Currently…

It’s pretty quiet around our house after our very busy summer. Too hot to walk so I started doing laps in the pool again. Not as interesting and no pix to share! Thanks for the fun cards and letters, Linda, Martin & Alex, Susan, Donna, and Paul. I joined a nonfiction book club and these are the most recent books, both very interesting! Made a photo book of our awesome Chicago trip. And some of my pandemic knitting. 😊 Plus some thoughts.

Snow Day

I interrupt the blog catch-up to report that Texas is having quite a winter snowpocalypse. Apparently our state is not on the national electricity grid, having chosen to “go it alone” as we are wont to do. Unfortunately, we have also failed to take precautions for major events like the current very low temps and out of character weather. I read that, in its wisdom, the state government opted out of having backup plans for problems like this, thinking that a large scale outage in 2011 was a “once in 100 years” event and we wouldn’t have to worry about it again. Well, at least not the “we” who are living.

At first we were told there would be “rolling blackouts” to preserve the grid from being overloaded. It was estimated that people’s electricity would be out for 15 to 45 minutes at a time, no big deal. This was yesterday and some homes have been without electricity for over 24 hours now, some for partial days, some for sporadic periods. Others have no electricity AND no water. Somehow, we are among the fortunate who still have both. We have cranked down the thermostat to do our part in conservation and have taken the usual cold weather precautions. Thankfully we don’t have to be anywhere and can just hunker down at home. My couch and my warmest blankets and socks have been my best friends. I’ve been knitting and Rich made soup. We’re trying to keep up with family and friends in various parts of TX and beyond.

I am worried about those who have no home or whose homes are so cold they are having trouble managing. The city has opened “warming stations,” but you can only go for awhile to warm up and charge your devices, no overnight stays. The homeless shelters are full. Plus the roads are bad and we’re advised not to get out. No good choices for people who are suffering; once again all of the inequities of society are revealed.

I feel like I make everything political but to me everything does have a political element to it. Why should TX be allowed to opt out of the federal electricity grid? Weren’t our officials recently threatening (once again) to secede, but now they want emergency help from DC? Why do we not have better infrastructure and emergency preparedness locally, statewide, nationally? Why are some people always at more risk than others?

In a year full of somewhat avoidable difficulties, here’s another that could have been mitigated if we could be a bit more forward looking. Why is that always too much to ask?

Quarantine Happenings

Oh, this is dragging on so long. I don’t know when we will feel like we can go out and about without taking precautions….next year sometime?? I am getting weary of it. As of yesterday, Dallas County had 76,607 confirmed cases in total, with 986 deaths. The slightly good news is that we have experienced a small decline in cases but it remains to be seen what will happen with some students returning to school.

We are being somewhat productive, at least. After power washing the fence recently, we bought some stain and started working on that project. I’m writing postcards for one of our Congressional candidates, Dr. Carolyn Salter, and I added a darker shade of grey into my scarf because I am working with scraps of yarn and didn’t have enough of the lighter color. We will see if it looks okay in the end. 🙂

It’s not so hot in the mornings right now so I got in another walk and had my first “pumpkin on a porch” sighting. In my mind, it’s a little early, but I know some people really get into decorating for the season.

Rain, Bamboo and Wasps

I haven’t walked in a couple of days because we had a big rain storm Saturday and we spent a lot of Sunday trimming the VERY overgrown bamboo along our backyard fence. As we were gathering up the cuttings, I felt a sharp sting in my back and saw a wasp flying away. I haven’t had a bee or wasp sting in many years and it sure did hurt! At that point, I told Rich I was finished for the afternoon.  🙂

Also Sunday I had a Zoom call with my monthly knitting group–it was fun to catch up with everyone and see what they’re working on. I, of course, am still on my same simple scarf but I am making progress.

We received some cards in the mail, which I always enjoy. Talked with my mom on Sunday, as is our habit. Checked in with the kids at various times. Watched “Joker” which we had never seen, and found it quite disturbing but I have to say as a social worker I could certainly empathize with the character’s back story.  “Slumdog Millionnaire” is another movie we’d never seen so we watched that as well. It was not what I expected having only seen a brief trailer with the cast dancing in the street…totally misleading. haha Liked it, too, and it reminded me of a book I read called Behind the Beautiful Forevers about families living in terrible poverty in the landfills of India. What a world we live in where children are so disposable (in many countries, including our own).

Hey, September!

We returned from vacation and hit the ground running, back to the routine and busy as ever.  I rejoined my knitting group after missing all summer and finally finished a scarf to be donated. We cleared out our garden plot, getting ready to plant for fall.  I picked Jack up from school one day and he spent the night another night, requesting a trip to the thrift store. He’s my thrift store soulmate. We made another big haul and came home with lots of goodies, then I took him to meet some of his little buddies at a gym class. My friend Kathy and I went to see Alex Counts on a book tour–he was the founder of the Grameen Foundation and formerly worked for an organization called RESULTS with which I was also involved years ago in Abilene. I told him we were probably on some of the same conference calls.  🙂

Not pictured: visits with local kids and their parents, workshop with the Funky East Dallas Dems to begin work on 2020 elections, really fun dinner with friends, my usual volunteer work on Tuesdays, met with a trainer at the YMCA, working the Census, trying to keep up with chores! Happy September, everyone! What are you up to?