Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Twenty Three

04/11/2020

Well, here we are in day twenty three of this semi-isolation, COVID-19 pandemic, world shutdown.

I was talking with a friend tonight about where we were emotionally twenty three days into our radically altered lives. We are both planners, travelers, love adventure and the loss of these things is real and we grieve them. It got me thinking about the 5 stages of grief – denialangerbargainingdepression and acceptance which are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost or in our case the thing we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling.

Denial – oh yeah baby…this isn’t happening, can’t happen to us, won’t affect us… was where I was most of February and into early March. Anger…yep, started the first week into this crazy lockdown. Bargaining…We want life returned to what is was, we want to go back in time…if only, if only, if only. Depression…absolutely, I felt abject depression. So here we are at Acceptance… begrudgingly, I would say I am there. Not happy about it but at the same time, very grateful we are healthy, financially okay and haven’t lost anyone to this monster virus. It doesn’t mean I am okay with this current/new reality or not knowing what the future looks like it, but trying to learn to live with it. Instead of denying our feelings, we should all be listening to our needs; we change, we grow, we evolve. Perhaps in this altered universe you have started to reach out to others and become involved in their lives. Or perhaps, with all this extra time you are reinvesting in friendships or in your relationship with yourself. None the less, don’t discount that you too may be feeling grief and may be somewhere in one of these stages.




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

  • So my new reality seems to be sleeping until 9:00am or 9:30 am. It could also be I am staying up until midnight or perhaps it’s the new edible I am taking for sleep. None the less, not sure why I would be feeling any guilt about it.
  • Bentley and Wally went to the desert for their walk and also made a drive – thru stop for french fries. I am starting to think this outing is all about the fries and less about the walk!
  • I puttered around outside, pulling all the covers off the furniture and blowing all the debris off the patio. It felt really great to relax in the sun again today.



  • It was finally warm and sunny today so Kristen and I got in 2.8 miles walking around the resort. The face mask thing is really hard to get used to but we are trying to be good and wear the damn things. I took a few photos around the resort…it is so quiet at club houses and pools. It certainly feels strange not to see anyone on the golf courses or at the restaurant by the pool.

  • We had a nice Sesame, Black Bean And Avocado Salad for lunch on the patio.
  • After lunch, I took an 8 mile bike ride with some friends. I was able to sneak up on my duckling friends and get another picture. It’s kinda blurry and another reason I need a new camera with better zoom capabilities.
The little cuties are growing so fast…less duckling fuzz and more adult duck like everyday.


  • Dinner tonite went un-photographed again. We sat out on our shelter in place friends patio for cocktails and decided to order dinner from Tony’s Burgers. After my disappointing burger bun baking episode I was still in the mood for a burger. The Food Network loves this place and that’s how our friends Kristen and John found it. The Mini Blue Moon Burger with garlic and sweet potatoes fries was d’bomb!
  • The veggie selection in the fridge has taken a big hit. The chicken I took out of the freezer is thawing so I am still planning to make a Warm Quinoa Salad with Carrots and Grilled Chicken for dinner on Sunday.
  • A friend told us that the local farmers market is going again and was very well done. There were no long lines, people were required to wear a mask, stand 6 feet apart, the vendors wore masks, you could point at what you wanted and the vendors bagged it, cash was handled with gloves and they said the produce was awesome. Sounds great so we may venture out next Saturday and check it out.
  • Worked on this blog post and edited pictures.
San Jacinto Mountains were finally visible today and have a fresh dusting of snow. I love how the clouds are hovering along the tops of the mountains in the picture above.


Day twenty three was a very nice day indeed … we stayed home and it felt great to be back outside in the sun.

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Twenty Two

04/10/2020

Okay, I know I said that being from the PNW, rain for a few days wasn’t a big deal. Well, today it was drippy most of the day and this is day four of PNW weather. SO, Mother Nature…I am over it…cut it out okay!!!

Given the wet conditions, I declared it to be a pet hair eradication day. No need to be idle here. There was a lot of vacuuming going on at the Road House… Sucia was not impressed.

There was not any new photography today so again you are going to be subjected to my whims. I did get a cute video of the 10 mallard duckling family making a mad dash for the pond. We didn’t see Mrs. Mallard anywhere and Mr. Mallard was clearly paying the brood no attention.

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

  • Wow, I got up early…9:25 am! I was actually awake earlier, but by delaying my actually exit from bed meant I didn’t have to take Bentley out, feed the pets or make coffee. Score!! My bad behavior was rewarded by a simple smoothie for breakfast. Seems expecting the breakfast chef to show up at work three days in a row and take care of all the morning chores is asking too much!
  • Wally and I got in a couple of miles around the resort before the rain drove us inside to clean.
  • Yep, we are leading an exciting life these days. The coach has tile floors and some carpet so cleaning isn’t terribly difficult or long but today I added “deep cleaning” to the chore list. The in-house vacuum makes pet hair eradication (PHE) easier. Trust me, I have tried going directly to the source and just vacuuming the pets but they weren’t amused. We have a washer and dryer on board so most laundry is done at our leisure but today as part of the great PHE exercise, Wally took all of our bedding to the laundry facility here in the resort. Huge washers and dryers make PHE a breeze. The desert is a constant source of dust and since we most often have all of our windows and doors open, dust happens. So dusting happened today too as did cleaning the inside windows and mirrors.
Love these fur bags…but why can‘t she lay on the thrown blankets???



This furbag may have short hair but geez, it is everywhere.


  • After all that cleaning I decided to make a big juicing mess. The fridge was completely empty of fresh orange and grapefruit juice plus the kitchen just looked too clean!
  • We Zoomed with friends Tom and Laurie in Mesa Arizona for happy hour chit-chat. These two are such great friends that they actually took some of their TP stash to my Mom last week. I know, those are good friends indeed.



  • Dinner tonite went un-photographed. Guess I was hungry and just forgot – sorry. It was a simple meal of Blackened Hangar Steak finished with Chimmchurri served with a Broccoli, Red Onion and Blue Cheese Salad. Wally opened a very nice bottle of 2016 Isenhower Grenache.



  • The veggie selection in the fridge has taken a big hit but I have all the ingredients to make a Warm Quinoa Salad with Carrots and Grilled Chicken for dinner tomorrow.
  • Worked on this blog post.

Day twenty two was a bit boring but the coach is sparkling clean! Hoping for a sunny day tomorrow so we can get outside again.

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Twenty One

04/09/2020

More sprinkles and mostly gray skies here today. That didn’t stop us from getting out and going for a drive. Bentley was happy to tag along and got a bit of play time along the Whitewater River. We didn’t hike, it was too drippy but we did do some rock hunting and found a few pretties for the landscaping beds. Next time we will take gloves and get some bigger ones.

We drove back though Palm Springs and Cathedral City. Palm Springs proper was a ghost town while parts of Cathedral City looked like business as usual. Not sure why the difference but PS is really enforcing the masks on while out in public and Cat City…not so much.




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

  • The breakfast chef was feeling his oats AGAIN this morning and whipped up a delicious Chorizo, Brussel Sprout and Potato Skillet Breakfast. It really was more like brunch because someone, ok me…didn’t get up until almost 10:30. Sucia Kitty technically wasn’t up either, so there!!! The amazing aroma woke me up and certainly did lure me out of bed.



  • One of our neighbors, Carolyn, stopped by and brought us these sweet masks she made. She was worried our face gaiters weren’t enough protection.



  • Wally, Bentley and I headed out for a drive to Whitewater Preserve. It’s about a 17 mile drive that takes you up Whitewater Canyon. We love this area, exploring the canyon and its history is fascinating. The area has a long history, dating to just before the pass became a road to the Arizona gold mines. The temptation to strike it rich must have coursed through so many a man …guess it still does. Gold mining however was a hard life as was staking a claim and farming. History makes me appreciate how easy our lives are now. Whitewater Preserve is closed because of this damn virus so we spent our time poking around the river and exploring a few rustic roads.
  • We used the House Party app to have cocktail hour with 4 other couples and play some games. Normally, this foursome would all be together hooting and hollering, chatting and having fun together. We are all here in the resort and this is our only way to get together for awhile yet. This crazy crisis is forcing us all to find ways to connect and stay sane.



  • Fixed Ginger and Green Onion Crab Ramen for dinner. Every summer we have a crab harvesting weekend when we crab ourselves silly, cook, clean and vacuum seal crab which goes in the freezer for the winter months when crabbing is just a distant memory. We LOVE fresh crab and honestly my favorite part of crabbing is jumping in our 13 ft boston whaler which we tow behind our bigger boat, zipping out to where our crab pots are sitting on the bottom of some bay, pulling the pots and waiting, breath held as the pot hits the surface of the water. It’s like playing the lottery, sometime you hit the jackpot and the crab pots are heavy and loaded with vicious crustaceans and sometimes its a bust.
  • The fridge has possibilities but I am fantasizing about sitting in a restaurant, poring over the menu while sipping a cocktail. If nothing else comes out of these troubled times, lets not forget to appreciate the small pleasures in life that perhaps we had been taking for granted.
  • Worked on this blog post and edited pictures from our drive to Whitewater.

Day twenty one felt almost normal. We actually went somewhere…granted we didn’t see a soul and only had one human interaction at a distance.

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Twenty

04/08/2020

The temperature here today was a balmy 65 degrees. A few sprinkles, a lot of big fluffy clouds with beautiful blue skies peeking through at times. Apparently we are in for another couple days of rain which is really unusual here in the Coachella Valley. Having spent the majority of my life in the Pacific Northwest, a few days of rain are nothing.

We are looking for a short drive to do tomorrow if the big rains don’t materialize. I have not left the resort in weeks and am itching to go for a drive.

2018 – Ernie after an epic back country drive in Arizona.


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

  • The breakfast chef was feeling his oats this morning and whipped up a delicious Southwest Frittata finished with Red Chile Sauce. It’s was so delicious….



  • Spent the morning doing mundane things like reviewing a boat insurance policy and adding a few things to my Instacart Costco order for a friend. Friends don’t let friends run out of vodka or basil pesto!
  • Wally and I headed out for a 3 mile walk around the resort. Interesting how much better my allergies are when wearing a mask. That is the upside, I really don’t like wearing it but and have to take a breather (LOL) occasionally.



  • Lunch was a simple fruit smoothie. I accidentally got a chocolate protein powder recently but it actually turned out to be delicious with the fresh fruit juice and frozen berries. This new protein powder, OrGain is plant based, has no added sugar and is organic.
  • Bentley took a much needed trip to the desert for his walk with Wally. No old man crow today which is a disappointment for Bentley and no snakes which was not a disappointment for Wally.



  • We both had a mini spa treatment with my fancy electronic foot tool and a soak in eucalyptus epsom salt. Maybe we are being held captive but our feet should still be treated with love!!
  • With soft tootsies, I donned my fancy face gaiter, helmet and took a bicycle ride with my friend Kristen. We rode about 5 miles before it started to spit rain.
  • We used Zoom again to have cocktail hour with friends. Sadly, we are just four miles apart and under normal circumstances we would be sitting together drinking wine, cooking dinner and solving all the world problems. This is just soooo weird…
  • Tonight was support your favorite sushi restaurant by getting take-out. We love Otori Sushi Restaurant and really hope they make it through this craziness. The only weird thing about getting take out sushi is that all of the sauces come in separate little containers and we don’t know what goes on what – oh well, its sushi adventure!

  • The fridge is full of possibilities, still thinking about making Crab Ramen Noodles for dinner tomorrow… we’ll see!
  • Worked on this blog post.

Day twenty – what?? Well, day twenty was kinda like day nineteen which was kinda like day eighteen….we just stayed home.

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Nineteen

04/7/2020

Our beautiful mountain view was obscured again today by those dark, brooding clouds. The San Joaquin Mountains are definitely getting some snow out of todays rain dump.

The world news today while a bit dark and brooding too did bring a few glimmers of light. After more than 10 weeks, China on Wednesday ended its lockdown of Wuhan. The city where the coronavirus first emerged, the city that has shaken the global economy and thrown daily life into upheaval across the planet is starting to come back to life. If you haven’t already seen the article in the link, its well worth the read.

Medical workers from Shandong Province taking part in a ceremony on Monday before leaving Wuhan. Credit…Roman Pilipey/EPA, via Shutterstock



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

  • The only new picture I took today was the dinner shot. Hey priorities right!!! Does it count that I am researching a new DSLR camera? My top favorite so far is the Nikon D5600 . What I really want is more zoom capability than we currently have on the Panasonic Lumix point and shoot which actually has a great lens so the image quality is pretty darn good. I use my iphone camera the majority of the time so I am hoping all you photographers out there will chime in here with your suggestions or thoughts.
Lassen Volcanic National Park

  • Donned my fancy face gaiter, helmet and took a bicycle ride with my friend Kristen. We rode about 8 miles again today and I wanted to go longer but my hiney and “girl bones” declined to continue….whiny hiney! Good news, I may have actually burned the calories I consumed during happy hour tonight – YAY!!!

Took this photo last week here in the resort.


  • Ralphs Grocery via Instacart delivered a few bags of goods we needed. What’s cool is that I can shop for friends and save us all the exposure of going into a grocery store. Upon delivery to our door, we bleach wiped the plastic bags, brought the bags inside the coach and bleach wiped everything in the bags that we could. I divided the goods and Wally took 2 bags of groceries over to our friends Kristen and John.
  • We used Zoom to have cocktail hour today with friends Dave and Tanya who live in Portland Oregon. There have been many an evening spend sitting around their kitchen island, sipping wine and chatting while Dave cooks. While it doesn’t replace being there with them, it was great to see their smiling faces.

Hiking Joshu Tree National Park in February with our foodie, travel buddies.


  • Tonights dinner was Pork Mole Tamales with a Red Chile Sauce, Cumin Spiced Black Beans and a Cabbage Salad with Fresh Oranges. I did not make the tamales because why would I when I can get the best ones ever from the Tamale Store in Phoenix AZ. They do ship, but so far I have been able to get personal deliveries when we have friends from AZ come visit …Thanks Laurie and Tom!!! The red chile sauce is easy to make using good quality red chile powder. If you have some from Hatch NM…you are a serious red chili fan! I was all out of my hatch blend but Penzeys Spices red chili powder is a fine substitute.

YUMMY in my tummy!!!


  • The fridge is full of possibilities, thinking about making Crab Ramen Noodles for dinner tomorrow… we’ll see!
  • Worked on this blog post.

Day nineteen was mellow and uneventful, the rain pattering outside felt cleansing while we just stayed at home.

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Eighteen

04/6/2020

The San Joaquin Mountains were socked in with dark, brooding clouds today. Rain was threatening all day but didn’t do more than mist us a few times. Tuesday and Wednesday look promising for a good down pour through out the day. Guess I will be looking for some indoor projects the next two days.

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

  • Wally and I slept in because, well we were just exhausted I guess. I think this stay at home order is turning us into cats but without the superior grooming habits.
  • I didn’t take any new pictures again today except the one of my buns… NO, I wouldn’t do that to you…Hamburger buns. So now that we have that cleared up…you are going to get some more random pictures that make me happy.


  • Used Zoom to call into a Board Meeting….yawn, maybe I should say bored meeting.



  • Donned my fancy face gaiter and took a bicycle ride with my friend Kristen. We rode about 8 miles which honestly didn’t burn the calories I consumed drinking wine tonight. I will just have to try harder tomorrow.


  • I had a hamburger craving but no hamburger buns. Normally, a quick trip to any number of nearby grocery stores or a visit to any number of great local restaurants would have solved that dilemma. Fast forward to the sci-fi movie life we are all living, I decided to just make the damn buns. I love to cook, a recipe is a suggestion of how something should be made, ingredients can be substituted, spices can be increased. Being unable to follow a recipe as it is written makes me a very poor baker. I decided that using some whole wheat flour would make these hamburger buns more healthy…OXYMORON.. hamburgers aren’t healthy what was I thinking! So what I ended up with were these anemic “buns” that look like a wasps nest. I even did an egg wash on the top…Well, I actually should have put it on when I put them in the oven, not in the last three minutes of baking. Yes, that is a glass of wine in the background.



  • There was no cocktail hour today…somehow the day got all monkey’ed up, I forgot to eat lunch so an early dinner was more important than a cocktail. But I did open another bottle of wine while I was getting everything ready sooo technically??? You decide.



  • Wally grilled burgers which I served on the anemic wasp nest looking buns. He should get husband of the year award, for many reasons but today it was for eating his delicious hamburger on a homemade bun with enthusiasm.
Now that my friends is a big-ass burger!!!


  • The fridge is full of possibilities, the cilantro is still viable so maybe some Baja Fish Tacos for dinner tomorrow… we’ll see!
  • Worked on this blog post and sifted through photos to find a few that brought a smile to my face.

Day eighteen was mellow and uneventful … we just stayed at home.

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Seventeen

04/5/2020

It was another warm, breezy day here in the Coachella Valley. Admittedly, I slept in later than usual after staying up until 1:30 am the night before. I will also admit to having not one but two edibles before I crawled in bed. As a long time sleep challenged person, I have found cannabis edibles to be just what I need for a good nights sleep. Wished these little gems had been legal in my working days when it was very common for me to lay in bed, wide awake but exhausted, my body desperately needing sleep but my brain unable to turn off. Not sure why I took the second one before I went to bed except I just didn’t want to think anymore. These were a new to me brand and I am here to tell you that I may have had a creepy dream and remember yelling NO to the person/thing that was pulling me under the bed. It’s hard to yell in your sleep but being an over achiever, I got out a really good NO… Wally confirmed that was so! Yelling woke me up and on the trip to the bathroom in those wee hours of the morning I also remember thinking I might have been a high as a kite. Only one gummie tonite…

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

  • Wally and I walked the resort but avoided the golf course today since my allergies have been relentless. I am so fortunate to be allergic to grass and palm tree pollen, go figure!
  • I didn’t take any new pictures today except one of our lunch so you are going to get some random picture that make me happy.
Sunset over the San Juan Islands

  • Shopped in the fridge and used the last of the rotisserie chicken to make a curried chicken salad for lunch. The recipe in the link is a good basic starter but I lightened the recipe by substituting non-fat greek yogurt, lemon juice and just a bit of light mayo for the heavy mayo and wine this recipe calls for. The curried chicken is served over a bed of lettuce. I also garnished with chopped cashews and a chiffonade of fresh basil.


  • We both puttered around outside. Wally worked on a few of his projects. Sunday is fertilizer day for all our new plants so I gave them their weekly dose of miracle grow. The only new plant that looks like hell is my had to have, Madagascar Palm. It looks terrible, like leafless spiny elephant trunks. It has new growth so I am hopeful but honestly don’t know if it needs more water, less water, a trip to the dump??? All of the leaves have fallen off and it doesn’t seem to like the wind…CRAPOLA…hoping it stops being such a prima donna and gets with the program.
It looked so beautiful back in January….

  • I used Instacart to arrange a Ralphs grocery store delivery for myself and Kristen on Wednesday and a Costco order for next Sunday. With my Paprika 3 App, menu planning and creating a shopping list for a week is a snap. Still on TP to be had here in the US…come on people really.
  • Had our cocktail on the patio…neighbors from across the golf course wandered over and we had a nice chat across the wall.

Killer bloodies with my gal pal Donna at Roche Harbor in 2017.

  • Wally fixed a five spice shrimp, broccoli and pepper stir fry served over rice ramen noodles. He is our stir fry chef…I just prepped the veggies and drank wine.
  • The fridge is full of possibilities but starting to thin out. I have a big burger craving and may make some hamburger buns tomorrow… we’ll see!
  • Worked on this blog post and sifted through photos to find a few that brought a smile to my face.
Hiking in Monterey Ca when freedom to travel was the norm.

Day seventeen was mellow And uneventful … we just stayed at home.

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Sixteen

04/4/2020

It was another warm, breezy day here in the Coachella Valley. No more earthquakes but the wind gusts were rocking the coach in the late evening as I sat, struggling to write this blog post. It wasn’t that we didn’t do anything, yep, we did more of the same from the last fifteen days. Honestly, I just can’t seem to find any good news that Mayes we think this is ending any time soon. As I sat, listening to music, toggling across multiple news channels looking for something that would lift my spirits this song by Train came on. The first verse was hauntingly poetic:

I need a sign to let me know you’re here
All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere
I need to know that things are gonna look up
‘Cause I feel us drowning in a sea spilled from a cup
When there is no place safe
And no safe place to put my head
When you feel the world shake
From the words that are said

The second verse kinda just summed up exactly how I was feeling.

I need a sign to let me know you’re here
‘Cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear
I want a reason for the way things have to be
I need a hand to help build up
Some kind of hope inside of me

And the chorus…well, I am up for the challenge if all of you are?

And I’m calling all angels
And I’m calling all you angels
I won’t give up if you don’t give up
I won’t give up if you don’t give up
I won’t give up if you don’t give up
I won’t give up if you don’t give up

The other thing shaking our valley was the latest health order from Riverside County. I just can’t understand with all the facts and data pouring in from all over the WORLD…why so many people aren’t taking this seriously.

“In response to the rapidly rising number of COVID-19 cases, Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser today ordered that no gatherings of any number of people may take place outside of family members residing in the same home.
Dr. Kaiser also ordered everyone to wear a face covering when leaving home, including essential workers.
“While more and more Riverside County residents are getting COVID-19, not everybody’s getting the message,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer. “It started with staying home, social distance and covering your face. But now we change from saying that you should to saying that you must.”

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

  • Wally and I walked the resort and golf courses looking for Turtles. Yes…we have discovered there are turtles living in the pond on the back nine golf course. We have seen three total and actually were able to sneak up on two of them today and get pictures…not good pictures but evidence they exist and its not my red, allergy hazed eyes playing tricks on me. It’s hard sneaking up on turtles especially when they have two huge geese for body guards. They are actually big turtles so I have two think they have been living in that pond for quite awhile. They make me smile!!
  • Made a big batch of chimmchurri with some of the parsley I have growing in my big herb pot on the patio. This simple condiment is an essential part of Argentinean cuisine where a bowl of chimichurri can be found on practically every dinner table. Super tasty, traditional and incredibly easy to make, chimmchurri features fresh parsley, garlic and tangy vinegar. It gets an extra kick from oregano and crushed red pepper. Chimichurri is typically served with steak but it’s also great on lamb, smoky grilled fish and chicken.  Part of this batch was going to marinate some lamb chops with the rest going into a salad dressing for later in the week.
  • Wally went to Petsmart to pick up an online order that I had placed for cat litter. Since Sucia has given Arm an Hammer Cloud her four paw stamp of approval we decided to stock up. It was easy peasy, I placed the order online, Wally called Petsmart from the parking lot, gave them the order number, opened the back hatch of the car and someone brought out the bag of loot, put in in the trunk and off he went. No human contact – same thing repeated at Rubio’s where he picked up lunch. Sadly, this may be how things roll for a long time.
  • People all over the world are getting creative with social media to stay connected. My friend Kristen was feeling blue because she wasn’t able to be with her mother on her birthday today. They have a long history of traveling together on her mothers birthday so today their trip was done with Kristen on a golf cart, her mother Marilyn riding along side her on FaceTime. As they toured around the resort, they stopped and met friends who sang happy birthday or chatted with the birthday girl. So Sweet…Happy Birthday Marilyn!!!
  • Made that new drink, a Bourbon Smash for our outdoor cocktail date with friends. It was very tasty!!
Basil Bourbon Orange Smash
  • Fixed Chimmichuri marinated lamb chops and grilled asparagus for dinner.
  • The fridge is full of possibilities but not sure what I am cooking tomorrow.
  • Worked on this blog post wayyy to late …it was actually Sunday when I finished and went to bed.

Day sixteen was another day of extreme roller coaster emotions. We saw the Riverside County Health Order after our cocktail date. The more I researched and read, the more depressed I felt. The statistical model below is scary and geez…I hope they are wrong …I was hoping we would see this thing fizzle out in early May…but numbers usually don’t lie and humans are by nature non-complaint. I don’t know about you …but I am stayin home!

I won’t give up if you don’t give up
I won’t give up if you don’t give up
I won’t give up if you don’t give up

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Fifteen

04/3/2020

It was another warm, breezy day here in the Coachella Valley. Usually in early April our community would be starting to wind down, the winter season coming to an end, folks would be thinking about going home but it would still be teeming with activity. These days it is eerily quiet, only about a quarter of the 1,213 lots are occupied. Most morning we see walkers or people bicycling but after that its a ghost town.

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

  • Kristen and I walked the resort and golf courses looking for our duckling family. Turns out we now have three mallard families, with 8, 9 or 10 ducklings in each group. That explains why we though one was missing then miraculously reappeared. We found one family napping and grazing on the edge of the pond on the back nine golf course. One family was busy cruising on another pond, mother trying to keep all the little stinkers under control. They are all so adorable…
  • Successfully got my mothers prescription sent to a local CVS pharmacy near her apartment community. With the groovy CVS app I was able to set up an account for her which alerted me when the meds were ready for pick up. I was then able to pay for for it online through the app so the Support Services Manager from her community could go pick it up.
  • Wally actually left the resort today. Our good friends, John and Kristen who we are essentially sheltering in place with have a small plane, whose name is Valentina. John recently signed up with Angel Flight which is an nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization that arranges free, non-emergency air travel for children and adults with serious medical conditions and other compelling needs. Their network of 1,400+ pilots throughout the 13 western states donate their aircraft, piloting skills, and all flying costs to help families in need and they also fly missions that transport critical medical supplies, blood, plasma or donated organs to local hospitals. John needed help doing some maintenance work on plane wheels and landing gear, which is a project Wally was seriously up for! Wally has some flying experience and is excited to fly missions with John as needed. So cool!!! They took the plane up after completing the work and Wally got a few great pictures of nearby Painted Canyon which is an area we have been wanting to hike.
  • Checked in on my friend Pluto. She had some great advice for all they four-leggeds today. Loved the part about not worrying about the button pants!
  • I puttered around outside…it was really breezy again today and my allergies are STILL off the charts despite the daily allergy pills, nasal allergy spray and the allergy eye drops. Not sure why it is so bad this year but the wind is certainly not helping.
  • Got the juicer out and went to town! Put two quarts of clementine, orange and tangelo juice in the fridge as well as a quart of pink grapefruit juice.
  • Made a delicious bourbon drink with some of that fresh OJ and tangerine seltzer water. I want to try a Bourbon Smash tomorrow since I have a beautiful pot of basil growing on the patio.
Basil Bourbon Orange Smash
  • Saw the third mallard family napping near the pond on the green behind our lot while we were enjoying our cocktails on the patio. Wally got a few photos of them after their swim, marching their eight kids all home for bed! I love the shadows he captured in the photo. In the fourth photo, there is an uncle duck helping get the kids home safely. It takes a village!!!
  • Did loads of laundry…boring compared to flying.
  • There were a series of small earthquakes in California tonight … a 4.9 shook the coach pretty good. A friend in Palm Springs texted us and said it sounded like a freight train in their house. Being elevated on big, rubber wheels we didn’t hear anything but having lived in SoCal in the early 90’s we are no strangers to these shakers. That red splotch on the earthquake map is about where we are…eek!
  • Fixed Pork Carnitas Tacos with Hatch Green Chile Black Beans for dinner. Great way to use up the pork tenderloins we grilled the other night.
  • The fridge is full but not sure what I am cooking tomorrow. Maybe lamb chops…???
  • Worked on this blog post while some aftershock quakes rumbled.

Day fifteen was the most eventful day so far especially all the shake, rattle and rolling later in the evening. I think Mother Nature is extra cranky with all of us disrespectful humans messing up her planet or maybe she is reminding us to just stay the hell at home. Hoping she gives Florida and Louisiana a big shake too!

Sheltering in Place – A Diary of Virusapocalypse: Day Fourteen

04/2/2020

The warm days are bringing Painted Lady Butterfly’s by the droves. Last winter we had a lot of rain, a super bloom of flowers and Painted Ladies by the millions. Not exaggerating, millions…they floated, swooped and swished past our coach for days on end in March. This year we have had some rain, some flowers and now some Painted Ladies. They are late this year, here it is April and we are finally seeing them float through, coasting on the winds and headed for who knows where they finally land in their migration. While we were doing our resort walk today we passed by a lantana bush that was attracting dozens of these beauties. They were taking a break on the flowers, enjoying the nectar then moving on. Like they were visiting a coffee bar… I can kinda remember what that is like.

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

  • Wally and I walked the resort looking for notable fruit producing trees. We took a spin through the orchard and came home with our pockets filled with Mexican limes. These tangy little numbers are growing in the middle of our orchard, surrounded by grapefruit, lemon and orange trees. We discovered them last week when we walked through but this week the ground was littered with them. So excited… I just used the last of my limes so these are a welcome addition to the kitchen. They start off green and are actually supposed to be yellow when they are ripe.
  • Spent an enormous amount of time online looking at my mothers lab results, texting with my nurse friend Jane in Portland and trying to figure out how to get her prescription delivered.
  • Sucia got a mani – pedi today. Sorry no pictures of that …its kinda hard to photograph this kitty spa treatment. She required two human attendants. I administer the spa treatment while Wally stuffs Temptation Treats in her mouth. The treats keep me from being handed my ass on a platter.
  • Not doing much cooking today with my diced finger…Wally made eggs and toast for breakfast and then smoothies for lunch.
  • Puttered around outside…it was really breezy today and my allergies are off the chart. Extra allergy meds, nasal allergy spray and hopefully some allergy eye drops that are in the Ralphs grocery delivery will do the trick.
  • Met friends for golf cart cocktails in one of our big grassy common areas. We all parked 6-10 feet part, chatted, sipped beverages and played trivia.
  • Wally make Cubano Sandwiches with the left over pork tenderloin from last night. We had some coleslaw on the side so it was a tasty, simple dinner.
  • We sat outside after dinner and Bentley entertained us with his new zesting skills. You have seen him in action with lemons but tonight he really put a hurting on a pink grapefruit and a small orange. He had us giggling with his “fruit” face but what was really impressive was his lovely citrus breath!
  • The fridge is fat and happy …Alexis, our Instacart shopper came mid-afternoon with a order from Ralph’s Grocery store which is in the Kroger family of stores and is very similar to a Fred Meyer. I love this service and may honestly never shop again!!! We did give her a very nice cash tip in addition to the pre-assigned tip on the Instacart app.
  • Worked on this blog post and thankfully I didn’t need my thumb to type.

Day fourteen. – WHAT – was fairly uneventful. I am really missing our hikes and day trips around the valley but am satisfied to stay home if it helps keep our little valley healthy. Wondering what all ya’ll are doing to stay healthy and sane? PS.. please tell me you are staying home too???