Friday, April 17, 2020

Monday Through Friday

Today is Monday. Sometimes a friend will make a post and state the date, the day of the week, and it's never failed to be a good service for me. I'm shaken out of a fog, and make a connection with our place in time and space. I thank them for the kindness. It almost doesn't matter any more, but then there are critical moments when it matters very much, like when a bill is due, or a class is meeting, when I've determined to catch a live discussion online. These instances, small yet insistent, are reminders of the days BC, and I like them less and less.

Today is Monday, and we have an Easter to celebrate, because Bambi can join us in the house. Maria saved up the ingredients to bake a lemon cake, and we are going to make other favorite dishes, and count blessings, like our good health, and being together, safe, with interesting things to do to fill the long hours.

We saved this new to us recipe for the day... we learned from a Basics With Babish, Chickpeas episode. Here's the deal, and it's as easy it sounds, and tastes great... you can drain the water from a can of garbanzo beans and make fluffy meringue! Aquafaba, friends, is magic. And probably everyone knew this, and we are just catching up... but I am no less thrilled and effusive.

We added sugar and vanilla, and I think it's like a lightly toasted marshmallow.

This is William's Easter gift to us... no, you can't bite this chonk of chocolate. William 3D printed and painted the cute thing! The young folks enjoyed the meme-ness of it, and that was fun, hearing them laugh about "big chungus"

Today is Tuesday. More sun. More drying out from the flood.
Liberty, Pepper or Pippi, and Trillian... all looking resplendent and well. Such good chicas.

And Emma Thompson, such a winsome lady, so dignified. She is a cuckoo maran, just like Liberty. Their eggs are not as dark as typical of the breed, but still a silken chocolate brown, and very pretty.

Today is Wednesday. Cairo, I imagine, feels like me that the news, conditions around the world, are too much. We have entered an age of comeuppance, it would seem. Do I want to believe that? I don't know. Sometimes I believe we will all come out of this as better people, and we will embrace the earth, and forego plastic forks, and feed each other from our gardens, and then I see another headline, tweet, press conference (aka IncomPotus {c}lan rally) and the despair it drops on me is unbearable.

Sorry. After that election, I imagined the worse, but I did have hope. The hope is fading, fast.


What was I saying? Yes, it's Wednesday.

Do you know what I love about Wednesdays? On Wednesday trucks come around, and they take away our garbage. It's miraculous! Those good people whisk away our recycling, our dirty odds and ends, and refuse, and we... we get a cleaner slate. I love it.

I am going to come out of quarantine as a hippie, a crone. Hold on... what the what? A crone is an "old woman who is thin and ugly"? Hell no, patriarchy! I am coming out of quarantine as a Crone... older, wiser, helpful, clever, caring, gray, with hands marked by work and craft, and living, and with my light still shining. And I am going to take my calendula and make healing ointment, mend my dresses, make aquafaba meringues, and listen to my Grand Mothers.

My Grand Mothers taught me to make tortillas, and quilts, to sew, to crochet, to heal, to go on long walks, to keep gardens, to know the names of flowers, read books, to listen with appreciation to the sound of running water at the sink full of dishes, to paint, to listen, to share.

On Wednesday, Bambi's dogs came for a visit, for baths and nail trims, and running around. It was good for all of us. Well, almost all of us. Cairo scrammed, and Feynman bristled. But the rest of us, even Sakamoto, had a fine visit with Chica and Pippy.

Oh, Cairo! It's Thursday. Let's see... anything? Max and Maria will have some school work, and Geoff probably has a meeting. There will be PPE to work on, a garden to water, chicks and goats, and laundry to tend. Beans to cook. Yeah, ok. It's not exactly too different from yesterday, or tomorrow. And for how long? We don't know. Fine. You can go back to sleep, kitty. The day can start at 7, or 8 or 10. It's ok.

Terrible things are happening... death tolls, job losses, broken systems, heartsick families, stress, division, isolation, grief, anguish. The numbers are hard to conceptualize, the statistics shift, and grow, a name stands out, then is lost in the shuffle of more tragedy, more losses. Something that breaks me, are the accounts of people dying alone, without their loved ones, in hospitals, or makeshift facilities, hooked up to ventilators, intubated, exhausted. What a weight on the healthcare workers who care, who tend, who have to keep moving forward. What a toll on families who cannot hold a loved one, say goodbye.

This baby bird fell from the nest, at our feet... and all of my sorrow and sympathy, all of my grief poured out over her, as she flailed and struggled. I held her, out of the harsh sun, as gently as I could, and prayed on her all of the comfort and peace I could imagine and hope for, until her very last breath. The intimacy of one death, close at hand, can mirror countless losses and sorrow, and I cried for all of them.

We are all one under heaven.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter and Beans and Tortillas

Easter was... interesting. Officially, Sunday April 12, was Easter. But one thing that was decided by Max and Maria, Alex, and William, was that we would celebrate on Monday, because Monday would be the end of Bambi's isolation. So, Monday Maria would bake another lemon cake, and we would make favorite dishes, like falafel and hummus, and Galaxy's Edge flatbread, which Alex has mastered. Sunday, we did other things.

For one, I cleaned the goat and chicken run. I am not going to make any attempt at false modesty or humble observations of this chore. After flooding rain, and weeks of regular storms, the labor of mucking out mud and soaked straw was colossal. It was fricking intense and smelly and humbling, and hurty. That's the truth, and my reward was sweat, blisters, pain, and aches (pain and aches are unique symptoms and I will list them separately), and a really fresh and pleasant home for Chicas and goats... I couldn't stop admiring, with satisfaction, how greatly improved I made everything. I even made a new nest area, and hauled out the sadly ruined old rabbit hutch. Just look at Ada's smile! Isn't that the look of thanks and appreciation? Thank you, Ada, you're welcome. Happy Easter, dear ones.

Other Sunday things included making beans, and flour tortillas for dinner. But Max made us lunch, and that was a nice treat. He fixed us hot dogs, and we still have sauerkraut... thank goodness! We love Claussen's sauerkraut, and pickles. We did not have buns, but thanks to Janece and Paul, we had oven warmed sourdough bread.

(Shopping is a whole other thing, right?? We aren't going out. Not much. I went to the nursery and picked up plants, but totally remotely, all of the orders and payments were done over the phone. Gloves, mask, and everything washed down when I returned home. And thank goodness for them, for how easy they make that. Yeah, we are being extra careful... for the sake of the PPE, and because some of us have conditions that make us high risk. Janece and Paul went to Costco, and they shopped for us. These are the things people are doing, right? The new normal, we call it. They masked up and got on the gloves, and ventured out, and we were at home, like we were remotely observing a moon landing... They're on the moon! They've landed! They're stepping out of the capsule! And us, on our little planet, wondering what they will see, what they will bring home! They're saving us! Shopping day is so weird and miraculous. We know how to Venmo, now, and we make an assembly line in the driveway to wash bananas, and clean milk cartons! It's Little House in the Big Woods! Paul and Janece return from the hunt, and we render the bear! We still have frozen brisket. We count the cans of beans, and we all exclaim gleefully because they brought chocolate Easter bunnies, sourdough bread. They're part of our team, helping us do what we can... our community is so good. And shopping is so weird, and miraculous.)

We lost Internet. BC, that would have been inconvenient, but when it's our school and work tool, it's really inconvenient. The cable company had to shut us down, something about old wiring. And they sent someone out on Sunday. Poor guy. He couldn't come in the house to make a finished, neat update, and luckily Geoff was able to consult with him, and something was hacked together to get us back online. We have a long cable flung over the roof, and hanging across our entry, into a window... like a cable bypass operation. It seems to be working, at least.

And, no matter what else is going on, there is always PPE. Maria and Alex got on the assembly line and prepared the clear shields. They get hole punches and the corners get curved. I kept up the job of de-burring all the edges of the shield frames. I spend about 10-12 minutes on each frame. On Monday, we will have enough to order a pick up, that will be delivered to a local hospital, and Bambi will be out of isolation, and we will have our Easter.