More June Shenanigans

Happy birthday to Rich on the 21st, which also happened to be Father’s Day this year.  A few years ago he wanted a banana cake but as his birthday approached we were on a weight loss regime and he decided he didn’t want it after all. This year he started talking about it again and was going to make it himself. Pretty sad, huh? I said I would be happy to make him a cake and I did. He was actually quite pleased with it.  🙂  We had a quiet day since we couldn’t go out to eat or do anything much. He heard from family and friends and seemed content to watch another year click by.105484633_10216912552902509_7095945994596150232_n

We picked up another box from Comeback Creek Farm and stopped by the Richardson Farmer’s Market on the way home. We have been enjoying all of the great produce.

One day I received a soft envelope in the mail from my friend Bonnie in VA. I couldn’t imagine what she was been sending me, but when I opened it up, it was a funny anti Trump mask. Perfect! I’ve been knitting and Rich made a sourdough starter so he’s been baking bread. And we’ve continued to have lots of good meals, of course.

Big Day Out

I have hardly left my house since mid-March when the virus began to spread through Dallas and we were told to stay home. Rich does the grocery shopping and other than taking walks or driving to places to walk, I have maintained my distance. Well, we did go see the kids in Tyler twice, too. 🙂

Saturday we had several errands to run. We had ordered a box of peaches from “The Peach Truck” which comes in from Georgia once a year. They were delicious last year so we were excited to get them again! We drove over to a hardware store parking lot not far from our house, waited in our socially distanced line with masks on, and picked up our box. The young man in the picture below asked if we had had their peaches before. I said yes, we loved them last year! He pointed at us and said, “You know what we call these people??!! Re-peach offenders!” Everyone laughed and it was pretty cute.

From there we had to stop at CVS for Rich to get some prescription eye drops because he is having laser surgery on his eyes Monday and Wednesday.  I sat in the car while he went into the pharmacy only to return saying that they didn’t have his order. The pharmacy tech looked online and apparently the doctor’s office had called it into a different CVS. The tech called that store and they said they hadn’t filled it because they were out. He looked online and gave Rich the number of a different CVS that looked like it had the medication so Rich came back to the car and called. No, they did not have it either. The tech at that store gave him two more to try. We located the closest one, on Lemmon Ave, and thankfully they had it.

Then we stopped at the farmer’s market, again socially distanced and masked…whew, it is such a hassle but we are trying to be careful! Rich decided to get some coffee from a local roaster and we picked up our favorite bread. From there, we dropped off the Get out the Vote postcards I’d finished, and went to Target to pick up a speaker we’d ordered. I had not been in Target or any other big store in months! It felt really weird to me to be there but it was not super busy, surprisingly, since Texas is basically “opened back up” and it was Saturday. We looked around a little bit just to see if we could see anything we wanted but we left otherwise empty-handed. Finally to the CVS on Lemmon to get Rich’s prescription. We were gone almost 3 hours and it felt like I had re-entered the world!

Came home and Rich made us some eggs to go with the fresh bread we toasted.  It was especially good because we had fasted the day before! The peaches are not quite ripe and  you’re supposed to take them out of the box and lay them out till for a couple of days. I remember last year–one day they were not quite ripe and the next day they were suddenly ready to eat! Rich asked me how many peaches I thought we had and I guessed 60. There are actually 78 of them! We will be eating a lot of peaches, making cobblers and jam, and freezing some for later. Yum.

Kindness All Around

Not far from our house on yesterday’s walk, we chanced upon a man sitting in his yard. Nearby was a lemonade stand with several coolers set out in front of it. He was on the phone so we waved and he said hi and we kept going. At first I thought maybe his kids were selling lemonade but they’d gone in the house for a minute and left Daddy in charge. Then Rich noticed that someone had written “free drinks” on the sidewalk.  The man said, “please take something–there’s water, lemonade and fruit punch!”  I said I’d make a donation, but I wasn’t carrying any cash. He said, “No, no, it’s free! Take one!”  So we both reached into a cooler and grabbed a lemonade to take with us on our walk. Just a guy making a little difference in his neighborhood, but it really touched us that he had an idea and made it happen.

As we continued our walk, I was thinking about all of the kindnesses that have been shown to us during this time.  I know my volunteer agency needs help and yet the volunteer coordinator has been so kind and gracious about my desire to stay home. She still calls to check on me even though she knows I am not coming in. And she’s always been a little bit gruff so I appreciate her kind attitude. 🙂 My friend Susan sent me some of my favorite teas and emails me almost daily so we can continue our years’ long conversation about life. My friend Judi is making homemade masks to donate to those who need them, and sent two each to Rich and me. We’ve received cards in the mail just to say hi. One of my ex’s cousins regularly calls to check on us. Local friends have offered to run errands or pick up groceries. Of course, the kids call and text and Zoom with us but sometimes one of the grandkids will initiate a call or message on their own and that warms my heart! It’s a trying time in so many ways but I also feel that people are beginning to focus on emotional connections and reaching out more than they might have in the past. With hardships, maybe growth does come if we look for it and embrace it as much as we can. That is not to downplay the very real issues that are being exposed right now,and that’s another long, long post, but to express a hope that those of us who are able to make a difference will take it upon ourselves to do so.

Yesterday we went to the small farmer’s market near our house and purchased bread and soap. We appreciate the vendors who are willing to come out and put themselves at risk and know that it is a worry but they have to make a living. And here are a few more pix from our lemonade walk. See if you can pick out some additional kindnesses along the way.

 

 

Farmer’s Markets

This weekend we realized that the farmer’s markets are still open as “essential businesses.” We decided to get up at a reasonable hour this morning and go to one small nearby market and the big downtown Dallas Farmer’s Market.  Of course I did not get to sleep till 4 AM and I had asked Rich to get me up at 8. (Yes, I realize this is not THAT early for many people, but it is for me lately!). He woke me up and I reluctantly dragged my body out of bed.

Masks, check. Gloves, check. Hand sanitizer, check. We had read the rules ahead of time: 6 ft. between customers, bring your own bags, don’t touch anything you are not pretty sure you are going to purchase. We drove to the closer market as it opened and we were among only a few customers and a few vendors, had no trouble following the rules, and bought a few items. Left there and headed downtown to the big market, which was not so big today, but decent. They’d set up a hand washing station at the entrance and a staffer was monitoring how many people came in at a time.  It was not too busy either so we were fine.  Observations: those freaking masks are uncomfortable and make my glasses steam up, the gloves make my hands sweaty, and I hate not being able to smile at people!

We were in a supportive mood and wanted to purchase items from these vendors who are suffering during the shut down.  In our bag: sourdough bread, fresh fancy butter, pickles, several jams, pasta, salsa, strawberries, kale, brussels sprouts, onions, cheese, chorizo. As we left for home, the rain began, followed by hail! Thankfully there was not much traffic so Rich was able to pull under an overpass and wait it out. We came home and had a nice little brunch of the items we’d bought, along with some fruit we already had in the fridge. OMG that bread and butter were really all I needed! That’s all I want to eat from now on.

We were both worn out so naps were next on the agenda. I went to sleep at 2 PM and didn’t wake up till 5.  I’m sure that ruined any chances I had of going to sleep at a reasonable hour tonight, but it was worth it.

Going to Cali

We left Oregon a couple of mornings ago.  A friend texted that she was also in the area and maybe we could meet for lunch in Bend, OR.  She used to live in Homer, AK and we were part of the AK Obama delegation to the national convention in 2008.  We have kept in touch though we have not seen each other since that time; now she is living in Portland but happened to be in the vicinity for the eclipse.  We made arrangements to meet at a coffeeshop in Bend, though I told her we had a long day of driving ahead of us and couldn’t stay for long.  Unfortunately she kept running into traffic delays so Rich and I got to the coffeeshop, waited a bit, ordered our food, ate our food, and waited some more and she was still not there.  I felt bad about it but finally texted her and said we had to move on.  She was understanding but I wish we had been able to connect.  😦

There was a LOT of smoke in Oregon, still quite a few fires burning.  I hope no lives were lost and no major property damage happened.

 

We drove 11 hours that day, which is a huge amount for us old folks who are pretty lazy when it comes to long trips!  But we wanted to make it to Sacramento to spend the night. As we crossed the border into California, all cars were directed to a check point to inspect for fruits and veggies.  Oops.  I wasn’t aware and Rich had forgotten that you can’t bring certain foods into California.  The ag inspector asked us if we had anything and we said yes, we had some cherries in the cooler.  Rich got out to open the cooler in the back seat and realized there were also three lemons sitting right on top.  The inspector confiscated all of it and threw it in the trash. He did thank us for being honest, though, so there’s that.  🙂

 

In Old Sacramento, we stayed over at the Delta King, an old riverboat that’s been made into a hotel.  It was pretty cool and we enjoyed our quiet night there, though we got in pretty late.  The next morning, we had a lovely complimentary breakfast in the restaurant and then made our way down the highway to Rich’s cousin Mary Ethel and her husband Roger’s place in El Dorado Hills. Rich’s sister Vesta had also driven up to meet us there,  and we met ME and Roger’s granddaughter Megan who has been living with them for the past two years attending community college.  It was great to see Mary Ethel and Roger, who are among our favorite people, so genuine and friendly and funny and welcoming.  Megan was delightful, seemingly not minding hanging out with the old folks.  And it was good to catch up with Vesta, of course.

 

The next morning, Mary Ethel and Roger went with Megan to move her into her apartment/dorm at Sacramento State, where she will finish her degree.  Her mom Lisa also came over and Rich had a good time reminiscing with her.  I had never met her but totally enjoyed her as well.  While they all went to Sacramento, Rich, Vesta and I stayed at the house, did some laundry, cleaned up, read, and talked.  Later Mary Ethel, Roger and Lisa returned and we all went out to dinner, talking, telling jokes and laughing some more.  All in all, such a fun visit!  We really do love these people.  🙂

 

Yesterday we drove to Sonora to see Rich’s stepdaughter Hannah who is attending community college there.  We took her to lunch and then to the grocery store to stock up on food for her apartment. We had not seen Hannah in a few years and were happy to have a little bit of time with her.  From there, we drove on to Kingsburg to spend the night with Rich’s sister Vesta, who had dinner cooked for us and we enjoyed another nice night of visiting.

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This morning we drove to Canoga Park, outside LA, to meet Rich’s nephew Jeffrey for lunch.  He’s another one we haven’t seen in awhile so it was really good to have some time with him.  Originally we decided to make a reservation for dinner at a place in LA called Osteria Motto, but to kill some time, we drove through a bit of Hollywood to the huge LA farmer’s market.  Yes, this is us: drive through Hollywood but only go to the farmer’s market.  🙂 It was pretty cool and we wandered around for awhile.  Eventually Rich said he wasn’t really up for dinner after all (we were still full from lunch and had to make a 5:15 reservation for dinner because the only other available times were 9:15 or 9:30).  So we had some flan for dessert at the farmer’s market, picked up some fruit for later, and cancelled our reservation.  Maybe another time, Osteria Motto.

 

We are meeting some friends for lunch tomorrow near I-10, which will be our route home.  Tonight we are spending the night at a hotel nearby so we don’t have to drive far to see them tomorrow.  We’re still not hungry so we brought in our fruit and snacks from the car and Rich made us a margarita. We are chillin’ in the room, lamenting the fact that the hotel does not have HBO so we can’t watch Game of Thrones. 🙂

Tomorrow after lunch with our friends, we will start our trek home.  It’s been such a great trip–we have completely enjoyed every bit of it.  Meanwhile we’ve been watching the news about Hurricane Harvey in Texas. It sounds like it is really bad at the coast.  Thankfully none of our family live close enough to be affected, but we are thinking about those who are suffering through it.  I hope everyone is safe, though I know there are going to be some tragedies and that breaks my heart.