Tag Archives: Ragtag Daily Prompt

To April!

Martini night

We have a friend who hosts a Martini Night on the last evening of the month. When she lived near us we used to go, but after she moved to Oregon we did not. Recently they switched to having it via Zoom. I was at my sisters last month so missed it. But my husband joined in, except he didn’t have a martini glass, or a martini. He was told that he needed to up his game: the rule is that you can drink what you want so long as it is in a martini glass. We picked up a couple at a thrift store for this month.

Unfortunately they had to cancel last night because the hostess took a fall and broke her arm. We toasted her and health and healing.

Jacqueline is an old friend, literally, she will be 101 years old this summer. I’ve known her for about 25 years. She is a real character. Aside: doesn’t it seem like the people who make it to 100 or more still sharp are characters?

She is very social and has organized many movie nights and parties and, before our time, she hostessed the “Alki Opera”, a chance to dress in your best and watch an opera on VCR. For several years now my husband and I have met her and her family at Mount Rainier for a few days of mountain time. Last year they closed the lodge because of coronavirus, but we do have reservations for this year.

Jacqueline is an interesting mix of conservative and eccentric and you never know what you will wind up discussing when you walk through the door or pick up the phone. She always dresses in long skirts and looks very conservative by today’s standards. But when young she went to New York City (she is from Seattle so that was quite a journey) to study modern dance and was active in the promoting socialism. She also spent a good deal of time studying, and even published a book, about Newgrange in Ireland.

So, my last photo for March was taken to send to Jacqueline with a get well card: of our new martini glasses all ready to toast her and wish her healing and health.

What is air conditioning?

The most likely answer to the real life jeopardy answer: “The most likely cause for the surge in COVID 19 over the past month.” Being from Seattle, and still having no AC I didn’t think of it, but my husband, from Houston, noticed right away that the surge had started in the sun belt at the start of serious air conditioning season. Since CDC advice lags common sense by at least two months (if it ever gets there) I thought I’d point this out. If you pass is along it may save lives.

I just read an article about COVID 19 where someone said that people are still thinking that the summer season is going to help. They are wrong.

In many of the areas seeing a surge now the weather was nicer during spring so people actually were outside. These areas mistakenly thought they had dodged the bullet. As things heat up folks in the sun belt spend more time inside. And the inside spaces are air-conditioned, which means recirculating air.

It will be some time before the medical community cottons on to this. They are still monkey farting around about how to word the concept that people who don’t know they are sick can spread the disease. I read an article recently that indicated they had not informed people, for months, because they were fighting about whether people who spread it are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic. CDC recommendations lag common sense by six to 8 weeks, or more.

Also, masks do help you avoid infection. If you read the whole articles, not the blurbs or summaries, what they actually say is that masks help more to prevent infection if the infected person wears one. While somewhat less statistically effective in controlling the spread, wearing a mask does help a healthy person to avoid infection. The use of a mask provides a physical barrier to droplets, and it keeps you from touching your nose and mouth. Handling the mask carefully and washing your hands is important as well.

The current confusion comes because the CDC lied about mask use in the beginning. If you read their full recommendations from that time, they basically said that masks weren’t recommended because they were in short supply and needed for medical personnel. They didn’t mention a lack of effectiveness.

They did so with good intentions: there has been a shortage of masks worldwide since mid-January because China stopped exporting them in order to have enough for use containing the spread in Wuhan. CDC (et al) lied to try and keep masks available for medical personnel.

In conclusion: To help yourself and those around you to stay well, avoid air conditioned spaces as much as possible, and wear a mask covering both your nose and mouth (which you handle carefully) if you must enter them.

For Ragtag daily prompt: explain.

…and yesterday’s gone

It seems like yesterday and very long ago at the same time. We visited Bay of Islands in New Zealand in January, with our son, over Chinese New Year.

Bay of Islands is the ultimate Cerulean Bay.

That was where I first heard about the corona virus, it wasn’t yet called COVID-19. We debated the wisdom of my son returning to China. The US State Department warning came to my email while he was in the air to Qingdao. We have been on an emotional roller coaster since then.

By the time he landed, the bus service between cities in China had been terminated and he had to take a taxi 130 miles to get to his home.

While he has been abroad most of his adult life, he turned 18 while he was an exchange student in Japan, this is the first time when we can’t get to him or get him home easily.

At times I wished that the State department had had its act together and the email had come out twelve hours earlier, so he could have come with us. At one point I was in contact with our congresswoman about how I could get him home. Then we talked and realized that he was probably safer in China (a very sad realization for me).

Bay of Islands is a magical place. When we said goodbye, I said “same place next year?” Now it seems so naive and arrogant to have thought about something 12 months out.

Almost Autumn

What passes for summer here in Seattle hasn’t quite let go, but signs of autumn are starting to show. Today’s dog walk showed signs of the seasons shifting.

The squirrels are active, we had to stop several times to see if they would come down and play…

…alas no. Even Ginger had to sit down after a while of waiting to see.

Even after several minutes the squirrel still didn’t come down, so Ginger finally let me lead her away. Is she stubborn or persistent?

These leaves are tinged with red, indicating autumn.
This dahlia is in full, glorious bloom, with buds coming on, indicating summer.
A quince about ready for harvest, indicating autumn.
Leaves starting to change, indicating autumn.
Fuschia in full summer glory.

Leaves starting to color shift for the new season:

Late summer cone flowers and a beautiful, shiny spider’s web for autumn.
The holly berries are reddening. Autumn’s colors foreshadowing winter.

My garden is still hopeful.

Maybe we’ll see an Indian summer.

For Ragtag’s daily post: autumn

P.S. Is anyone else having problems with WordPress letting you set a featured image?

Roses everywhere you look

I sometimes think that June should be its own season, at least around here, it is usually rather chilly, often times colder and grayer than May, but the weather is perfect for roses.

June is a very rosy month around here. I have a few bushes in my yard but some of my neighbors go all out. There is one lady who has roses climbing high up into her evergreen trees. I used to think of her (since I don’t know her name) as the crazy rose lady…but then I realized she probably really should be called the sane rose lady. Her yard is a bit overgrown, it’s not unkempt or neglected, just very alive, but the smell of roses greets you from a block away.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Rose