is receding and those that have recovered must be going back to work.

In an article published in the Guardian the evidence pointed to December 31, 2019 as the date that the Chinese notified WHO of the outbreak of a pneumonia in Wuhan. The disease was identified as Disease X at that time. It has since been identified and Coronavirus Disease. That was less than 3 month ago.

So I am hopeful that we can do what the Chinese did....shelter in place. SHELTER IN PLACE! If your city does not feel like a dead space, you are not doing it. Stay at home.

Ok, I have a confession. We are having a hard time doing that here in Arizona. Other than restaurants closing it is pretty much business as usual. People are afraid (sorry President T.). Hoarding is terrible here and nationwide. We need some leadership and reassurance.

But SHELTER IN PLACE IS WHAT IS NEEDED. If we don't do what the Chinese did and close the world down around us nationally, what is the point. There is no "wall" between states and viruses do no respect borders.

Just saying. Any thoughts?


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Life Goes On...thoughts on living in isolation! What are you doing?

If you have ever gone camping and been left in the forest camp by yourself for a time, you will understand what isolation can feel like. Silence is wonderful but like anything, too much is too much. I actually do know women that like being left with their thoughts. I am not one of them.

I cannot even imagine NYC with no traffic and throngs of people. As my daughter-in-law related the story of living in Shenzhen, China for a couple of week with no one but two teens to keep her sane, the silence would be deafening!

But the reality is we must learn to socially distance ourselves. Italy is an example of what can happen when a culture of lovely people can't seem to do that. It makes one sick at heart.

And still, it seems so remote doesn't it? What happens next door or a few miles away does not happen to us...or so we think. In fact, in my minds eye, the restaurants are busy and I wonder why I am not there. A glass of wine with people chatting around me would be so wonderful. I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around it.

I could talk bravely about how many books I will read or something of that sort. But the truth of the matter is, I don't like this at all. Going out only when necessary is no fun.

Tamara, in a comment on an earlier post, ask about the importance of self-isolation. I know that she wanted me to get on board with the idea. Well, Tamara, if. you are reading, I am with you.

As I said in my previous post, "As for that Coronavirus disease, do what health workers tell you to do. Self quarantine if you think you have been not wait for someone to order you to do that very thing. You may be inconvenienced or feel silly but better that than exposing someone to the disease that is not as healthy as you." 

Today I would add that just staying away from people for a couple of weeks would not be a bad idea. The six foot rule is the rule of thumb I hear. We need to be careful. In the state of Oregon EVERYONE is being ask to stay in place. Governor Brown was very emphatic in her press conference last night that people are being asked now but may be ordered to do that with consequences if they don't. That is where the National Guard might come into play if I am correct.

This thing could be the end of us yet!

Take care and let me know what you are doing. I am interested.


Saturday, March 14, 2020

The Voice of Reason

Here is the deal...I am old enough that I remember periods of time with shortages and high interest rates and inflation though the roof. I remember that the inflation made it very hard to put food on our families table. It was hard but it was not the end of the world. We got through it and we will again.

The voice of reason will prevail. What that voice says to you might be different than what it says to me. We each will find what works for us.

I for one cannot imagine staying in my house for-ever. The voice of reason tells me that going out doors, socializing and having fun will be fine. It tells me that having some basic supplies in my home may be a good idea...not enough for six years but enough for a few weeks. Flour, rice, beans can suffice in a pinch. It tells me that hoarding does not keep the wolf from my door because if my neighbor runs out I will be sharing. It would be wrong to get fat while others are suffering. It tells me that now is the time to tap into that inner resource of humor and patience.

If you are very young and have never experience a bad time, this will be good for you. You will be a stronger more confident person. You will know that you can do what is needed while keeping those around you safe...not just family but neighbors and friends. Life will go on as it always does.

As for that Coronavirus disease. Do what health workers tell you to do. Self quarantine if you are not wait for someone to order you to do that very thing. You may be inconvenienced or feel silly but better that than exposing someone to the disease that is not as healthy as you.

So there you have it. We will play golf tomorrow...outside but dinner will be served indoors if we want to stay. Life will go on with a few tweaks. We got this! :)

How are things in your neighborhood?


Sunday, March 8, 2020

Out of China: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and Me

My husband was very concerned about the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the very beginning. I didn't want to talk about it! That was back in January. We had ordered visa's for a trip to China and we were to leave next week...March 19th. Tickets were purchased and we were making plans from a side trip to Bali. Needless to say, we changed our plans. As we all know, this disease is about to change more and more lives. It certainly has had an effect on ours. And the beat goes on.

My son and his wife plus our grandchildren live and work in China. Thankfully they are back in the states now.

We are grateful that they are out of Shenzhen and living temporarily in their condo in the Portland, Oregon. But the battle they had getting here was not easy. Getting out of the China without contracting the Coronavirus disease was the big victory. It was very much a worry for all of us.
Chinese back street. by b

I cannot tell you the full story because I honestly do not know it all. But from our end, this is what we saw.

When Chinese New Year came around, one of the
granddaughters went away with a group of her classmates to go skiing. The rest of the family went to Thailand for a break. It seemed as normal as their life can actually seem to us.

They were all good and then all "hell" broke loose. The Coronavirus reared its ugly head in Guangzhou to spread across China and the family was spread to the four winds.

My son flew to New York City on a job related trip.

My daughter-in-law and our oldest granddaughter went back to China. But the youngest was still in Switzerland.

And China shut down...period.

A couple of days later he youngest granddaughter got off the plane from her trip and was held in quarantine because she had caught a cold on the trip. Even though her mother was at the airport to meet her, they could not connect immediately. The experience scared the child half to death.

They live in very large city that bustles as only China can and suddenly the streets were totally empty. My daughter-in-law who was alone in China with the girls said it felt like Chernobyl must have felt after the nuclear accident there. Total isolation and all that entails with the two girls was mind bending.

Fast forward a week or so. After hunting down plane tickets, they caught the "last plane out". They left the dogs with an ayi (Chinese "auntie") and came to us in Arizona. My son came here from NYC so he met them at the airport. We just hugged the stuffing out of each one of them and breathed a sigh of relief. In spite of colds and exhaustion from stress, they were fine-ish. Sorta! We were elated at the miracle of having them all under our roof. It was wonderful. They were with us a few days before they returned to Portland.

Then reality began to sink in as it continues to do to this day. The girls continued with online learning because they had already begun in China when their school did not reconvene after their bread.  Teachers teach at a distance and the girls are spending endless hours learning on the computer discovering what would have taken a short time to learn in the classroom.

With each news cast we are beginning to wonder if this is the new reality of life for the foreseeable future.

It is not apparent yet if they will ever go back to their home in China. Eventually someone will have to go to to Shenzhen to direct the move to their next job. (Yes, there is a next job.)

The reality is the girls may never connect with their friends again. In the meantime, my son who is school head for Avenues of New York Shenzhen school and my daughter-in-law who is working for an international school in Shenzhen are now working from home. All day, 5 or 6 days a week.

After the shock wore off, we are all back in step with what is real now. They have gone back to Portland where they own a condo. We remain in Arizona doing what we do. All is well...almost.

My daughter-in-law broke her knee skiing on Mt. Hood but other than that....sigh. We are beginning to be a little jumpy as you can well imagine!

But, life goes on and what is, is! I feel very grateful at this particular point in our life. They are healing and we are fine. Life is good!

Enough already! Any drama in your life?


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