Thursday, July 20, 2023

Covid Booster Shot

Covid booster shot
My husband and I got a second Pfizer bivalent Covid-19 booster shot today. If you are over age 65, the CDC recommends a second booster if it has been 4 or more months since your last bivalent shot. We received ours last September, so we easily qualified for the shot. 

We debated waiting until this fall, when it is rumored that a combined flu/Covid shot will be available. But we have some travel coming up, so we decided to arm ourselves prior to that.

A friend of ours got Covid following a cruise but while she was still in France, and she thought she was going to drown in her own fluids. The hospital there refused to treat her. The thought of being so ill in a foreign country is very scary to me, so I'll do anything I can to avoid getting Covid.

It seems most people do not take Covid into consideration anymore. But I think it is important to understand that it is still around, and people are still dying from it. Here are the latest stats:

North Carolina has had 3.5 million cases and 29,279 deaths. In the United States there have been over 107 million cases and 1.2 million deaths. Worldwide there have been nearly 768 million cases and 6.9 million deaths. It is notable, however, that reporting is no longer required so the statistics are not necessarily accurate. One thing we can say for certain is that the numbers are certainly higher than what is being shown online. So I'll take a shot in the arm to hopefully avoid becoming one of the statistics.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

It's Lantern Parade Time

It's time for the annual Mount Holly Lantern Parade. Well, okay, the parade is not until October but it is time for us to start building our lanterns. For the third year in a row, Imagery will have an entry in the parade under the "community" category. The pressure is on as we have taken first place the past two years.

This year's theme is "Heroes and Villains", so that offered an abundance of opportunities for sure. We decided to go with "101 Dalmatians" since the story contains both heroes and villains. There are a lot of families with children who attend the parade, and we felt like they would get a kick out of seeing the Dalmatian puppies. I don't think we will have 101 of them, however! Let alone trying to build that many lanterns, we would struggle to find enough volunteers to carry them the night of the parade.

A small group of us have begun making some puppies because we will have a lantern-making workshop here in the community next Sunday night. It's an opportunity for new neighbors to see what we are up to, and hopefully recruit some volunteers. We will also get a jump on getting some puppies constructed.

We will have four stations at the workshop, and will have completed lanterns at each to show the process. The first station will construct the lanterns with wire, the second will add lights to the lanterns, the third will glue the specialty paper over the lanterns, and the fourth will add the black spots to the Dalmatians.

My specialty is stringing the lanterns with lights, so I will man that station. I did the structural wiring of two puppies in preparation for next week, and I really did not enjoy the experience. I'll leave that to the wiring experts and stick with lighting. One thing that is nice about lighting is that I can bring the lanterns home and do it in front of the television.

lit Dalmatians 

There are a lot of logistics to work out, but we have a very experienced core group working on this so I'm confident we will have a great-looking entry again this year. And the crowd will ask, "Who let the dogs out?" Who, who, who, who, who!

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Life is a Beech

Grandfather Mountain
Some friends invited us to come and stay at their condo near Beech Mountain, and though it is only a couple of hours away the temperature runs about 20 degrees cooler. In the summer, that change is quite welcome. They are avid pickleball players, so we spent quite a bit of time playing on the courts at Beech Mountain Club Pickleball.

On our way home we stopped at Linville Falls to do some hiking. It was refreshingly uncrowded, unlike the last time we went. That was during the heart of Covid, when everyone was pouring into the parks to escape being stuck at home. It's a nice area with moderately challenging trails. Some of the rhododendrons were still in bloom. We miss seeing them around here, so that was a pleasant surprise for us.

Linville Falls
Now we are back home in the heat and humidity. It's time to plan another escape!

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Happy 4th!

Mount Holly fireworks
We began celebrating the 4th of July on June 29th, which is when our community of Mount Holly put on their fireworks display. They alternate dates with the surrounding communities so that they don't compete with each other. It is kind of nice because you can go see fireworks every night for several days if you want. Though we went by ourselves, we ended up sitting with other people from our community, which was fun.

Our son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter drove down for a visit on June 30th. Luckily many people in our neighborhood have baby items they are willing to lend out. It's been over 30 years since we have had a high chair in the house! 

It was the first time the baby had gone on a long car ride, and she did great. She also did well sleeping in her pack-n-play, which they hadn't tried before. Another first was a visit to our community swimming pool. She was not too sure that she liked that, but seemed to enjoy the wading pool we put in our screened porch the next day.

The kids were able to go out twice while they were here, while we watched the baby. They do not have any family living near them, so adult time is pretty scarce for them. Needless to say, we were happy to have the baby all to ourselves.

We will go up to visit them in September, and I am hoping that our little gal will remember us. I know that around 8 or 9 months they start to be afraid of strangers. Hopefully with enough FaceTime she will still recognize us.