Saturday, October 17, 2020

Masks R Us

 We are two weeks into Phase 3 in North Carolina, and coronavirus case numbers continue to climb. Later next week Governor Cooper will announce whether the state will remain in this phase, or perhaps regress to one of the earlier phases. Regardless of what he does, I think mandatory mask wearing is here to stay for quite a while. That being the case, I decided to go ahead and make some seasonal masks for myself.

Recently I completed a Halloween, fall, two Christmas, and winter masks. I'm trying to maintain my sense of "glass half full" attitude, so I didn't go on to Valentine's Day or St. Patrick's Day, or beyond that to Easter. Hopefully those fabrics will only have to come out if I decide to make a holiday-themed quilt. I still don't enjoy wearing a mask for long periods of time, but at least I am giving others something fun to look at while I'm doing it!

holiday face masks

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Finding Fall


maples in St. Louis
One of the things I miss about living in the Midwest is the incredible fall foliage we experienced. Even walking around our neighborhood you could see a burst of colors from red, to orange to yellow. We moved during the fall last year, and the colors were poor to say the least. North Carolina had been in a drought, so that impacted the changing leaves. Even a drive to the higher elevations did not result in any pretty colors to photograph.

Tuesday we decided to see what colors were happening in the Beech Mountain area, which is about a two and a half hour drive from here. The colors were fairly vibrant, but mostly yellows. I guess that there are not too many maples in North Carolina. I want to research that a bit, as I would like to plant a couple in our yard if they can grow okay here.

At any rate, it was a pretty day for a drive. It looks like COVID will limit our travel for the foreseeable future. Our coronacations will consist of local drives for the most part. Luckily, our location is great for making day trips to see the beauty of this state.

leaf peepers

One year ago today we signed the closing papers on our new home on Mountain Island Lake. I have not regretted for one moment our decision to make the momentous move from the city that had been our home for our entire 41 years of married life to a place where we knew no one. It has been an incredible journey!

signing the papers

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Waves of Grief

sunrise on Mountain Island Lake
For the most part, I think I am still in denial about the fact that my only sister is dead. But for some reason, last Tuesday reality hit me like a tsunami. My husband was out of town, and I woke up very early in the morning. Sensing that additional sleep was out of the question, I made some hot tea, got dressed, and then grabbed my camera to catch the sunrise on the lake. 

I felt my sister's presence as I watched the night turn into day. It was comforting but sad at the same time. I wish that she had gotten the opportunity to come here for a visit as she would have loved sitting and looking at the lake with me. Thanks to COVID, she was not able to do any traveling as she was afraid of contracting the virus.

All day I felt very weepy, though a call from my niece helped as we could talk about the way we are both trying to deal with Kathy's untimely passing. Planting some fall flowers made me feel better, but playing pickleball with my ladies group here in the community was just a bit too overwhelming for me. I left after a few games. Maybe I just felt guilty for living when my sister had her life cut short. 

After I got home, my phone buzzed with a message from one of the sweetest women in my neighborhood. She said she had left something on the porch for me. Opening the door, I found a lovely card and a beautiful plant. She wanted to tell me that she and her husband were thinking about me. I texted her to let her know her timing could not have been more perfect as I had been feeling so down. It was a gentle reminder to me that I should be appreciative and enjoy my time with the living before it is too late.

sympathy greetings from friends

Friday, October 2, 2020

North Carolina Phase 3

Mount Holly Farmers Market
Governor Cooper has moved North Carolina into Phase 3 of easing restrictions imposed due to COVID19. Beginning today at 5:00 p.m., we will remain in this phase until at least October 23rd. Essentially Phase 3 enables meeting spaces to host functions (subject to restrictions), large outdoor venues of 10,000 or more capacity to open at 3% capacity, bars can only open for outside beverage consumption at 30% capacity or 100 people (whichever is less), movie theaters may open at 30% capacity, and amusement parks may open at 30% capacity, but only for outdoor attractions. All other restrictions in Phase 2.5 remain in effect during this phase.

Today marks day 134 of Safer at Home and day 191 of overall restrictions. The number of cases continues to be grim. To date, North Carolina has had 215,000 cases and 3,625 deaths. In the United States there have been 7.35 million cases and 208,000 deaths. Worldwide there have been 34.4 million cases and 1.03 million deaths. 

Today also marks the day that President Trump and his wife Melania announced that they have tested positive for the virus. It is an unfortunate turn of events, but perhaps just the thing that Americans need to hear to take a more proactive stance on keeping themselves and others safe from COVID. Too many people think this is either fake news or just a virus that is no worse than the flu. Apparently over a million deaths worldwide does not do the trick.