Posted on 27 Comments

The Unmistakable Beauty Of Nature

Beautiful Flower
Image by author

In response to Cee’s Flower of the day challenge

I love photography. I cannot resist a beautiful flower. I am especially enamored with the natural beauty of God’s world.

I hope you enjoy it!

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So I am currently fully vaccinated. With the first dose, I felt like I had a watered-down version of COVID that lasted about three days. During that time I took some ibuprofen and that helped. The second dose, which just about 5 days ago I had a sore arm.

I will admit I was a tad scared as I still had antibodies from my bout with COVID last July. A few of my co-workers had more dramatic reactions to the vaccine. But all in all, I would say it was not as bad as I feared.

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The constant wearing of masks is making me have so many break-outs. I have so much hyperpigmentation from acne, but there is no other recourse at this time. We must wear the mask.

I have begun using Retin-A again to help with accelerated skin turnover. I used it about 8 years ago for a while then forgot about it until now. Will construct a post about it especially when I have pictures to show you the improvement.

How are you all keeping out there? Is everyone fully vaccinated? Are you having skin issues from wearing masks? Let me know how you are dealing with them.

Stay safe and be blessed.

Posted on 24 Comments

Social Distancing Ends in Texas

A man and a woman with a mask
Photo by Julian Wan on Unsplash
My mind has been urging me to write on this new atrocity for the past two days as I became aware of the news but I seemed unable to muster the words or the energy to do so.

Governor Abbott decided to end pandemic restrictions within the state of Texas. As of next week, the mandate will be lifted and Texans will be free to move about mask-less.

Restaurant occupancies will return to 100%. This move is made especially dire as this move comes on the eve of spring break.

No one needs reminding that we are still waist-deep in the throes of the pandemic. And the percentage of Texans vaccinated is a mere 13%. The lowest percentage of any state in the US according to NPR news.

The President, CDC, as well as many other medical professionals, have condemned the move urging Texans to keep wearing masks and to continue social distancing.

I can tell you from personal experience that many Texans were not wearing masks or social distancing even when it was a mandate. Each day persons would show up to the hospital, the stores, or other public spaces without a mask on their face, one under their nose, under their chins, or just a plastic shield that is open on both sides.

A shield protects the wearer from fluids or droplets splashed directly to the front of your face, it provides no protection from airborne or droplet precautions as it is open on both sides.

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
Many eligible Texans have not been vaccinated nor do they have a clue when they may be vaccinated.

There have been many reports that the most vulnerable populations still facing many challenges trying to schedule an appointment.

Apparently even getting through to many sites to even schedule an appointment requires so much time, skill, and manpower that many are unable to continuously remain online or simply do not have the means to even go online.

My 73-year old mother nor any other eligible persons with clear co-morbidities, some with several qualifying factors have not been vaccinated.

My co-worker’s husband is well into his 60’s, he is diabetic, suffers from gout, has a history of cancer, high blood pressure and they have not secured an appointment to be vaccinated.

So how then are we no longer required to adhere to the rules that have kept some of us safe thus far?

The Houston Chronicle Abbott as saying, “Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills,” — “This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100 percent.”

You should note that the Governor has been fully vaccinated…

We can clearly see where the concern lies, not preserving lives but the quest to fatten the pockets. Nowhere in that declaration was the loss of life addressed!

This kind of reckless management only seems to exist in Texas! When the pandemic was in its infancy with regard to social distancing Texas was the first to shed its cloak of protection. This resulted in a spike in COVID cases and many deaths.

Two weeks ago the world again saw that Texas plays by its own rules with the winter stop that left roads impassable, widespread blackouts and Texans froze to death while laying in their beds.

Truly tragic.

Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

Why are we repeating the same action at an even worse time while hoping for a different result?

It seems that the concern to fatten the pockets outweigh the loss that will surely be visited upon us.

I am persuaded that by now individuals have been practicing these safety measures for almost a year and that they will continue to do so. More of us will continue to wear our masks, practice hand hygiene, and social distancing.

 Until more widespread vaccinations have been done and COVID numbers have declined for a consistent number of months, we will choose the path of proven science and commonsense.

Stay safe and stay well.

Posted on 30 Comments

COVID-19 Vaccines — Will You Be First In Line?


A man who looks like a doctor with a needle getting ready to give a vaccine
Photo by Dimitri Houtteman on Unsplash

What are your thoughts on getting the vaccine?

Hello my WP family!!

Now that we are getting closer than ever to the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, what are your thoughts?

Tentative plans are to get it out to “front-liners”, then the elderly and those with pressing co-morbidities. Though many people are a bit leery of being inoculated with the vaccine, many others have stated their willingness to be first-in-line.

Since I recovered from COVID in July, I recently did an antibody test and I still have antibodies. I am not sure what the decisions will be concerning inoculating those who had COVID with the first doses.


A roll of toilet paper and a mask
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

The number of COVID cases rising rapidly everywhere even among our children. According to DR, Hawse, a Pediatrician speaking on NPR radio, the symptoms increase in severity the closer a child is to young adulthood.

This is the time to remain diligent on the social distancing, hygiene practices, and wearing our masks. Wear our masks the correct way, to cover our nose and our mouths, please.

Be mindful this Thanksgiving of the number of persons in a closed environment and if you are able the experts advise us to celebrate outdoors while still social distancing.


A lab in testing in progress
Photo by Alexandra Lee on Unsplash

My boss and I plan to keep doing our own little experiment and will be checking my antibodies every 2 months to see where it stands.

So what are your thoughts?

Will you take the vaccine as soon as you are able or, will you play the game of wait and see…?

Be safe, be well, be blessed.

Posted on 11 Comments

The Space in Which we Find Ourselves

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Today it is raining, cold and windy. The whistling of the winds reminds me so much of the book/movie Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. The story is based on a wild, passionate story of the intense love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a lad adopted by Catherine’s father.

The English moors were dark, cold, and sinister. An interesting read if you get the chance.

It has gotten darker in my part of the universe in recent weeks. The world is so much quieter this year. Covid-19 has thrown a huge monkey wrench into the plans of mice and men.

So many of us have personally lost so much. And collectively the world has lost its innocence and its sense of invincibility.

We have never experienced a time such as this and many of us do not know what to do. Many refuse to adhere to the recommendations to help save lives and continue to go about living life unawares.

At a time we should be showing more love, discord seems to be the dominant force.

We must continue to pray for peace.

Photo by Blake Meyer on Unsplash

Spring and summer have given rise to fall as we continue to grapple with our new normal.

The children have had a harsh year being locked mostly inside unable to attend school and freely play with friends.

They have lost so much precious time and we continuously pray that our love, their youth, and adaptability will empower them with resilience to make it through.

Photo by Jon Lever on Unsplash

Mental health is at an all-time high. Those who were struggling before are now in dire straits. While new diagnoses are made every day.

The elderly and the homebound have witnessed a time like no other. Imagine only being able to see your family through a window. Heartbreaking!

The loss of human interaction, closeness, touch, and camaraderie will give rise to many current and future problems.

The way we see life and our planet is forever altered. Our world has shifted on its axis and many souls have transitioned.

As fall and winter settle in many will feel isolated in a deeper way. 

Photo by Alexandre Grégoire on Unsplash

This morning I arose early and usually, I cannot wait to leave the warm confines of my bed for my online platforms. But today I remain in place. Snuggled in the warmth of my blanket listening to the sounds of my sleeping child.

Soon he will awaken for his online school in these abnormal times. No walking to school with friends. No noisy peals of laughter parts the chill air.

Just the noise of silence.

Even the animals seem quieter this year. Not too many dogs barking. The animals sense a shift, something not quite right this year.

I remember to thank God for my life and many blessings.

Be safe, be well!

God bless us all!

Posted on 19 Comments

I Miss My WordPress Family!

two dogs, one black, one while sharing a chew toy
https://gph.is/g/ZWrvNAd

Hello my WP family. 

I have been  MIA here lately. I have gotten sooo busy.

My job

A healthcare worked extracting blood for lab tests
Photo by Chang Duong on Unsplash

 

It is the 4th quarter at work, our busiest time of the year. With the pandemic and beginning flu season, we have so much more to do than last year. More safety protocols to follow. More extra work.

My home

A young boy sitting in front a computer
Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

Then when I am off from work, I have homeschooling that requires all-day commitments with young Snookums (8 years old). So during the times, he would be at school which would give me some free time to do my things, he is home ALL the time. So I never have a day off anymore really.

My 16-year-old is mostly self-sufficient and seldom requires a trip to school or to the store.

My 23-yr-old had a COVID scare at college, thank God it turned out to be negative!

My life goes like this:

  1. I work mostly Fri, Sat, and Sundays so that I can be there for online schooling. The online classroom requires that I/we constantly re-direct the wandering mind of a kid that thinks incessantly about building robots.
  2. The “kinks” pose some issues. Sometimes the screen goes dark. Or we log off because we cannot hear the teacher and she forgets to let us back in the zoom meeting. Then I have to call the school and ask the staff.
  3. So now I have the enviable titles of a full-time assistant teacher.

My days appear long and fleeting. I go out to work then I return to work at home. No rest in between…not complaining, I know many others have it worse than I.

I thank God I am well and all is well with us. I pray for everyone and we stand together in creating a path out of this nightmare that is 2020.

Do forgive me for not interacting as I normally would. 

Praying hands
http://gph.is/1dU4jBx

Be safe and be well!

Posted on 25 Comments

Visiting New York During Pandemic

What is it like to travel during COVID?

We left Texas yesterday Thursday, August 06. The children and I are here to visit Gee. We decided to renew his contract for another 13 weeks. We figured New York was a safer option than Texas at this time. We made some goals and were working towards those, but recently we are attacking them with even more urgency than ever.

My Snookums was so excited to visit his dad, he agreed to keep his mask on the whole trip. Usually the kids complain that they cannot breathe with the mask on…I understand completely. But he kept his word and except for munching on some cherries, it stayed in place.

 

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The three musketeers with our masks on

The check-in process went smoothly, we stayed six feet apart and placed my drivers license to be read. I was asked to remove my face mask to confirm identity with my DL. We passed security with the usual checks. There were not that many persons so all in all the process went off without a hitch. We arrived at our gate and waited until it was time to board.

We were notified that persons flying to new York from states of interest i.e., Texas and other high infection areas we would have to fill out a form. The questions on the health information form were:

  • Name, telephone number and address where you were staying
  • Did you have a fever or a cough in the past 24 hours
  • How long were you planning to stay in New York
  • Were you a frontline worker travelling to help with the pandemic
  • Flight number, airlines, where you originated from and final destination

I thought the questions were all reasonable and we were advised (told) that we must have face covering and must keep them on for the duration of the flight.

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The plane was pretty empty and seating was great as we were all seated fairly far away from each other and could even move to other empty rows.

Currently it is hurricane season and the ride had its few bumps along the way but all in all it was actually fairly uneventful all things considered.

When we landed in NY we gave the health form to someone at a desk and we were excited to see the big city. the hurricane had passed through two nights before and it wrought some damage along the way. Lots of trees were lining the roadways. But New Yorkers will always survive. I felt shortness of breath walking up the ramps to our exit, so I am still on the road to rebuilding.

Hurricane Isaias torn up parts of New York.

This is a video my cousin sent me of some of the damage to her block by hurricane Isaias. As we rode along yesterday we saw downed trees everywhere. Huge old trees uprooted by the winds.

Our day one in my old stomping grounds is over. Now that I am here to visit I realize I miss it so much. There will never be another city like NY for me. I did all my growing up there and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Stay safe and blessed my friends!

 

 

 

Posted on 15 Comments

Un-masked

pexels-photo-3962285
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

An strange encounter with a mask-less shopper.

Two days ago I took my 15-year old daughter to the store. Once a favorite pastime, it is now a journey of bare necessity. I was happy to browse around the isles while she did her shopping. Suddenly I was rudely yanked out of my reverie by what appeared to be a female shopper.

“Did you see Fauci, that someone taped and put him on the internet, he was speaking without a mask on”? I blankly looked at the speaker, a bit perturbed. Instinctively I shook my head no. In my mind the questions began.

Why would I feel the need to monitor whether Dr. Fauci wears a mask or not, he ought to know better but if not, what can I do about it. And why in God’s name is this strange woman interrupting me when I have my mask on and so does my daughter to ask me such a question. Then again, Why she this “unmasked” stranger decides to ask me about someone else when she herself does not have a mask on?

She continues rambling on that she has the video and can show it to me. No thank you I said to her, I will google it. Again she offers to show it to me. She tells me I have it here, let me show you. I repeat, no … she insists.

Again I tell her no and walk off.

My mind is questioning again, her insistence that I come to look at her phone. Why would I want to be that close to any person in the state of Texas that does not see fit to wear a mask to protect herself to view something on her phone.

She went on to state that she had broken her nose and found it difficult to breathe with a mask on and even went so far as to say that she had her mask in her pocketbook and can show it to me. Keep in mind no such words escaped my lips. I am not monitoring masks.

I kept walking to the cash register trying to get out of there. As I was in this bizarre information exchange with this unmasked stranger. I looked around and realized that several other patrons were mask-less as well.

The cashier to her credit was wearing a mask, although it was residing well below her nose. The theme song from the twilight show is now playing in my head.

I hurried my daughter out of that establishment and she said “mom that was really bizarre. What was that all about?”

I have no answers.

Photo by Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash

I told my daughter if she ever gets a ridiculous request like that do not, in today’s pandemic step closer that six feet to look at anyone’s phone or anything else. Most especially if that person is, in my opinion, disrespecting themselves and others by refusing to wear a mask. They should be deemed dangerous.

Later I reflect on what would make that unmasked stranger approach me with such bizarre information sharing? I was not speaking of masks, I was not on the phone, in fact I was not speaking at all.

Be vigilant and stay well.