What is the new normal?

Calm. What is it? Pushing and pulling is what I am feeling. Time to think, but my mind seems to wander. So much to comprehend. So much to try to explain to friends.

Issues arise when there is no one at the top delivering reliable information. Truth, whose truth, what numbers do I believe? I understand this is a “novel” virus. Much is being learned as CoVid 19 affects the population. I am listening to the CDC advice (Stay home, Stay masked, Stay 6 feet apart!). I am a face toucher so the mask/bandana reminds me to be careful about what I touch. I am not comfortable around people, and have pretty much stayed in lockdown mode. If I must go out, it is for a short time.

Sacramento/Fair Oaks is currently at Stage 2 reopening rules. Stores have opened up for business as usual. I have been in two stores, but I still feel uncomfortable shopping, and will probably continue to rely on my computer for most orders. Besides, I really don’t miss shopping malls. I have pandemic proof hair and I am not hiding my silver curls. I’m letting my hair grow, for now. One day I will be ready to go to Total Beauty Experience and see Yvonne. Until then, I wait.

Me and my Charlie. Loose curls on both of us. (Photo by my friend)

Since things are relaxing here in California I feel more defensive about my position to remain at home. Or stay masked. Or stay 6 feet from people. The longer this goes on the less sure I am about what is best. Sometimes I feel a bit of pressure to get out, but then I gravitate to stay home, and feel safer. My grandchildren live 5 minutes away. They have, for the most part, been staying away from crowds. Last week we had our first heat wave (100+ degrees) and I visited my grandchildren while they played in their pool. I thought I would give my daughter a break. Being home with 4 kiddos eight and under is not an easy task. At the same time, keeping 6 feet apart, and masked is not really possible either.

Even camera distance apart is hard with a two year old

On my birthday, David, Charlie, and I went over for some delicious birthday cake from Pastry Heaven.

Wouldn’t you like to have a taste of this?

This also was Charlie’s first outing. Not too excited to see Max, my daughter’s older Pomeranian. The two dogs probably will not end up being best buddies. There is a big age difference, and they pretty much ended up ignoring each other. Charlie was delighted to play with the boys and socialization is moving ahead.

CoVid has not been handled efficiently. All the blustery talk did nothing to prevent this country from ranking number 1 in deaths. The pandemic has called into question unfair practices that have existed forever. Health care is not equal, and with growing unemployment, many are losing their health benefits. Poor people with no savings, homelessness, price gouging, everyone staying inside, and loss of family support led to major frustrations. Especially affected were those in nursing homes, veteran homes, and prisons. I can’t tell you how many of the Holocaust survivors have died from CoVid in such a short amount of time. People who didn’t feel the impact of family deaths have begun to protest and push back on the restrictions to their “freedoms”. Being a child of two Holocaust survivors, I can’t help thinking about their lives under the Nazis, and how long they did without. Protesting, disregarding CDC advice, and celebrating Memorial Day with extensive partying, turned this pandemic into a political event. I understand that for some it is important to get back to work, but many people are just over living responsibly. To mask, or not to mask. Rights and freedom to live. This is after all an election year. November 3rd can’t come fast enough.

As I write this entry, my country is protesting the death of George Floyd. A black man who was murdered in daylight, on camera, by 4 police officers. First the pandemic, and now the mistreatment of our black men and women, has finally pushed people to stand up to this and request justice. This country has now seen over 2 weeks of protests. On the positive side, I see a variety of people – black, white, old, and young committed to making a change. So along with the protest, the hard work begins. Many are hopeful that this may be a turning point in race relations. I can only hope. All I can say is be sure to VOTE in November!!!

Quarantine – A Procrastinators Dream!

In California March 20th was the start of statewide lockdown. Self quarantine was advised for those over 65 earlier in the month. Using a calendar it comes to about 8 weeks since I have had any face to face interaction outside of my home.

I think it was March 7th when I last babysat my grandchildren. It was supposed to be the start of my grandsons’ baseball season. Now I don’t remember if it was called off due to rain, or the start of the novel coronavirus restrictions. But it was my son-in-laws birthday and my daughter wanted to celebrate sans kidos. Baby Colton slept through the event at 5 weeks old. The three boys – Eli (8), Lucas (4), and Wyatt (2) all dined in and everyone was entertained. Little did we know the extent that life would change so quickly.

David and I had already determined that we would postpone our 10 trip to NYC. On March 14th we drove to Orland, Ca. to visit Serenity Springs Labradoodles, and without touching and being sure to sanitize were selected our puppy Charlie now 5 weeks old. Powered by Purell Hand Sanitizer and gloves we did make one stop for fast food. We were the only ones eating out.

With a push to ready our house for the puppy, the Internet became our lifeline to online shopping. I made two trips to the stores to shop for groceries. Again, I had gloves and hand sanitizer. Thinking ahead, I looked for items that would help in the long run. This was before the supermarket run on some items. Toilet paper was being limited in Costco to two, Purell was limited to 6, and I bought some extra Bounty (needed for puppy plans). But at least the stores were fully stocked. I also planned to have some items on hand for desserts. I figured, if we were staying home we would need the extra sustenance. And some wine!

Otherwise with no where to go we slept in. Plenty of telephone calls to family and friends. Plenty of time watching television. The calendar and the watch reminded me to time passing. But my plans to organize the garage fell into the procrastinating bin. Maybe tomorrow. There doesn’t seem to be much daily change. Until I look at a calendar.

What time is it? Does it matter when in quarantine?

Thinking about time, and what it means. Pulled out these images I collected over the years.

So for the procrastinator does quarantine life give you permission to take it slow and not be moved by the clock? And after we return to an open for business time will time fly?

Does having more time means accomplishing more?

CoVid19 means that I am homebound. There is nowhere to go and stay safe for everyone. So I stay home. At first, I tackled each day with a purpose. Using recipes that call for more time. Adding some baking to my repertoire. Reorganizing my rooms. Catching up with all those piles of stuff. I took this time at home as a challenge to work on my hobbies of quilting, photography, and genealogy. But then Charlie came into my life.

My latest involvement has been puppy training. After being in the home for two weeks, he and I are developing a rhythm. The past two nights he has slept through to breakfast. Ok. It is his breakfast time, 5:30 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. But I’ll take it. So the day starts earlier than I am used to. My goal of getting to bed at around midnight is working, but I still can’t seem to want to eat that early.

Charlie takes three longer naps during the day. If it was up to him they would all take place hugging my foot ensconced slipper. Sometimes I slip out and leave the slipper. This doesn’t fool Charlie much. Nothing more pathetic than a puppy crying for me, and I am just down the hall. Got to shake this soon.

Crate training has taken longer with Charlie than with my Libby. After two weeks he readily goes into his “Room” around mealtime. A food-filled Kong can keep him occupied for the moment. But when food is gone Charlie wants out. It starts with a small whine, then some digging, and yapping. I give Charlie the “shush” signal, and when he quiets I let him out. I am making slow progress. I plan to talk to some friends who have had more experience raising different pups.

So I am trained to have eagle eyes and watch for all house training signals. In and out we go to the potty, and back out again. Most of the time he gets with the program. Sometimes we miss the signal, a subtle look. I just added a string of bells, and I am teaching Charlie to ring the bells. Sometimes when Charlie is busy my macro lens finds other things to focus on.

We picked the last of our oranges. Here is the start of next year’s crop.

Each area of the house is a new adventure for Charlie. His approach is very cautious. Outside Charlie is calmly able to explore.

Today, he even watched me go inside, and chose to continue chomping on a twig. He deals with the front of the house differently. The Corona Virus has hindered his socialization. I have taken him out front and from a distance my neighbors have met him. I am holding Charlie, he watches, but there are no tail wags for strangers.

Charlie’s finds plenty of distractions outdoors

The past two days the new experience has been riding in the car. Our 2-hour ride home from Serenity Springs Labradoodles ended with Charlie’s breakfast all over me. So for these two short trips I decided to feed him when we returned. Yesterday we drove to my daughter’s house and showed my grandsons the new pup. Charlie was stressed out, and after lunch took a long nap. Today we picked up our online nursery shopping at Green Acres Nursery. The order went in a couple of days ago, and I got the call to pick up our vegetables this afternoon. This time I brought some water for Charlie, and I think he felt comfortable enough to sleep. Not too interested in looking out the window yet.

My husband planted 5 types of tomatoes, 1 pepper, 1 two-toned squash, and 1 eggplant.

My Citronella Plant is in bloom
Queen’s Tears from the Bromeliad family

Charlie’s nature is to remain cautious with new experiences. Staying home works with my nature as well. I like a peaceful environment, sunny days outdoors in my backyard, and a relaxing agenda. I like to focus on one thing at a time. And with a new puppy that is about all that I can accomplish. So I will set my site on that and call it a day fulfilled. The garage can wait, the quilting can wait, and the piles of stuff will remain in neat piles. And that is all for now.

Well, not exactly. The answer to my question is not really! Hey, but that is life. What is your take on the subject?

Waiting is over. And 8-week countdown starts!

The last time I blogged, I was waiting for my grandson to enter the world.

With just one extra 2 a.m. trip to the hospital, we got the word to come to watch the boys while Rachel and Sean headed to Kaiser Roseville. And finally a text, he is here!

Presenting Colton Levi Dennis (photo by Rachel or Sean)

Smooth delivery. Mom and baby are healthy. All the boys were excited to meet their baby brother, Colton Levi. Colton arrived on January 31, 2020, weighing in at 7 pounds 9 ounces and 20 inches in length. Reaction from everyone, he is so small and cute.

Meeting Baby Colton (photo by Rachel)

One day in the hospital and home. Sean was happy to be home to watch the Super Bowl and not in delivery as I predicted. Thought a February 2, Ground Hog day birthday would be fun. My daughter has a supportive husband in Sean. Good thing too!

Starting on February 2 my pup to be mama Ginger moved to Jo’s house in preparation for her upcoming birth of puppies. After an ultrasound Jo let me know that even though I am 5 or 6th on list Ginger was puppy full. My guess was 9 or 10.

Puppy Full (ultrasound)

Our preference is for a solid colored girl, but I will happily enjoy having a boy. Well On February 7th Ginger’s labor started. Grand total many hours later is 10 puppies – 7 boys and 3 girls.

Good job Ginger! (photographed by Jo)

I thought that I would not be high up on the list for a girl, but now I can get the third girl or a boy. I am so excited. Jo posts many photos of puppy piles. No individual portrait session yet. Pups are so busy nursing and sleeping. Moma Ginger is taking good care. Breeder “litterally” has her hands full. Jo sets up a Nest cam for part of the day, and I can check-in and see how much there is to do with a new litter. Silent tv on the corner of my computer screen.

Pile full of Puppy Love – Day 4 (photo taken by Jo)

Now I wait until I can meet the puppies in person, and then bring our puppy home. That date is April 1st. On March 13 I will meet the individual pups via facetime. Then, on March 22 we will visit the litter. Preparations now start. Decisions, purchases, and organizing the house.

So how will I pass the time? I am signed up for a 9-week beginner quilting class and my local quilting shop. I started last week. Even though there are plenty of tutorials, and answers on the Internet, I learn many tips and tricks from the interactions in class. Some of the blocks I am seeing online will make more sense in 9 weeks time, I hope!

My camera is getting a workout. Last week Colton had his first portrait session. Using my prime 35mm 1.4 lens I captured a perfect sleeping angel for his birth announcement.

Colton – one week old

This week my CTD (Camera Totin’ Days) group went to a familiar place, The Antique Trove. Usually, we find this is our go-to place when it is raining. But, alas the day felt more like Spring has sprung. This sunny day did allow us to spend time in The Antique Trove garden area. My focus here in the garden area was how to improve the decor outside. I have a succulent garden that I want to display attractively. So I am on the hunt for ideas.

My husband reminds me that we have too much stuff. But as long as I have a place for everything, and everything is in its place I disagree. Many items have been accumulated over the past almost 50 years. And I made a point of adding only good memories from my parent’s house. There are a couple of things that need changing in the house, but I will wait till puppy training is over.

While at the Trove I also enjoyed photo opportunities. Here are a few to enjoy.

Where did the time go?
Clown Garbage Can. Scarry looking.
Just liked this one!
Be sure to show some love!

Next week, I plan to go to Capay Valley to experience the almond trees in full bloom. Time to get out with the group. Last week after the baby arrived I thought I might have strep throat and so I kept away from everyone till I could be sure.

For the last week in February, my oldest grandson will be visiting from Knoxville, Tennessee for a week. He has plenty of restaurants he wants to visit, probably a trip to San Francisco and a family day celebrating my granddaughter’s 18th birthday. Time flies.

Traveling to New York City in March for a quick trip. Plan to see a show, eat some great food, and take in the sights.

Then home to ready ourselves for our new addition.

So now you are kind of caught up. Well, there is a VERY important item I skipped over. That is to VOTE on Super Tuesday. I am registered. I received my ballot, and plan to vote. Got to stop the continuous destruction of democracy. Interfering with judges should not be allowed. I just can’t understand the people who can follow this amoral person. Impeached, but not removed. VOTE HIM OUT! Rant done.