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Apr. 6th, 2020

So what did you do while on lockdown...

Well, we basically relandscaped the front yard, on Saturday. LOL

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Before. We've been wanting to get rid of the ornamental bamboo because it's a non native invasive.


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Halfway done.


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Of course we dug out bricks.


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After. We planted the Dwarf Alberta Spruce that had been in large pots on the porch instead. They won't grow big enough to damage the foundation, or wide enough to block any views and they grow so slowly, that'll it'll be a long time before they're taller than the porch railing. It looks so much better now. The leaves got mulches up and put on the newer garden bed, the watering trough for potatoes with soil added too, as well as a bunch in the compost bin- it needed some 'greens'.



Then, on Sunday...

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We took a few hours to completely empty the beds, added fresh compost and garden soil and got them ready for planting next weekend. This year, we'll work on bringing them up another row of blocks, then topping them. Over the winter, we'll add more compost and soil.

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The center bed will stay one block high, with the landscaping blocks on top and gradually brought up to level, soil wise.


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Our Red Bud, Archie, bloomed this year! We're so proud of it!


Friday's numbers in Virginia-

19005 tested
2012 positive
312 hospitalized
46 dead

TODAY'S numbers here in Virginia-

24321 tested
2878 positives
497 hospitalized
54 dead

There are now 5 cases in Bedford County.


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Apr. 1st, 2020

Adventures in foraging, aka, people piss me off today.

Took Mark to work, stopped at both the Food Lion and Kroger on the way in.

For the love of Gaia, people Stop. Hoarding. Paper. Products.

Cleaning supplies, fine, but seriously, how fucking much toilet paper do you really fucking need?!?

Ugh.

And polenta.

Why is there no polenta??? Plenty of grits, which is odd considering it is the South after all. And cornmeal. Lots of plain ol' cornmeal. But polenta? Not a single damn bag or package or container of it anywhere.

Yes, I know damn well the middle self checkout is open. That middle self checkout is between two self checkouts in use, meaning, there isn't enough social distancing space between them if I use that middle self checkout.

Fuck you, you decrepid old Boomer who snorted derisively at me and used it anyway. People like you are why the numbers keep rising. And yes, it was a white guy too. Asshole.

And the guy who used the empty self checkout right next to me? *Cover your damn mouth when you cough, you inconsiderate asshole.* I could not check out and get out of there fast enough.

Anyway. After two stores, I gave up on the polenta and went home. Not looking forward to doing this again on Sat when I take my brother shopping.

Today's numbers in Virginia-
15,344 tested
1484 positives
208 hospitalized
34 dead



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Mar. 31st, 2020

Ugh. Mini rant, then the good stuff.

People simply want to be told what to believe and then, believe everything they see on Facebook.

See the recent meme about Hobby Lobby closing all their stores and laying everyone off, as well as that letter about it's in the hands of god, for example. Research shows, that letter in particular is may or may not be true, the veracity has not been established, it was *Oklahoma stores only, and the rest are abiding by the state they are in guidelines. I mean, there's numerous people who either work at HL who are questioning this, saying, that's not happening at my store, where'd you hear this?

*And no one provides links!*

I mean, if you don't want to buy from Hobby Lobby because they're a bigoted, misogynistic, chauvinistic, backwards, religious zealot owned company, that's one thing and perfectly good reasons to not frequent that establishment. But to take something, blow it way up and then post it as fact? No, don't do that. *Truth matters*. Look at the Gamestop fiasco. *It wasn't true*.

Ok, rant over.

So, we found out Friday, after almost 3 years of behind the scenes work by his boss, Mark has received a promotion and a significant pay increase. As well as being switched from hourly to salary. Now, instead of doing the work without the pay or title, he has both. Heh.

So, going to salary means a big change in how I pay bills. One week next month will be a no paycheck week, but it'll be late in the month, so maybe we'll get lucky and that so called stimulus check will come that week (not holding my breath). He's stressing over causing complications in bill paying for me and I'm looking at him and saying, I got this., it'll be ok.

And it will be. Because this was a good thing and we needed it.

Sunday we tried a new breakfast recipe.

It failed, miserably.

It failed so very badly, that even though we hate to waste food, we looked at it, at each other and said it had to go away. It was that unappetizing. It didn't remotely look like the recipe for breakfast tacos whatsoever. That recipe got trashed. Our version of breakfast tacos turned out beautifully.

Dinner was a new recipe too. THAT recipe turned out great.

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Blackened Shrimp Tacos with Jalapeno-Lime Cole Slaw

Recipe courtesy of My Magazine from Kroger

Hands on time- 10 minutes ( closer to 20 if you ask me, especially if you use fresh jalapenos like I did)
Total time- 20 minutes (well....)
Serves 4 (yes, or 1-2 with leftovers)

Ingredients-

3tsp blackened seasoning (I didn't have any, so instead I used Stone Spice Company's Screamin' BBQT seasoning They are a locally, artisan spice company)
1 tsp salt, divided
1tsp pepper, divided
15-20 large shrimp, raw, shelled and deveined, rough chopped into bite size pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil (or oil of choice)
Juice from 2 limes
3/4 cup greek yogurt
1tsp honey
3 Tbsp olive oil (again, or oil of your choice)
1/4 cup jalapenos (they say to use canned, I used fresh and deseeded them), diced
1-2 scallion onions, chopped
1 bag of cole slaw blend of your choice
8 corn or flour tortillas

Directions-

1- In small bowl, mix shrimp with seasoning, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, and 1 Tbsp oil. Toss to thoroughly coat. Set aside.

2- In large bowl, add lime juice, yogurt, honey, oil, remaining salt and pepper. Mix well. Add chopped jalapenos and scallions. Stir well. Add cole slaw mix and toss to combine. Place in refrigerator until needed.

3- Heat medium-large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add oil when hot. Add shrimp and cook through, about 2-3 minutes. Let shrimp rest while you prepare the tortillas. (heat or char the tortillas or do nothing as we did, your taste.)

4- Place 2 tortillas per plate and top with shrimp. Place roughly 1/2 cup of slaw on each, top with more sliced jalapenos and scallions, even black olives and sour cream if desired. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers, obviously.

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Enjoy!


Today's numbers in Virginia-
13401 tested
1250 positive
165 hospitalized
27 dead

2 in Bedford County


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Mar. 30th, 2020

This is why we can't have nice things.

There's a 'church' here in my small, rural town, that is refusing to abide by the Governor's guidelines and restrict not only it's Sunday gatherings, but allowing congregants to gather in *numbers*.

It's the type of belief system that the pastor gets rich, while you tithe, weekly, and get a 'weekly allowance' (hearsay from someone who has a family member in this belief system) and get no where. After each Sunday service, they then, en masse, go to Walmart or other retail shops that are currently allowed to be open.

So, on Facebook, I belong to a community group for my town and someone posted a photo of the packed parking lot, questioning it.

Here, for your incredulity, is a sampling of the resulting comments-

"Just my opinion maybe people should mind their own business."

"I understand. There's only supposed to be ten people but it's their choice. If you're so worried then go tell them, call the police, call governor blackface."
(Oh yes, my small, rural town is deeply red, and many apparently hate Northam)

"Guess it's a good thing then that the death rate is a heck of a lot lower than first thought. Take care of yourself. Don't worry about others. You'll only make yourself angry for no purpose" (Except, that's not the damn point)

Comment thread- (this gives you an idea of the type of 'church')

"Why dont they do what other churches are doing and just have the pastor video his sermon and they watch it at home?"
"they aren’t allowed to use that much tech , are they ?"
"i dont know. But they have cellphones"
"They are not allowed to have tv's in their home."
"but they do have computers!"


"While I don't agree with what they're doing, just an observation I had today while out mowing (and yes I'm by myself, and having customers leave payment outside, or pay online). This is no different than the kids playing in neighborhoods. I've seen groups of kids, as large as 15, playing together. So before you go throwing your stones in your glass house, keep your kids at home.."

"Maybe instead of foul mouthing, you can call it in? MAYBE, just maybe, if there’s enough people acting on what’s right, and less fussing about what’s wrong, there will be a decision made to control this? Just a thought... see a problem, make a move. I’m pretty sure calling them stupid isn’t pleading the case." (I didn't see anyone saying they were stupid, per se, just that the whole gathering to worship right now is stupid.)

"My understanding their religious beliefs are that they don’t believe covid-19 is a problem. And that they say that God is going to handle it and they won’t get it because God is going to take care of them. I think God is going to take care of us however I don’t feel the need to risk everyone in the community. My church does service via Live feed" (Your church is smart.)

"This is absolutely hilarious!...
I didn't think this great nation had gone to dictatorship...
Let's close the schools! No more than 10 people crowds...
Hey I got a question where are all these kids that are out of school? My guess when mom and dad have to go to work they are in daycares instead.. is that any more safe? Bet walmart isn't adhering to 10 people or less! Or any of the other big box chains... liquor stores and planned parenthood still open for business... and y'all on here whining about a church... all of a suddenly because mommy government told you to be scared you goin To freak out about a church while the government controls your every move...
2112 people have died from covid-19 In The US and 24,000 people have died this flu season from influenza (the common flu) compliments of the CDC website.."
(Oh yes, someone went there.)

(Someone tells them they need to go read up on the CDC guidelines, etc, obviously they're missing something, to which they respond-)

"I have not missed anything... I'm saying there is a lot more serious things than this to be worried about..." (Oh yes, 'more serious things to worry about' than potentially killing your neighbor because you were stupid. )

" keep listening to your governor. You will end up brain washed. We need to pray for his salvation."

"f you believe anything this man says, you’re going the wrong way. I’m in the health field every day. Use common sense. Quit watching TV. Faith not fear!" (Faith, I tell you! Faith!)

And finally, this gem-

"They are already an isolated group of people. If the corona virus does break out in the congregation, then rest of Bedford will probably be okay. I remember a time in world history when people would turn other people into the government. Let's not head down that road As long as they stay to themselves just let it be. . ."

Except they are not an isolated people. They go to grocery stores, they go to big box stores, they go to restaurants, etc. If it does break out in their congregation, it will not stay there.

It devolves from there. Until an admin finally turned off comments.

Oh, hey, bonus! We are now officially under a Stay At Home order as of today. That means it's no longer a *suggestion*, it's now an official *order* and will be enforced by law enforcement. Executive Order 55.

Today's numbers-

12,038 tested
1020 positive
136 hospitalized
25 dead.

In my County-

79 total tested
2 positive (I guess someone recovered)

Tomorrow, better news, I promise. And a new recipe!


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Mar. 27th, 2020

Ow and Yum!

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Took Caena and Leo for a really long walk yesterday, 1.27 miles. Leo was literally leaning against me as we walked up the driveway to the house. I think I broke them.

We had martial arts class online using the Zoom app last night. So stiff today. Hard wood floors are not conducive to proper workouts. We are biting the bullet and making a quick trip to get mats for next time, after we go and mow my brother's front yard for him, on Sat.

So, yesterday I said I would post the recipe of the Slow Cooker Citrus Salmon with Melted Leeks if it turned out good.

It turned out amazing. Here's the recipe-

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Slow Cooker Citrus Salmon with Melted Leeks

active: 10 mins
total: 3 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 4


Ingredients

Cooking spray
3 cups sliced leeks (from 2 leeks) {I used 3}
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme {dried works too}
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage {Oregano works as well as dried}
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
4 (6 ounce) skinless salmon fillets
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil


Directions

Step 1

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Coat a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the leeks in a bowl; toss with the thyme, sage or oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and spread in an even layer in the bottom of the slow cooker. Pour the wine over the leeks and dot with the butter. Cover and cook on LOW until the leeks are tender, about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Step 2

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Place the salmon on top of the leeks in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the salmon with the remaining salt and; top with the lemon slices, and drizzle with the oil. Cover and cook on LOW until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of the salmon registers 140 degrees F, about 1 hour to 1hour 15 minutes. Transfer the salmon to a platter, and serve with the leeks.



Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 fillet, 1/2 cup leeks

Per Serving:
369 calories; 20 g total fat; 6 g saturated fat; 569 mg sodium. 10 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 35 g protein

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I served it with oven roasted asparagus seasoned with lemon juice and slices, salt pepper and olive oil. If you get a chance, and like salmon, make this. You won't regret it.


Virginia numbers-

7337 tested
604 positive
83 hospitalized
14 dead

3 in my County (no change)




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Mar. 26th, 2020

It's official...

Black Belt testing (pretest at least) has been postponed until further notice.

We rather expected it, honestly. And I am relieved that they did decide to postpone it. We simply can't test properly right now, there's too many of us.

Meanwhile, we keep practicing, we keep working towards maxing out the situps, pushups and trying to get that 1.5 mile run down to 15 minutes or less(hahahahahaha...).

Blue Man Group, which we had tickets for, and was scheduled for tonight, has also been postponed, indefinitely. Had to find that out by going to the website, since they couldn't be bothered to announce it.

In other news, my subconscious decided I needed to be yelled at in a dream, and it upset me so badly, that I literally woke up crying. Stupid brain.

Fat little groundhog was foraging under the flowering quince. Cute little guy. I say little because it was half the size of the one that lives under the murder shed out back.

One thing this pandemic has given me, is time to actually try out new recipes and do real cooking. So tonight we're trying Slow Cooker Citrus Salmon with Melted Leeks. Possibly oven roasted asparagus on the side. If it turns out good and is tasty, I'll post a photo and the recipe.

Got called a naysayer yesterday, for saying it was unnecessary and excessive, about the video of the guy on Facebook, claiming we needed to leave our *groceries* in our cars for *three days*.

I posted exactly what the CDC, FDA and USDA, as well as USPS all said- that it wasn't necessary, that we could bring in groceries the day we buy them, and as a *precaution*, wipe down pertinant containers, put stuff in other containers as we normally would, properly dispose of all excess packaging, then thoroughly wash our hands. That the CDC has *never* said we needed to leave our groceries in our cars for 3 days.

Someone posted an 'updated' video, saying, well, he's a doctor in Grand Rapids, Michigan, you're not, so I believe what he says. My thought was, 'Great! I'll ask *my family that lives there if they ever heard of this guy!' But I didn't post it. I merely asked if his so called updated video told you to do what the *CDC suggested*, otherwise, *I* personally was going to follow *the CDC guidelines*, not some random guy, I don't even know, posting on *Facebook*. (They said 'he was reading through the CDC guidelines, which means 1) he was talking out his ass in the original video, and 2) no, he still wasn't telling them to follow CDC guidelines. That shit is infuriating, honestly.)

I mean, seriously people. Common sense. I really wanted to Ok, Boomer, or whatever, Karen, them. Why are we white people so damn ignorant and lacking in common sense?!? So tired of the rumors, the false information, the sheer stupidity.

Today's numbers in Virginia-

6189 tested
460 postives
65 hospitalized
13 dead

3 positives in my County still.


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Mar. 25th, 2020

Round 1- Fight!

Only not really. Heh.

Took Mark to work so I could get groceries. We needed gas, so I told him to drop me off at Kroger, I'd see if there was any toilet paper or paper towel, while he got gas.

We got there around 715, 15 minutes after they opened, he decided to park and come in, letting me out at the door, because of idiots who can't drive.

Because it wasn't our normal Kroger, it took a few minutes to figure out where paper goods were. Once there, I grabbed on of the last packages of paper towels and had just stepped up on the shelf to grab one of the last packages of toilet paper. He snagged the other- it was too far back for me to get.

They're limiting it to 1 package per customer, so we were going to go to separate checkouts, but an older gentleman came down the aisle, and I asked if he was looking for toilet paper. He looked at the now empty shelf, his shoulders sagged and he said yes. So Mark gave him his package. WE didn't really need 12 rolls anyway, a 6 pk was enough.

Also managed to find a couple spray bottles of antibacterial cleaner(!). Lemi-Shine. There were 3 bottles and I pulled the last to the front. Mark took one to work.

So, round 2 was after I dropped him off and went back for the rest of our groceries.

This time I was ready to fight by the end. Seriously, what part of *6ft apart* do people not understand?!?

I managed to get all the fresh veggies I was looking for. The produce section is looking much better stocked lately. Then I hit the aisles and had to keep backtracking because of people down aisles- trying to keep my distance, mind. But then there's the fools who stand really close to you when you're already on an aisle, getting canned goods. Or deliberately choose the register right next to you in the self checkout that's less than 6ft apart.

By the time I was done, I was absolutely ready to go home. Luckily, I managed to get everything at one store.

So I came home, put stuff away and then proceeded to make my house smell like Lemi-Shine. Heh. Mark said his office smelled like it too.

People are still passing around crap information. Things like, you need to wipe down everything you get in the mail or delivered. Like takeout isn't safe because you can get it from the food. That sort of thing.

Ummm, no. The CDC, FDA, USDA, even the USPS, has said, repeatedly, that mail and packages are unlikely to carry the virus, that the chances of getting it from that sort of stuff is very low. Same with takeout. And food that's properly cooked, would kill the virus.

Now, I'm all for being cautious. But there's being cautious and there's going overboard. I can just see it now, people making themselves sick by ingesting cleaning products they used on their food stuffs.}:/

Stats for Virginia- 5370 tested, 391 positive, 59 hospitalized, 10 dead. (Yesterday- 4470, 290, 45, 7)

3 in my County now.


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