Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Eleven

03/30/2020

Today was a much warmer here in the Coachella Valley and there is a long term forecast of mid-eighties for the next week. YAY!!! I spent part of the morning on the phone with my Mom trying to convince her it was 8:30 am not pm and cajoling here into getting ready to go to the doctor. Three frustrating calls later and with the help at staff at her community We got her to the doctor. More phone calls to her physician, who is wonderful and is facilitating getting a neurology appoint to try and understand the dementia issues.

So here is how day eleven of our sheltering in place went:

  • Walked the resort with my SIP pal Kristen…we walked until our feet cried for a cold soak which was about 5 miles. The gorgeous golden torch cactus flowers I have been admiring are on their last days. But I found this little beauty on a prickly pear cactus so it is now on my watch list.
  • Did some online ordering of groceries and tried in vain to find TP for my Mom who is now out. So utterly ridiculous … thankfully other residents in her community had donated some that was available to those who can’t get out and shop. The instant cart shopper who I was texting with offered to go to his house and get a few rolls to get her by. Oh for the kindness of strangers…
  • Watched an interesting video which was shared by a physician in Anacortes Washington where we spend part of the year. Here is her comments “Hi everyone. I’m a surgeon and I live in Anacortes. I would love it if you all would watch this video. It is very empowering during this viral crisis. It was made by a colleague of mine who is an ICU doctor at the center of the outbreak in NYC. If we could get this video out to everyone in the community we might be able to avoid becoming a tiny NYC”. It is a long but very interesting video but hey what else do you have to do?? The Doc in the video looks so exhausted.
  • Going to support a local restaurant tonight by ordering take out.
  • Fridge is fuller today thanks to a delivery from Costco. SO gratefully to the Instacart shoppers, expressed our gratitude with a large cash tip and some vinyl disposable gloves.

Honestly, parts of day eleven were a bit frustrating and boring but I need to stop being a whiny twit (thanks Karen) and instead be grateful for all the good things in my life. Hope all of you are healthy, sane and staying home!!!

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Ten

03/29/2020

Today was a breezy, warm, sunny day in the desert so I decided to take the day off. No in-depth report today, instead, I am sharing a few of my favorite singer-songwriter artist who are posting daily on FB. So fun to see these talented people performing acoustical music from their own home

So here is how day ten of our sheltering in place went:

  • Keb Mo: I love this guy..have seen him any chance I get. What a story teller.
  • Mary Chaplin Carpenter: Another talented singer-song writer storyteller who I got to see recently in Escondido California.
  • Shawn Colvin: What I love about some of these current “at home” videos is how you get to see the person, raw, upfront and honest…like they are sitting in your living room, chatting with you like you are BFF’s. Shawn’s music is shaped by her life long struggle with depression…its real, so real. I hope she truly understands the gift her voice and music is to people like me across the world.
  • Fridge (thanks Bill) is getting very empty. Fingers crossed on the Instacart deliveries XXXXX.

Well, so far so good…day ten was very relaxed. Hope all of you are healthy, sane and staying home!!!

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Nine

03/28/2020

I slept much better last night knowing the gal who’s been checking on my Mom in the late afternoons actually cajoled my mom into letting her do a few things…like make her bed. Hoping its a break through…

Wally is our short order cook- aka “breakfast guy”. It is usually his job to fix coffee and breakfast. It can be a simple smoothie or a more elaborate frittata or omelet. Today it was a vegetable frittata with manchago cheese and toast with blueberry jam – SCORE!!!

So here is how day nine of our sheltering in place went…

  • On our walk around the resort today, I made it a bit of a scavenger hunt. Not just looking at pretty pretty flora and fauna, instead looking specifically for fauna but not living fauna. Let’s just say there is plenty of non-live fauna around here, some are cute, some are pretty, some a bit assy. So, I’d love to hear your vote!!!
  • Had our usual lunch salad on the patio.
  • All of our sports amenities have at the resort been closed but our GM deemed it acceptable to walk on our golf courses for exercise. No golfing …just walking. Being that most of my golf balls seem to hit expense cars or in this case expensive coaches, I have decided golfing just isn’t my forte. But I love walking in golf courses, so hell yes, I was out there after lunch with my gal pal Kristen. We walked the 18 and 9 hole courses. Total mileage today – 4.8 miles!!!
  • Chatted with friends who were preparing for a sheltering in place date. How cute its that…they were dressing up for dinner, having a cocktail on their patio and sharing a meal that they were both fixing together. Geez, I felt shamed, we were still in our grubby exercise clothes but we enjoyed our cocktail on the patio sans dress up! Guess that means I have to shower later – Thanks Mike!!!
  • Chatted with another good friend who is a nurse. She reinforced to me how bad this damn virus is and how unprepared most hospitals are for a pandemic. Luckily, she is no longer an ER trauma nurse or she would be right on the front lines. For her that would be dangerous as she has compromised lung health and asthma. Instead, her pediatric speciality hospital cancelled all of their elective cases so her next 15 days will be spent sheltering in place at home with no plans to leave the house. Yep, wish everyone was taking this monster virus so seriously.
  • Fixed dinner… the new recipe was a keeper. Such great flavors but actually a very simple meal. We enjoyed the grilled cilantro chicken with pickled tomato and avocado salsa along aside a crunchy slaw with a creamy avocado dressing.
  • Wrote this blog post and edited pictures. Used the slideshow feature for the fauna pictures, so let me know how you like that.
  • Fridge is getting very empty. We have a Costco Instacart delivery set up for Monday and a Ralphs order set up on Thursday but the Instacart drivers are threatening to strike on Monday. After reading the attached article I can‘t say as I blame them. I have really appreciated the service those folks are providing and always tip well, even more now that COVID has changed the fabric of our world. Will see what happens but I may have to venture out next week and forage on my own.

Well, so far so good…day nine was busy in a very relaxed way. Hope all of you are healthy, sane and staying home!!!

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Eight

03/27/2020

It took me a while to get going this morning. I spent the wee hours, tossing and turning. My aging mother who has mobility and health issues plus onset dementia has been weighting heavily on me lately. She lives in an independent senior community that offers loads of supportive services …if one choose to use them. She doesn’t or honestly can’t now and is very close to needing to move to the next level of care. I have had to cajole, sneak or fib my way into getting her set up with additional help.

Okay, then I read way too much corona virus news but got a sanity check when I popped on FB to see what my pal Pluto had to say today. Seems he was exhausted too and was a dog of little words today… boyO can that little dude snore! Checked in with singer songwriter Sheryl Crow again and a few other cool music video’s.

So here is how day eight of our sheltering in place went…

  • Spent most of the morning/afternoon online moving my mothers accounts, setting up online payments, changing addresses and checking balances. Luckily, my mom set up her finances, will, POA and advance health directives quite some time ago. She was adamant that she wanted me as POA and for everything to be very clear legally. We have gotten to the point that I have to make some changes to protect her from herself…SIGH…

  • Did chores around the coach.

  • Our cat Sucia, whom I normally adore, thoughtfully pooped on the floor by my side of the bed AGAIN. As luck would have it I caught her in the act in broad daylight and didn’t step in it in the dark like the other night. Yep, I was barefoot! Adorable factor zero right now.

  • Wally and I walked the resort in search of pretty flora and fauna. I spotted the first ducklings of the season…So excited “OH NO…babies…baby duckies…they are SO adorable…SO cute…Babies, TEN babies”. I can’t resist anything that is small and furry but don’t have a maternal bone in my body. Go figure! We also found another spectacular Golden Torch cactus in full bloom.



  • Mixed up a couple of our specialty GT&G‘S and enjoyed them on the patio as the sun was setting. For those bartenders out there our GT&G consists of fresh grapefruit juice, fresh tangerine juice and a generous pour of gin, topped with a slash of tangerine sparkling water.
  • Have been starting to crave the water and a boat fix but who knows when we will be able to head north so I pulled a package of our fresh, right from the the water dungeness crab out of the freezer. Fixed crab cakes with a garlic aioli , roasted asparagus and caesar salad for dinner. It paired nicely with the Coopers Creek Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand that was delivered just days ago.

  • Started writing this blog post, auto saved failed so I had to start all over again…GRRRR…Wrote this blog post again and edited pictures.
  • Frig is getting kinda empty. Have a Costco instacart delivery set up for Monday and have been trying to get a Ralphs order set up but the delivery times keep disappearing. Trying very hard not to go into a grocery store, stay home, stay healthy and flatten the damn curve. Day eight, very uneventful. Hope all of you are healthy, sane and for crying out loud staying home!!!

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Seven

03/26/2020

It has been another beautiful day here in the desert. After spending most of yesterday feeling down and worried about my mom, it felt good to be a little more cheerful today. I felt better knowing that I was able to get a doctors appointment scheduled for her on Monday and had transportation arranged to get her there.

Instead of reading corona virus news, I popped on line to see what my pal Pluto had to say today and watch a fun video posted by singer songwriter Sheryl Crow.

So here is how day seven of our sheltering in place went…

  • Wally and I walked the resort in search of pretty flora and fauna. We haven’t left the “compound”since Sunday but if we mix up our routes here inside the walls of our pretty oasis we can see something different almost everyday. I have been checking this little beauty in the photo below for the past few days and was rewarded with this gorgeous flower today. Our walking route took us through the orchard where an acre of fruit trees ring the wall of our property. We were super excited to discover three mexican limes trees nestled in with the orange, grapefruit, lemon and tangerine trees.
  • We sat outside and enjoyed our lunch on the patio again today.
  • A unexpected wine delivery showed up today. I know, you must think we have a serious wine consumption problem. Yes, congratulations … that is a very fair assumption. The shipment was from one of our very favorite wineries in Walla Walla Washington – Isenhower Cellars. We have been wine club members for years, since the first time we met the winemaker/founder/owner Brett Isenhower at a wine event in our small town of Lake Oswego. His luscious rich reds caught our attention and his beautiful family run winery kept us coming back for more.
  • Wally and I went on a golf cart scavenger hunt here in the resort which was organized by our very fun friends Cindy and Jill. It was the perfect activity that people could all do but not gather in a group or worry about social distancing. We stopped by and got the list from Cindy, who sat at the edge of her driveway. Then we were off, zooming around the resort trying to creatively fulfill the list and photograph ourselves in action. Everyone had four hours to complete the hunt and post our top three photos on a community FB site. Yes, there were drinks involved… no harm, no foul …drinking and driving within the walls of the compound isnt a party foul. Here are the top three favorites with the categories explained:

  • Celebrated our friends John and Kristen’s 26th anniversary. Warning: There was no social distancing observed. The four of us have been very, very careful about our exposure and honestly had spent so much time together prior to the shelter in place order that we all agreed that we were comfortable with our risk/exposure going forward. So, since we couldn’t go out on the town and celebrate, the next best thing would be to cook together and play a kick ass game of Five Crowns. We broke out some very nice wine, did a build your own burger bar featuring grass fed, organic beef, caramelized onions, green chilies, chipotle mayo, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado. Kristen did her delicious air fryer garlic fries and I kicked in a southwest salad. I am sad to report that the only ass that got kicked in cards was mine….

  • Wrote this blog post and edited pictures.
  • Frig is not quite as full… The salad and smoothie fixings are getting thin…but I have crab from our summer harvest on the menu tomorrow. We are grateful to be healthy. So far, so good for day seven. Hope all of you are healthy, sane and have had a good day as well.

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Six

03/25/20

I have always loved the movie Groundhog Day…seen it dozens, okay many times. It makes me laugh every time I see it and wonder what would I do if there were no consequences for my actions and everyday was a new chance to do what ever I wanted. In case you haven’t seen it, it perfectly fits these unprecedented times. So here we go…

Weatherman Phil Connors reassures Pittsburgh viewers that an approaching blizzard will miss Western Pennsylvania. He goes with news producer Rita Hanson and cameraman Larry to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the Groundhog Day festivities, which he has done for several years. Phil makes no secret of his contempt for the assignment, the small town, and the “hicks” who live there.

The next day, Phil awakens at his Punxsutawney bed and breakfast to Sonny & Cher‘s “I Got You Babe” on the clock radio. He tapes a half-hearted report on Punxsutawney Phil and the town’s festivities. Rita wants to stay and cover other events, but Phil wants to return to Pittsburgh. The blizzard blankets the region in snow, stranding them in Punxsutawney. Phil shuns the celebrations and retires to bed early.

Phil wakes to “I Got You Babe” and the same DJ banter on the radio, and discovers the day’s events repeating exactly. Phil relives the day and returns to bed, assuming it was a dream, but it is still Groundhog Day when he wakes again: he is trapped in a time loop that no one else is aware of. Realizing there are no consequences for his actions, he spends the first several loops indulging in binge eating and drinking, one-night stands, robbery, and reckless driving. After spending several loops trying and failing to court Rita, he becomes depressed and desperate for a solution to end the loop. He tries numerous times to commit suicide, including going so far as to kidnap Punxsutawney Phil and drive off a cliff with him, but he continuously wakes up to “I Got You Babe” on the radio.

Phil tries to explain his situation to Rita, for whom he has feelings, by accurately predicting the day’s events. Rita sympathizes, and they spend the entirety of one loop together, but Phil wakes up alone as usual. He decides to use his knowledge of the day’s events to better himself and the lives of others; he learns how to play the piano, sculpt ice, and speak French, but is unable to save a homeless man, who dies regardless of his actions.

During one loop, Phil enthusiastically reports the Groundhog Day festivities, amazing Rita. They spend the rest of the day together, and Phil impresses her with his apparent overnight transformation and charitable deeds. She successfully bids for Phil at a charity bachelor auction. Phil makes an ice sculpture of Rita’s face, and tells her that no matter what happens, even if he is doomed to continue awakening alone each morning forever, he wants her to know that he is finally happy, because he loves her. They retire together to Phil’s lodgings. Phil wakes to “I Got You Babe” again, but finds Rita is still in bed with him and the radio banter is different; he has escaped the time loop. He tells Rita he wants to live together with her in Punxsutawney.

So here is how day six of our sheltering in place went…

So I woke up today, hearing “I got you Babe”. And you know what, I wasn’t laughing. I serious want this pan epidemic to be over, I want people to stop dying and I really want our joke of a president to actually say something that will reassure me that this is going to stop and I won’t be hearing “I got you Babe“ every morning for eternity.

Yep, there are consequences for all of our actions…

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Five

03/24/2020

This mornings news was a complete dichotomy…

India joins coronavirus lockdown, while WHO warns US’s escalating outbreak could become next global epicentre for COVID-19. Oh, and the POTUS wants churches full for Easter. All of this and more while US hospital are crying out for basic necessities like face masks and gloves. WTF…yes, WTF…I should have just stayed in bed with the pillow over my head. It worked so well for me yesterday.

I guess I wake up hopeful, like many humans and take a look at what’s new in the world. Looking for a glimmer of something that brings a bit of hope into this bleak situation. Thankfully those little glimmers of hope are out there…not so much at the political level but at the everyday human level. Loved this story about another restauranteur helping feed the staff at local hospitals while being closed down indefinitely.

So here is how day four of our sheltering in place went…

  • Walked the resort again with my friend Kristen. Its a bit like a ghost town around here with so many empty lots or shuttered up rigs. That said, it is still a beautiful ghost town with flowering bougainville, bright blue skies, citrus trees loaded with fruit and blooming desertscape.

  • Went on a fruit run around the resort in the golf cart with my walking pal. Meyers lemons, ruby grapefruit, oranges and tangerines filled our baskets and bags. The picture above is own lemon tree which is loaded too. There is going to be some serious juicing over the next few days and one thing is certain… there will be no scurvy here matey… argh….!!!
  • Made a nice chopped salad and ate outside on the patio with Wally while Bentley entertained us. Not sure why but our crazy mutt loves playing with lemons. If he sees them sitting on the table, he will whine until we roll one his way. Then he gets silly… play bowing, growling, nose bumping and jumping on the poor defenseless lemon. Then he picks it up, carries it around, nibbles on it and makes funny faces. The best part is he is smiling and has lemony fresh breath after all that!
  • Did laundry…need I say more. Yawn…
  • Wally worked on little projects around the coach.
  • Chatted with my Mom the phone. Got her grocery and necessities list, then spent a frustrating hour and a half trying to find the things she wants online. I use the Instacart App to do her grocery shopping and was amazed I could get her order delivered the same day in Mesa Az. Here in the Coachella Valley it is next to impossible to get anything delivered.
  • Had a glass or two of wine with friends on our patio, okay, there may have been a couple of bottles involved but these are stressful times. Yes, we did sit six feet apart, had separate bottles, glasses and appetizers. I bleach cleaned everything before and after …
  • Ordered take out sushi with our friends John and Kristen. Love our local Otori Japanese restaurant and gladly support them while they struggle to stay open.
  • Wrote this blog post and edited pictures.
  • Frig is still full…not sure what I am making for dinner tomorrow…but its gotta included some of the fresh veggies that I should have used for dinner tonight. Another uneventful day…so far, so good for day four. Hope all of you are healthy and sane…I love hearing from everyone so please leave a comment and let us know how you are surviving in these crazy times.

FYI… some might find this video objectionable but I suspect most of you will be laughing out loud. Honestly, there is more than a grain of truth in between the not so subtle mockery.

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Four

03/23/2020

Monday started off on a high note by a knock on the door at 8 am. By our standards that is early and no one who knows us well would come a knockin. So as I lay there in a groggy but now almost awake state, Wally jumped up and threw on some clothes…well, I think he did but I was still buried under my pillow! I was still there under my pillow when he crawled back in mumbling “delivery”. High note… it was a wine delivery!!!!

What, now that is good news! We frequent, both in person and online at a really great wine shop in sleepy Anacortes Washington. Doug, who is one of the owners/founders of Compass Wines has an incredible palate and a equally incredible marketing talent. We received frequent emails like the one below:

“Technically, I know this is wrong, but it sure tastes like it. The White Burg we ran a couple weeks back was literally sold out before we opened the doors that day, so here is a bit of a solace for those who missed out. This one comes not from Burgundy, but rather, Piedmont. The land of Nebbiolo (Langhe, in this case) is also a great growing medium for Chardonnay. Bright an mineral driven, with green apple and pear, lemon rind and just a kiss of flinty smoke. Beautifully balanced and much more complex and sophisticated than the price would dictate. We bought every bottle imported into the state, and that was just shy of 20 cases. At this price, I would jump on that mouse ASAP.“

Ca’ Del Baio Luna D’Agosto Langhe Chardonnay 2018 $12.99

Yep, I jumped on that mouse for sure and this little gem was one of three cases of white wine we had waiting for us in Ancortes. Normally we would just pick up everything when we roll back in to Anacortes but given the current state of affairs, it seemed prudent to have them shipped to us in California. I can do without TP but no wine…that is a horrifying prospect. Thanks Compass Wines – you were the high note of the day!!!!

So here is how day four of our sheltering in place went…

  • Walked the resort with my friend Kristen. Luckily our interior roads have very little traffic so we are able to stay six feet apart, still yak and get in about 3 miles! I love the smell of the citrus tree blossoms especially after it rains which it did last night.

  • Wally took Bentley to the desert for a run. Bentley doesn’t care to hike anymore or go on long boring walks but instead prefers to run with wild abandon, chase bunnies, vistit with his old man crow who drops in during their walks and carry a stick around in his mouth. There are huge tracts of land on the edge of Cathedral City where a man and his dog can walk without ever seeing another human.
  • Spent a couple of hours unpacking and bleach wiping three cases of wine. This virus puts a whole new meaning to “bottle flu”! We have one cabinet in the coach where we store wine and it holds about three cases of wine, some beers and hard cider. I also have another hidey hole under the sectional couch that I store all kinds things like seltzer water, cases of black beans (post apocalypse), more beer and now more wine.
  • Attended a teleconference Board of Trustees meeting for our community. Since the Governor’s shelter in place order, the board has had to make some tough decisions about how to continue the operations of the community while balancing the safety of our staff. Club houses, events, the hair salon, the poolside coffee bar, the Bar, satellite pool restrooms…all closed. Essential services remain as does our access to sports courts and the golf courses. I know, all first world problems is what you are thinking but these types of decisions are happening all around the world. Peoples livelyhoods are hanging in the balance. We are personally grateful to be in this community right now and the remaining owners would be happy to do whatever it takes to keep our little oasis functional.
  • Played three kick-ass games of pickleball. Bleach wiped all the equipment and the chairs I sat in – which were 6 feet from the other players FYI.
  • Had a glass or two of wine with friends on our patio as yes, wait for it, we sat 6 feet apart.
  • Chatted with a girl friend in Mexico. Our counties are going through very similar poor Presidential crisis leadership. Seems their State Governors are left to make all the decisions as well and plead for resources.
  • Fixed carne asada tacos, black beans (cause we got a case of them) and a spicy southwest slaw for dinner.
  • Wrote this blog post and edited pictures.
  • Frig is still full…not sure what I am making for dinner tomorrow…but its gotta included some of the fresh veggies we have stockpiled. By far our most mellow day but so far, so good for day four. Hope all of you are healthy and sane…I love hearing from everyone so please leave a comment and let us know how you are surviving in these crazy times.

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Three

03/22/2020

Driving down Hwy 111 after our hike this morning was surreal. Very few cars on the road, a bit like Christmas but some retail store and grocery stores were open. I can’t help but think of the financial impact this virus will have on people in our small valley and all over the world. So many small store fronts shuttered, closed up tight, shades drawn. I suspect there are so many of these small business that will never reopen.

What seems to be thriving are fast food restaurants. By 11:30 there were lines starting at many we passed by. I have mixed feeling about restaurants being open and the people it puts at risk. Is the need for a paycheck going to outweigh the risk of becoming sick or passing the virus to unsuspecting patrons.

One fast food chain making a difference today is Chick-fil-A…I know, not a chain loved by everyone for their long history of donating to charities with anti-LGBTQ stances. I’ve read that Corporate has changed the focus of their philanthropy donations and hope that is true. I was delighted to read that a franchise owner in Vancouver Washington has a big heart. He and his team delivered 1,000 meals to Washington hospital employees who have been working tirelessly amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Maybe humans aren’t a failed race after all!!!

So here is how day three of our sheltering in place went…

  • Hiked the Araby Trail with friends Katie and Dean today. This heavily trafficked out and back trail took these hikers up a 900 ft elevation gain less than half way through the 3 mile hike. Yep, I was sweating and huffing a bit but the payoff was great views of the valley and a chance to check out the house built for Bob Hope in 1979. This 23,000-square-foot house is legendary for its unusual design and it is certainly is a architecture marvel. The vast copper roof slopes upward from three points to meet at a crater-like circular skylight opening over the home’s spacious interior terrace. Wedged between each of the three slopes is a massive rounded concrete shell-like arch hanging over the home’s three entrances and patios, each with enormous glass windows that provide spectacular views of the Coachella Valley, city of Palm Springs, and San Jacinto Mountains.

  • Spent some time on the patio fertilizing all the new plants we had put in January, my flowers and herb pots. Got my gardening fix!!!
  • Fixed a caprese and white bean salad to take to the first meeting of the Quarantini Club.
  • Had virtual happy hour with a friend in Palm Springs who is in the high risk group.
  • Joined in the fun at the first meeting of the Quarantini Club…Four couples from our “compound” met at the pool pergola for drinks and snackies. Each couple sat at a different table at least 6 feet apart. It was a fun first meeting and we all gotta thank Cindy for providing the buffs to help keep everyone safe!

  • Wrote this blog post and edited pictures.
  • Frig is still full and there is some carne asada marinating for dinner tomorrow…so far, so good for day three. Hope all of you are healthy and sane…I love hearing from everyone so please don’t forget leave a comment occasionally!!!