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Apr. 27th, 2020

Updates...

Dad is home. They diagnosed him with ischemic colitis. So, kept him a week to see if he improved and sent him home when he did. Now we play the waiting game to make sure he didn't catch the novel coronavirus while in the hospital.

I got to talk to him on Sat. He said it was good to hear my voice. I don't get to talk to him often these days, it's hard to understand him because he tends to mumble or slur his words, or he's napping.

He mentioned his antique guns again, and wanting me to have them. We have this conversation nearly every time we do talk. I finally told him to have mom tape notes to the ones he wanted me to have, saying they were going to me.

Went over and cut my brother's lawn on Sat as well. Helped him get his small garden started. Hopefully he listened and got his seeds in before it rained that afternoon. He was going to plant sugar snap peas, green beans and zucchini. He's got a good spot for it, full sun through to early aftenoon, then light shade through to full shade in the evening. Hopefully it does well for him.

Our garden is really starting to get going. the peas are up, the lettuce and spinach are doing well now that we've fenced them to keep the squirrels and chipmunks from digging in the soft soil. The potatoes are sending up new sprouts, so hopefully we'll get quite a few pounds this fall. The radishes planted over the top are going crazy too. The carrots have just started sprouting. Never grew carrots before, so this will be interesting.

Was out there, in the rain, well the start of it , on Sat, putting in zuchinni, cucumbers, butternut squash, tomatillo seeds (purple!), and beans. Dan would not stop talking after I took over another bag of garden soil for him to use, as we told him he definitely did not have enough, and confirmed it after he put what he had in his bed and sent us photos, especially after I told him , rain is coming in, get your seeds in, I gotta go get mine in, several times, as the wind picked up and you could smell the rain coming.

Sunday we put in the tomatoes and peppers. So far, wildlife is leaving most stuff alone now. We put cages over the tomatillo row and the cucurbit seed mounds, to help protect them. Also put out a lot of pollinator plants in the center bed. These will stay permanently- Liatris, Phlox, Coppertips, all were sprouted and growing well in the soil medium I started them in. The 2 Echinecea that came with them, not so much. But I put them out anyway, maybe if they're in the ground, they'll wake up. If not, I do have seeds in cold storage I can start and transplant.

Te swamp milkweed finally started coming back up, as has some of the Anise Hyssop. Need to collect seeds from that this year and scatter it through the wooded area some. Bees and butterflies adore it and it usually grows well here. It'll look good against the biennial black eyed susans that grow in the wooded area too.

I have noticed, toilet paper is starting to get easier to find, as well as paper towel. I suspect, fresh produce and fresh meat will now become scarce, as people start overstocking their freezers on that, with all the doom and gloom news about meat packing shutting down and farmers dumping crops. Much of whats being destroyed was never meant for the grocery store systems, but people don't care. Good thing we already have plenty in the freezer.

Trying to wake up my King Arthur Flour sourdough starter. I suspect it's been in the freezer too long. Haven't given up on it yet, but it's really sluggish to get going. Also trying to start a wild yeast starter as well. That'll be a first for us, so hopefully it works. Its been a long time since I've bake with sourdough (5 years), so will be nice to get back to it.

Apparently *indoor gun ranges* have been deemed essential services by a Lynchburg judge. How exactly going to shooting at targets, indoors, practically shoulder to shoulder (certainly well below the 6ft spacing) is an essential need, is beyond me. So fucking stupid.

80,180
13,535
2,066
458
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1 hospitalized in my county

Apr. 13th, 2020

Bleh.

Insomnia is in full force lately. Resulting in me tossing a turning, or waking up when Mark snores, then kicking him out of the bed to the couch, only to continue to toss and turn.

Tried sleeping in the Mordor room (guest room/downstairs office), in the daybed last night. Caena wanted to sleep with me rather than in the bedroom where she can stretch out.

She's not a good bedfellow in a twin sized bed.

The door, if you don't latch it fully, shifts open rather suddenly, just about an inch, which makes the hanging that's on it, rattle.

And we had a massive rain storm system come through last night through this morning. Nonstop rain, both downpours and steady. The result was the sump pump, which is located directly below the daybed, literally kicked on every 30 seconds, for precisely 54 seconds.

Yes, I counted the seconds. The wall clock ticks them off very loudly.

The modem lights flash in an indiscernible pattern though.

Yeah.



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Apr. 8th, 2020

Adventures in Foraging- Done and over it.

Took Mark to work this morning, to do the little grocery getting we needed.

That was honestly frustrating and angering.

Frustrating because I can't easily find shit in that store and my damn mask kept slipping down. (it wasn't, it just felt like it was, making me want to mess with it constantly. I restrained myself, for the most part, to tugging at the sides and staying away from my actual face.)

The meat guy wasn't the same guy as last week who said they weren't putting the product out. This guy claimed they didn't have enough to put out, didn't think they had any bacon, and didn't bother going to look. I didn't push it, it was annoying to have to practically yell at him to make him understand me anyway.

And angering because Not. A. Single. Kroger. Employee. Was. Wearing. A. Mask.

Only one wore gloves and that was the guy wiping down carts.

They have it set up so you go in one door and out the other now. But *they don't have any signs saying as much.* So, even though I was already turning around, I had an employee come rushing up to me, loudly saying "ma'am! ma'am! You have to go out that way!", while getting within 2 ft of me.

Out of maybe 3 dozen customers in the entire store, only 6-7 were wearing masks.


Some dumbass decided to use the self checkout right next to me again. No mask, no gloves, no distancing. AND he decided to have a full on conversation, just standing there, with another guy, also no mask, no gloves, no distancing.

I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I went straight home.

We have decided that Mark will be getting the fresh produce, eggs and dairy on his way home from work from here on out. This once a week outing for me , ain't worth it.


Today's numbers in Virginia-

30,645 tested
3,645 positives
615 hospitalized
75 dead

12 in Bedford County


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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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