Spoonie Retirement – Life, Love and Covid – Weekend Coffee Share

Greetings fellow Spoonies and other sentient beings to my contribution for Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Natalie. I got my second Covid vaccine injection last week. Wiped me out for a few days but, all in all, I think it’s worth it, especially now that I’m feeling human again.

If we were having coffee, I’d brag that we started Spring cleaning, clearing out the last (hopefully) remnants of Winter.

Above a shot of the back of our media cabinet. You can see several inches of frost along the top and corner. Those 10+ days below zero did a number on our little home. That’s one of the things about being a full-time RVing Spoonie, you’ve got to pick your battles. We do everything we can think of to keep our place warm (skirts around the base, plastic overlay on the windows, etc.) but honestly, RV’s are just not designed for extreme weather. We did fine, no busted pipes or anything but there was a good deal of set up and crisis management involved, such as several days without water due to the heated water hose freezing up.

And, of course, I’d have to tell you about the weather. The cold has departed, being replaced by the winds that are common here in the Black Hills leaving the skies bright blue with little wispy clouds. My personal harbinger of Spring.

The grass is greening, the snow is gone, Spring has sprung.

Flowering annuals are poping up, campers are arriving and it looks like it’s going to be a wild ride this summer.

On the health front the dyshidrotic eczema blisters on my feet are improving enough that I’ve gotten out for short walks most days and my yoga routine adaptations (to not use feet) are coming along nicely. Spring vegetables are slowly showing up in our local coop and the farmers market should be opening soon. The local produce is still of the “hoop house” variety as we will likely have more snow sometime this month, but we are hoping for the best. I did get a bunch of gorgeous radishes and asparagus which I must say are definitely at their peak right now. Hoop house, hothouse, or ITG (In The Ground), they taste great after a winter of mostly frozen produce.

I’d talk about next week, which includes 4 medical appointments and one maintenance appointment to get new tires on the car, total of 5 appointments in 5 days. Yep, that is what it means to be a Spoonie, the “human pincushion” thing. I’d share that BIL #1 (the one with Covid) developed pneumonia and got an infusion of antibodies. He is doing much better, thank goodness.

I would undoubtedly whine a bit about the looming tax deadline and kids and grandkids who still expect me to have the answers to anything tax related. But then, I’d wax rhapsodic about the simple joy of watching the robins and rabbits in the yard. Come Spring, and welcome, bring your light to gently wake us from Winter’s slumber.

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

 

Crimson’s Creative Challenge # 124 — If Steps Could Talk

For Crimson’s Creative Challenge brought to us through the lens of Crispina Kemp, where we are invited to respond with whatever moves us. 🙂

My very thorough response in photo, poem, and music *tehehehe*

Steps to Kurama-dera temple – Kyoto, Japan

If Stairs Could Talk

Up, up, up we go
it matters not
whether fast or slow
when you reach the top
what sights you’ll see
come along and follow me

 

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Sunday Stills — Immortality of Cats

Marsha is hosting for Terri’s Sunday Stills for a couple of weeks, do pop over and get some great cat advice — mrrrow ;-).

Here’s the thing, I don’t have cats, or dogs, or mice, or birds. In fact, I have no pets at all. Our lifestyle doesn’t work well for pets, we’re out of the country most years, sometimes for months at a time. My last feline friend passed away in 2003 at the age of 19. The only pictures I have are hard copies, packed away. That said, I did find a shot on pinterest that is an exact duplicate of my Fluffy Cat, and I totally get the sentiment.

Image from pinterest – unknown origins

A long haired tortoise shell with just a dappling of white. She was beautiful, and teeny tiny. She weighed just 6 lbs beneath the deep fluff.

Cats have played an important role in history since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Bastet and Sekhmet are probably the most widely recognized of the cat headed goddesses. Cats were revered as gods and represented justice, fertility and power. Cats have never forgotten this. Ask anyone with cats and you will undoubtedly discover that no one “owns” a cat. Mysticism surrounds them and humans still immortalize them.

In modern times, we still pay homage to our feline friends, here a pair of Maneki-neko or “Happy Cats” in an underground mall in Osaka, Japan. The picture is a bit fuzzy as the statues were in a lighted glass enclosure. Carved from variegated marble reminiscent of the calico coloring.

We immortalize them in statues, in cuddly toys, in cartoons, and in food. Here the Hello Kitty Cafe in Kyoto, Japan.

And or course no tale of the immortal cat would be complete without Tom Jones’ classic.

Til next time ~What’s New Pussycat ~JP

Spoonie Retirement – Life, Love and Covid — weekend coffee share

Laundry building, covered with icicles.

Natalie is our host for weekend coffee share where we all gather for a virtual cuppa and chat about our week.

If we were having coffee today, we’d be having it inside. Looking out the window at the sunshine, and the graupel (tiny snow pellets) falling right through the sunshine. The remains of our last snow storm have pretty well melted in the warm sunny days this week, we started off with lots of icicles from the slow thaws freezing again over night.

Snow covered bush that began to thaw and froze into icicles overnight

Inevitably, talk would turn to Covid. I got my second vaccination this week and I must say it’s hit me harder than the first one. I took the Pfizer (2 doses 3 weeks apart) vaccine and should be clear in another 10 days +- as it takes 2 weeks for maximum effectiveness. I have no illusions, I know it may well not prevent me from contracting the Covid-19 virus. It should, however, dramatically reduce my odds of hospitalization or death so I figure it’s worth the annoyance of symptoms for a few days.

Since we’re talking about Covid, I’ll mention the domino effect of exposure. My dear brother-in-law has contracted the virus. Talked to him on the phone and he sounds dreadful, first domino tips. Brother-in-law # 2 has been diagnosed with cancer and was scheduled for surgery this week. Due to potential exposure from a close relative, they have postponed his surgery for 3 weeks, there goes second domino. We had a trip planned for mid-April, but since BIL #1 will be recovering, BIL #2 will be in post-surgical quarantine, we’ve decided to postpone the trip for a few more weeks. Third domino …. splattt.

Dusk here at Hart Ranch, snow mostly gone (for now).

Life goes on much as it has this past year, groceries are bought on-line or sometimes in-store. We deal with chronic illness, and we carry on. I try to spend some time each day, looking for the beauty of the day. This morning the sun was shining prettily so Superhubs and I took off for town, picked up a few items at our local health food coop, got lunch at a drive thru and went to the park for lunch. It’s cool and windy enough that we ate in the car, but it was still awesome to get out of the house. You see, there is beauty to be found in even the dullest of days so look for it. And if you don’t see anything beautiful, look again. And if you still don’t see it, look harder.

A potted plant, with a tiny bloom, and a wee bitty butterfly outside a factory in Taichung, Taiwan. Sometimes you have to really look to see it.

What I’m listening to

Til next time ~Stay Wild Moonchild ~JP

Sunday Stills – Some things are better in black and white

For Terri’s Sunday Stills Challenge where our theme is black and white

OK this one’s a toughie for me, I am in all honesty, not even sure my digital camera has a B&W setting. My photo editor does though.
While not all photos can handle the stark lines of B&W, I love the nostalgic feel of them. So, let’s dig through the archives and see what we come up with.

Scenes in black and white
undertones of grey
fill my dreams at night
with reminders of the day

 

Iris after a rain in Invercargill, NZ. Free of the brilliant color, the eye notices more the contrast of the sharp edges of leaves, the delicate frills of the blossom and, of course, the glisten of rain drops.

Pinecone on snow. Of course, some shots just don’t have much color to begin with. My eye is naturally drawn to the symmetry of the open scales, and of course, their sharp points.

Trees after the Legion Lake fires in 2017. The wildfire burned over 84 square miles of the Black Hills. Although the fire was devastating, the forest and wildlife were quick to recover. This shot of some of the fire and heat damaged trees is actually more appealing to me in B&W. It feels more “nostalgic” and the damage is much less obvious.

Another snow shot. Maybe it’s just me but I think the scene becomes too bland.

A variegated floribunda rose, in the park, Westfir, Oregon. On this shot, I like the depth that the B&W gives to the petal frills. The enhanced shadow effect instantly conveys a timeless, sophisticated spirit to the shot.

A portrait in B&W. I love the nostalgic feel of B&W portraits. This is a photo, of a pastel painting, made from a photo. If you have sufficient resolution, you can just make out the shimmer of an unfallen tear on the baby’s eye.

If we were having coffee this week, at Natalie’s weekend coffee share, I’d tell you about the snow. Yep, after two weeks of sub-zero temps, followed by a week of highs in the 60’s, we now have about a foot of snow. South Dakota weather, gotta love it. Sprang the clocks forward Sunday and oh my word I really miss that hour!

Til next time ~Peace ~JP

First Line Lyric – Sounds of a Seashell

sunbeams on the ocean

Welcome to First Line Lyric Thursday where I pick a lyric line and use it as the first line of a poem, up this week:

Song: Something Wild — Lindsey Stirling, et. al.
Line: “that’s when something wild calls you home”

Sounds of a Seashell

That’s when something wild calls you home
When I put a seashell to my ear
and hear the haunting siren’s song
voices in my head calling
“come home, please come home”
as waves whisper my name,
stirring my soul with dreams
filled with the scent of salt air,
the brush of seaweed, and freedom
the symphony of breaking surf
underscoring the cry of gulls
my toes licked by sea foam
a lover’s musky pheromones
speak to a need, deep in my soul
to see again that vast horizon
I put a seashell to my ear
and it all comes rushing back,
the days I chased the sky
into the ocean and the nights
when something wild called me home

Til next time ~Stay wild and be a mermaid ~JP

Sunday Stills – Peace in the Rain

For Sunday Stills where our theme is “rain.”

Rains come and rains go
warm touch, melting snow
rainy days spent by the fire
your hand in mine, all I require
pitter patter’s old refrain
I find peace in the rain

There are so many types of rain. All of which have been in short supply this year here in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I’ve reached into my archives for some examples.

First there’s Impending Rain that rain that you feel coming, the drops just haven’t fallen … yet — rain on the horizon, Kapaa, Kauai

Then there’s Calm Drenching Rain — the kind that makes farmers happy as it nourishes young plants. A rainy day walk in Shinsekai Market, Osaka, Japan

There’s the gentle passing rain, just enough to wet the flowers and remind us how beautiful rain truly is. Here a few glistening drops on an Iris in Queens Garden, Invercargill, NZ.

 

And then there’s the Violent Frozen Rain, the bane of farmers, ranchers, and RV owners alike — Hail. Above is a shot of the first hail storm I ever encountered, it fell with a startling ferocity (native Californian that I am). The hail stones are tiny really, and I have seen much, much worse (baseball size stones) since.

 

And then there’s the rain that everyone fears, the Unstoppable Rain. Water is such a gentle element that sometimes we need a reminder that it can also be deadly, ferocious, and terrifying. Five days of flooding left us and most of our neighbors stranded in the RV park when our tiny creek over flowed it’s banks and took out the bridge. In this shot, the flood waters. From this angle, the creek is generally not visible.

Til next time ~Chin up buttercup, Spring’s here ~JP

Tuesday Poetics A question of Color

Sunset on Waikiki

For Tuesday’s Poetics where Mish is hosting, asks us. “Writing from a perspective other than our own is a great challenge. We’ve had some very interesting prompts over the years where we have climbed out of our comfort zones to look through a new lens. That has usually involved looking through the eyes of another person. I’d like to float a little further into the unknown and suggest we take the perspective of a color. (or “colour’ as we spell it in Canada)”

Amber Hues

Cattle in stark relief exposed
black silhouettes juxtaposed
against my gentle winter hue
would you notice if I were blue
perhaps shade of summer green
but all unnoticed I remain unseen

Wait for the waxing pink moon
as amber buds begin to bloom
I am not some lifeless tone
but fragile glass and precious stone,
like the shine in lovers’ eyes
I am fading sunset’s golden prize

Til next time ~stay wild moon child ~JP