Thursday, January 30, 2020

Can You Hear Me Now?

Going into the Doctor's for a follow-up. The first time today I feel better, so of course, the appointment is tomorrow when I will be back to normal. I have been very lazy watching the soap opera that disguises itself as a Senate hearing...resembling nothing I have seen in Law and Order but much like Days of Our Lives.  Us elders can see the dust crumbling beneath the foundations of our Democracy.  Others seem to think it is much ado about nothing and all "politics".

My son-in-law pointed out to me across the school gym a young mother that was wearing some slogan/protest T-shirt, perhaps Mom's against Guns.  I was not paying too much attention except that son-in-law seemed to find it "quaint" that I was like her, one of those angry protestors for many causes.  I wish I could find it quaint that he is unenlightened.

I have the premonition that there will be much violence ahead in the election year and many months after.  Our President's own lawyer testified (before he went to jail) that change would only come via revolution.

China has a tightly controlled society.  People are very well-behaved because they know the dangers of Chinese jails and the lack of fairness is not reasonable argument.  There is no freedom of the press there.  Their leader manipulated the bureaucracy so that he can be endlessly reinstated as a supreme leader.  Crime is low and hidden and corruption is how things get done.

I read an article in The New Yorker that followed the probable history of the first diagnosis of a patient with coronavirus which began in Wuhan. (They guess it had to do with illegal live bat sales.)  The writer in The New Yorker got her details from an article in a Hong Kong magazine since the investigative press is suppressed with death in mainland China.  The bottom line is that everything is so controlled under a tight authoritarian regime that even public health officials could not step out of the procedure when they saw a disaster coming or at least questioned the danger.  It took over 24 hours for the first sick man to get any help at all.

My Trump supporter acquaintance says that it is because China is a communist/socialist government and the government (some vague entity?) does not care about its citizens.  "Let them die."  I disagree, but will not argue.  Authoritarian rule under the guise of socialism, communism, democracy, ecclesiastical , monarchy or whatever form of government is dangerous when only one voice and the following voices of its sycophants can be heard.  Free speech, free press, arguing in the city hall is always a safer way for all citizens.

The photo above I probably posted before.  It was taken from our boat that anchored in Wuhan before our trip up the river.  Wuhan is a very large city. The city was all in lights because of the celebration of the 70th year of the formation of the PRC.  Keep the citizens focused on the bright lights!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Winter

I have somewhat gotten used to not hearing well out of my right ear. The pain from the infection is gone, but the swelling hangs on. I used ice packs yesterday afternoon and that reduced the swelling as I can now "pop" my ear open if I open my jaw. Walking around the house with my maw open is not too much fun, so I still muddle on hearing only the muffled sounds in the house that come from the left side. I have no dizzy or orientation issues, but it does seem odd to hear a sound coming from my left side when the sound is taking place on the right!

Now I think I understand what it is like for the hearing impaired and I admire their patience with themselves. It is easy for hubby to sneak up on me in the shuffle of his soundless socks and it is easy for me to procrastinate doing all those things I do not want to do and instead read my book and play word games on Kindle. It is an artificially enforced vacation. I am retired and no longer need vacations from my life, which is a vacation. I am lazy and use it as an excuse not to exercise or clean house or run errands. (Of course with this flu expanding, I will avoid senseless trips to anywhere.)

I do think about my earlier life when getting sick meant there were chores that still had to be done no matter how I felt, and people to care for no matter how I felt, and going to bed early was the only respite I could find. I think of my busy daughter with her three children. At least two are old enough now to cook for themselves a bit.

Above my daffodils are emerging like the idiot energizer bunnies they are. I also have small tips of tulips breaking the frozen crust of soil in the pots on my deck and of course the Lenton Roses that are weeks early. Signs of spring are everywhere. I know they are pushing the season, but so am I.

Photos were taken weeks ago before the ear infection!! Spring is impatient here.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Stuck at Home

I am stuck at home for a few days with a semi-painful ear infection. It is complicated and involves fungus and microbials...and I am unable to hear in my right ear.  Which has frustrated hubby who is trying to make a point sometimes.  I am trying to be lovingly patient with my life but I hate these wasted days. I am staying away from crowds due to influenza fears even though I got my flu shot long before my trip in October. (Missing the dinosaur event with my grands.)

Thus I have pulled up old hard drives and gone through files and wondered why I save so much meaningless stuff archived! This photo below was taken in my back yard a few years ago. One is the original (the second below) and the other is photoshopped (extravagantly and easily noticed by a photo expert). To really appreciate you have to click on the photo.  This is what I am doing on this drippy day.

Spirits in my woods?

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Tree Talking

I promised a link to the woodland walk. Part II is here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Quick Morning Update

It is now just after 7:00 AM and I have been up for over an hour. I have gone through emails, worked on photos, checked the FB page for various groups that I follow and finished my first cup of coffee. Hubby is still in bed, but the radio alarm is due to go off in minutes as he has invited a visitor to come at 8:30 and check out our oyster rafts as he discusses how oysters improve water quality. It gives hubby a chance to expound on his expertise. He is slowing down in old age and the opportunity to be an expert at his age does not come often.  I think this visitor is starting some company for floating oyster rafts driven by solar power...should be interesting.

Then we take a break for lunch and in the afternoon we are both listening to an online seminar given by a university in how to deal with nearby woodlands.  We are surrounded by woodlands and interested in ways we can keep them alive and healthy.  We had to pay for the course and its six seminars, but the hour can also be applied to our annual education requirement for our Master Gardener's group.  I may find interesting things to share on my blog for those who do not have time to take online courses.

The woodlands have changed.  I see more woodpeckers and more dying trees.  The undergrowth has been eaten away by deer, but the deer have been winnowed by my neighbors hunting across the road!  Branches get scattered in high winds making the normal shadows even barer.  

I have taken two days of long walks in woods (not ours) and have a bunch of photos of that beauty to post on my other blog.  We drove to two state parks that we have never visited in our winter boredom.  When I get that done I will link back to here so you can walk with me!

Well, I must go straighten the scattered magazines, piles of receipts on end tables, etc. so that the visitor does not see how we really live!  

Friday, January 17, 2020

Giving January Its Due

January is the cruelest month. Short days with little sun. Wind and weather that steals through your very skin. Endless politics on the TV. The continual battle not to eat all that fattening comfort food that you/I crave. Finding places to put that holiday gift you will never use.  And to add to the deep thoughts, some of my dear friends and bloggers are fighting personal health battles. Mortality is a big canvas staring me in the face these days.

I try to be a realist and accept that all things change both rapidly and slowly.  My grandchildren find me less interesting and more quaint.  Most of my friends are old people.  My routines are in concrete and interruptions make me like the stereotypical old foggey...grumpy.

Since my time is shorter on this planet, I tend to have less patience and have to control my temper when the change that I want does not happen fast enough or when a change is imposed upon me.

My calendar for the New Year is filling with activities in the coming months and like the smuck that I am, I wish it was not so full.  I want to crawl away and lick my wounds and sigh and be introverted.  Instead, I have a family that is busy making sure we are busy.

Not complaining but creakily adjusting.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Comments on a Blog

It is getting harder to monitor anonymous comments on blog posts.  When they praise me for my insight, excellent writing or want to offer advice on how I can get more people to my "wonderful" blog...all written in broken English...that makes it easy to recognize the commenter as nefarious.  I mark it as spam and delete it.  I am not a super popular blog, so I wonder how those who get many dozens of comments handle it all?

I got this anonymous comment yesterday, on a really old post, below:

"Tabor, thank you for correcting me.  I should not be commenting at 5:30 in the morning. My daughter is always telling me to PROOF READ."  This was followed by a link to some furnace ad!  (Furnace Calgary Prices Calgary)

This was an older post written after my first trip to Calgary Canada and I guess the business model is to search blogs for city names?

I do allow unmonitored comments for the first week only after a new post.  This usually means only one deletion.  After that comments are held for moderation by me.  That seems to allow me to screen most of the "scrap" from the real thing.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

This Is All About the Complexity of Shoes

I bought myself a gift of fancy boots for Christmas and I have to be careful and wear them only on dry days.  These shoes are pretty comfortable!  I still have some vanity, unlike the wearers of the shoes that I feature below.

The above photo (created with some digital alterations for mood) was taken this past fall. You may guess that it was photographed outside someone's home or an ancient temple. Those are two places where people remove their shoes out of cleanliness or worship.  It was taken outside the Canggu Monastery temple in Lhasa, Tibet, China.  Look at the shoes. I was studying this and saw an unusual variety in style and color, but they were ever practical. These are the shoes of Buddhist nuns. They must shave their heads and wear the red robes each day.  No need to decide what to wear or try to find something that fits that newly expanded waistline.  Maybe having that stress removed was one reason for the peaceful smiles that they all gave us.  You just have to decide on shoe style.

This photo above (painterly) was taken at the Canggu Nunnery in Lhasa.  The nunnery is open to the public.  In Buddhism, nuns can take on the same roles as monks in teaching, preaching, performing rituals, etc.  Although some sects are more strict than others.  (All religions seem to have some misogyny based on gender.)

About 100 nuns live here and the monastery has existed since the 12th century.  They make money by manufacturing items such as clothing and printed texts as well as donations.  The nunnery also runs a clinic and employs professional doctors and serves the local residents.  The nuns are loved and trusted by the local residents because of this.  They also run a tea and bun house, but I did not have time to purchase tea as I was off taking photos!

Now back to the shoes.  They are all very similar and practical.  They are easy to remove as the nuns must do this several times a day.  Yet some are a little more flashy than others.  I was wondering if a bit of their personality escapes through the shoes.  Are the shoes donated?  Are the shoes purchased by the sect?  Can nuns go shopping?  Feel free to enlighten me in the comments.

We also were able to watch them doing laundry.  If they had not been so sweet and gentle this might have seemed intrusive.  Here below is another photo that raises so many questions.

I look forward to your comments!

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Washing the Air

This past weekend, like many extended families, we had a post Christmas get together and exchange of gifts. Since there were nine of us, it got to be much like Christmas Morning all over again, except hubby and I and my son and his wife went out for Chinese lunch just before. (But maybe Chinese food is now also a holiday tradition in many families.) Anyway, the weather was predicting heavier rain in the afternoon and hubby and I tried to get an early start to the hour drive back home as the days are also short! I snapped the photo below on my phone as we saw we were driving into even heavier weather!

Getting back to our empty house (we had also dropped off the granddog which we had been dog-sitting for over a week) and this gloomy evening made the house seem even more somber. I kept looking for a tiny dog to pet, but it was just us two creaky old folks and hubby did not want any petting but did want a cup of hot tea.

This morning we woke to sunshine, but even better, the air had been washed super clean once again.

That did seem to lighten  and brighten our spirits.

Friday, January 03, 2020

Mind Mazes

Why do all of my most interesting questions, resolutions, ideas, and original thoughts happen at night as I settle in to fall asleep? I tell myself that the idea I am pondering might be a gem to pursue on my blog. My readers are erudite and outspoken and certainly could add something to the thought maze I have created as my mind misfires in the dark bedroom. 

Sometimes it is something I followed on the news while other times it is a phrase that captured my thoughts in one of the few books I am reading.  Other times it is an observation of human nature that interrupted my errands.

Then elusive sleep smothers my brain and I sleep the sleep of the half-dead, up a time or two and back to deep sleep.  The marvelous ideas evaporate with the disappearance of the morning fog on the river as the sun warms the air.

I am kind of glad because I somehow suspect that the thought that slithered off was something really inane.  Something of inconsequential importance or supercilious significance. If it had carried any weight, would it not have plunked itself on my chest as I lay in my bed in the morning demanding my immediate attention?