My life when COVID began …
How dare I even begin with that? There are so many who have been affected. Affected FAR more than I have been. I should mention though, that I am high risk.
But! That’s where my story, (sort of) began.
I was laid off in October. Laid off from a job I loved. I helped create it, and for five and a half years, I loved being part of it.
Broke my leg in November. Was ‘gifted’ (how horrible – I’d rather they still be on the earth and spend it!) a small inheritance late that month due to a family member passing.
I was still, however, looking for work.
It wasn’t until February that I was out of my ‘immobility’ mechanism. But hey, I was still prepared to catch a ride or work from home.
Then March came. But wait,
Holidays came and went
My kidlet came!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, my husband’s kidlets were here.
Here some of us are, plus, my ‘Nic 2.0’. I ‘adopted’ him years ago lol.
Obviously prior to COVID.
But, the first of the year, I was very ill.
Not only a fever, but a continuing dry cough for six months. Other symptoms included complete and utter exhaustion. I was not exhausting myself. I literally (and yes, I mean that, not figuratively) couldn’t keep my eyes open lying down.
I wonder now if I had it.
There’s a part of me that hopes that I did. That it’s over. And, I clearly haven’t passed it to anyone as I hadn’t left the house.
Funny thing is …
My husband is in tune to events prior to me as a ‘pedestrian’.
We had already begun gathering the basics. No, no rush for toilet paper, but, water, non-perishable foods etc. went into our cellar. We had previously been purchasing necessities in bulk regardless.
Life going forward
My husband began working from home.
I stayed in the bedroom to not interrupt him.
I was not working, obviously.
I spent the majority of the time either napping or watching Netflix, THEN napping during it.
I would search for work, stress about when the ‘inheritance’ mortgage payments would run out and I was turning off summer coolants off left and right. (We don’t have A/C, we have ONE wall cooler and a ‘swamp cooler’. If you’re familiar with the swamper, you know it doesn’t work if there is any humidity in the air. Funny you should ask, because, (and I know you didn’t) We HAVEN’T YET HAD A MONSOON!
To the point of ants coming in for a drink in the bathroom.
I’m skipping the ants, because, fuck them.
And I say that kindly. Because, I’m the type of gal who doesn’t harm another creature.
I’ll tap back into this later.
What I did do in between
I spent my waking hours on the porch.
I’ve met, Meatloaf, Pacey, Eyelashes, Feather and Broken Wing. In that order. So, I think I may be killing them actually. 😦
I found a job in town!
I get to talk to actual customers (which I love).
Trust me when I say, the chance of getting a job ‘in town’ where I live has VERY, VERY, VERY low odds.
Still in my my first 120 days probation.
Now, for what you’re waiting for, maybe, if you are a fan. If you’re a souper …
She’s hanging in. Let’s see, she ‘found’ me in 2011. Must have been one back then. So, here she is at 11.
We don’t let her hang out in the outer perimeter so much these days. Too many cacti, too many snakes etc.
She still has a great life.
Yes, she gives the roadrunners a hard time lol. I tell her to knock it off.
They don’t have a roof over their head, consistent meals and lovin’s.
We still don’t speak the same language evidently. (I’m secretively glad when she chases them with her bad hips and stiff legs. She gets her exercise.)
I said I’d get back to the ants.
We had SO many in the bathroom. I will NOT harm a scorpion, spider, snake etc. etc. But, I’m sorry, if you are an ant and have 2.15 acres to BE an ant, you have no business in my home! I know you’re looking for a drink, but get more creative! Live near the dripping outside taps! There was one night I got up to pee and was badly bitten just by having my feet on the floor, that’s when I drew the line in the metaphorical sand.)
TERRO! And, since they’re determined to be on my porch at night, AMDRO stakes outside near to the house.
If I were to be judged.
The ants of my past would say, at my funeral, “She always went out of her way to not step on us.”
The spiders would say, “She always put us outside.”
The tarantula would say, “She pet my leg and hung out with me outside.”
Even the scorpion would say, “I got dizzy, but, then was released.” (bagless vacuum.)
Hope you are all doing well, being kind and staying safe.
My Central Coast is burning. I’m incredibly distressed for those I care for.
2020 seems like an awful meme about now.
I have a sparrow annoyed with me.
Its previous nest is blocked (literally, with … blocks) and alights on the wind chime directly in front of me and chirps and chirps.
I pretend I understand. I pretend it understands me and I say things like, “Yes, I know!” “Yes, I’m sorry.” “I will build you a home, but it can’t be there.”
Well, today was the day.
Butters had me up twice in the night – she’s not getting any younger and it worries me when she’s out of sorts.
I got completely up at 5. (Meaning, I had the wherewithal to use all of my faculties at the same time.)
The land around was enticing.
Tangent: I was sharing with a friend yesterday that, while I was glad it was Friday, it was suddenly again Friday. Life is just ticking away! Every single day, should count. So, that in mind, make the moments count right?
Sunrise hike was in order!
A grainy picture of the first of many.
A less grainy picture of the same spot with more light.
Somehow ‘grainier’ photo of the same place in more light.
Sun coming up.
And some pretentious ‘artistic’ shots.
Mysterious alien circle or … maybe a tire was there for a while.
On the way back.
Butters was exhausted (and, shaking which was scary).
Then came part two. Gardening.
Gardening is so relaxing and rewarding – is a sentence I will NEVER say. LOL!
My mother, my Grandmother, my Son are all excellent gardeners. They have thumbs greener than envy.
I reluctantly do it and have little to no expectations of survival.
I could probably, literally, waltz by a plant and have an adverse effect on it.
However, as Jeff Goldblum will attest to, “Life, um, finds a way.”
New ‘cones’ on the Pine trees.
Strawberry basket still blooming.
My onions, (that I planted entirely too close to each other) survived the snow!
Freshly transplanted Malabar Spinach. God be with you – because, you can’t count on me.
My potatoes are thriving on top. God only knows what’s going on where they are supposed to be growing.
Alright, so, now to the bird box. And, as this picture shows, apparently I have no problems growing weeds/grass. But, this was what I collected from the barn to create my promise.
Had some problems but, managed somehow.
Open for business.
I was trying to be funny on my page – and how the f&$* did Facebook turn it into an ad??? Anyway, I guess if you can fit in there, I can let you rent it.
Thing is – the bush to the left of it used to be peppered with birds. Now, they’re wary. Only had a couple show up at the open house. And one assumed that the beverages were included.
I may have scared them off rather than made amends.
It finds a way – and – finds a way out.
There are days I wish we lived closer to ‘town’ – but mostly, I’m so grateful for our privacy, land and peaceful hearts.
I see beauty in everything. I look for good everywhere. Even the most simple of things stun me and fill my heart with appreciation.
Without further ado, (okay, a little more ‘ado’ because this meme cracks me up whenever I see it).
I present to you the scenes and views that captured my eyes and heart today.
Bottom line is that there is not a direction I can turn without feeling awe and gratitude.
To say our hike Saturday had its ups and downs would be a pretty fair assessment of the adventure.
I was excited about where we were going for a few reasons, one of them being it was the place I saw my first tarantulas over 15 years ago. (Still very hard to believe this fair English native, then Central Coast California transplant has been in the desert that long!)
And if I’m being truly honest, I’ve only just started to appreciate it since I’ve begun hiking.
We’ll touch back on that in a while.
Anyway, I’ve been chomping at the bit to capture wildlife on my camera. So far, lizards, butterflies, burros, cattle and long-horned sheep – but my secret deep down wish was to snap a close up of a scorpion or an arachnid and yes, even a snake. Oh, trust me, the zoom lens would be the key there! I’m wishful but would also not like to trust my snake guards that we wear to such an extent.
We arrived at Grapevine Canyon and my first mistake? I wore a cotton t-shirt. (Why oh why do they give those away at 5K events? Cotton is not conducive to a comfy hike or run.) I am usually sporting wicking wear, and I’ll have you know that I’ve successfully completed all previous hikes sans sweat. So, that either means that I didn’t push myself hard enough or … seriously, cotton is not the ideal choice.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I’m the Queen of Tangents, you’ll have to bear with me.
I don my pack and my snake guards and … my gift from my guy, trekking poles.
Another tangent. When we return from hiking, he’s sore. He, with the Popeye calves. He who can not only put his hands on the ground in a straight legged position, but also touch his forehead to his legs. I, on the other hand, feel no pain upon return – nor the following day. (Also can’t do any of those things.)
This weekend? It hurt to squat to reach the toilet seat lol! ‘Leg day’ happened.
We started out past the tourists who were there for the petroglyphs and the waterfall.
Surpassed them and began our trek.
Me, clumsy and awkward with my poles. My honey a little frustrated because he’d put so much thought into buying them for me. And, no, it does not escape me that he bought them for me because he wants to spend time with me. It also doesn’t escape me that he bought them because he loves them and wants me to have the same experience. So, I felt like an asshole and here’s why.
The terrain he fell in love with them for was the Pacific Crest Trail, so not only was that ideal for that, but he had MILES to become acquainted until they were like additional limbs. Me? I’m trying to snap pictures, which meant holding them in one hand or putting them down, and it seemed every time I did that, he happened to turn around. I felt awful. A gift not being utilized as intended.
We carried on.
Now might be a great time to mention that my guy also has experience rock climbing. Serious rock climbing. And, after the birth of my son I was suddenly scared of heights. And we were high.
I say this because he was like a freaking mountain goat and I kept being told, “Stay perpendicular!” This, after a particular steep rock with nothing to cling to. Thing is about such a rock, once you’re half way up, you’re kinda screwed.
It’s either, A) Have faith in the experts and just keep scaling without looking down and pray you don’t fall to your death or B) Get chastised for wanted to be on all fours. OR C) F#@* this, I know my limits and THIS isn’t happening today.
Well, it happened.
I am not going to lie (again) I was terrified. Literally. What I wanted to do was that dramatic, “Go on without me … save yourself with this hike and I’ll wait.” What I did? I kept going.
And the psychosomatic part of it is that if a hand is held out, you tend to suddenly become invincible without putting too much weight on said hand. It’s just the knowledge that someone has your back and is there to assist that tends to erase a majority of the worry.
Okay, so now I’m up. And ‘height’ phobia cracks in. I swear, I couldn’t even count how many times I heard, “This part is steep, but after this! It evens out.”
I always want to impress my guy, I also always want to live.
We kept going.
And, OH. MY. GAWD.
The day was perfect. The juxtaposition of desert meets … rustling trees … meets water? lol, was awesome!
An egg … I didn’t touch.
Crunching on leaves was bizarre!
Look easier than they were to navigate – but I nailed it. Thought of the Olympics and wanted to do a back flip and land it – then remembered I couldn’t even touch my hands to the floor straight legged lol.
The rustling tree. Was breezy for a bit. (Thank goodness for my pits lol! Remember, cotton … not conducive.)
Just … beauty in everything.
Zoomed in – this was my elephant rock.
This was my heavy-headed person resting their forehead on the peak.
This was freaking AWESOME! The curves get slimmer and slimmer to the point that yes, (OH, Yay!) You have to climb out of it. I think this, and the slides back down due to complete water smoothing (imagine a rock slide!) were my favorite parts.
We ended our hike on a flat rock and chatted.
Here’s where I touch on the beginning.
“And if I’m being truly honest, I’ve only just started to appreciate it since I’ve begun hiking.”
I said to my honey at one point, “You’re really good at a lot of things, but I’m just a beginner.”
And as we sat on that rock, he apologized for any impatience. But, the truth of it was that he was NOT impatient. Or, I didn’t read it that way.
He pushed me for sure – seeing things in me I didn’t. Seeing me capable and cheering me on the whole time. Mostly during our exit when I took a total (on purpose) slide down a steep rock – and it was fun!!!!!
He doesn’t coddle me. But, he does pay attention, even with his back to me. (Dad eyes in the back of his head lol!) And always has just the RIGHT way to encourage me to be a better version of myself.
Extras! Me the next day with my burros! (With the right gear on, but we ended up napping at his home. lol!)
This was Sunday, and we violated a mine – NOT ON PURPOSE!!!!!!!!!!!
It’s for sale! And, um, saw this a little too late.
Lastly, some fun pics.
Wait!! Wouldn’t be complete without those trekking poles. xxxx
Thanks Soupers for continuing to read my journey through life! I love each and every subscriber and reader!
Let me know what you want to see more of!
Started the day out with pancakes at ‘our’ restaurant. It’s riddled with black and white photos of Laurel and Hardy, Shirley Temple, old movie sets and Charlie Chaplin. Plus, evidently, very large cups of orange juice. I didn’t hear my guy’s drink order, but when a ginormous odd-looking cup arrived at our table I asked what it was. Turns out it was O.J. Remember ordering orange juice and it came in a thimble? That justifies my confusion and I immediately coveted it. I know, I know, ‘Thou shall not covet …” But, I think that only applied to a neighbor’s wife? Maybe not, but I coveted all over his drink and into a straw and away from my iced tea.
We are so lucky to have SO many locations at our disposal. Almost makes up for those 120 degree summers.
I’ll just start sharing photos and mumble on about them eh?
First pic – (and I took my ‘good camera’ which, while quality was better, I couldn’t really see what I was capturing due to sun on my preview) We had a storm ahead (and a part of me hoped it arrived, although, I don’t think my backpack is water proof and I had my phone in my pocket tracking the hike).
Me trying to be ‘artsy’ even with a good camera, nothing compares to the actual view.
I was truly hoping for ‘wildlife’. And to be honest, if I heard a rattle, I’d be grabbing my camera versus carefully avoiding the source of the serpent sound. Also waiting the moment I turn over a beautiful rock, and find a scorpion under it that will stay still for a National Geographic worthy pic! I mean c’mon! I’ve had them in my home a dozen times, WHEN am I going to see one in the wild?
Pi or Stonehenge? You decide. But, as you’ll see in the next pic, was located right next to a mining excavation.
We didn’t go in this one. My guy had already explored it on another hike and there wasn’t much to be seen.
Now comes my favorite part! Went down into a river bed that is obviously a water source for desert animal dwellers. Plenty of scat and prints to prove that. Yes, it did dawn on me that we were literally delicious things walking through an area that many predators visit for protein. But, the naturally washed rocks and amazing terrain trumped those thoughts.
This rock reminded me of a fish. A fish that evidently has a stick up its nostril. LOL!
Snake stick, attacking a rock. We did have to jump down into some brush from quite a height and MY rock was checking all brush for snakes. I had snake guards on (he didn’t this time) so I so unselfishly said, “Just go!” I know. I’m a giver.
A storm was threatening the entire time – but, did not come to fruition.
A vein! With vugs.
“Life, uh, finds a way” Said in my best Jeff Goldblum voice.
Okay, he stops for rocks, I stop for close up shots of flora and fauna.
The colors in this rock was unreal! Again, better in person.
Where we came from to flat land.
A wall that once contained something to do with mining.
This guy continued to watch us for what seemed like forever, protecting his family. Bless his Burro heart. x
The family. When I took this photo, I only saw the darker burros. Was happy to discover the other two after downloading.
A thick stringer!
Almost back to the car.
The local gold mine. It’s for sale for $2,500,000. We were going to offer 2. lol.
We did not disturb.
Pay dirt! Sitting RIGHT THERE! We still did not disturb. Although, during the hike, one side of my jacket may or may not have been hanging VERY low due to there certainly NOT being any rocks in my pocket. 😉
We ended the day with a stop at a pub after burning over 1,300 calories on the hike!
AND! That ended in a Snakebite. The only kind you want!
HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’S DAY ALL MY ‘SOUPER’S’