Answering The Real Neat Blog Award

My good friend, Peregrine Arc, listed the best questions to answer as part of the online chain mail that is a blogging award. How can I resist?

  1. What’s something you’ve been doing to take care of yourself during the pandemic?
    Hmmmm… Take care of myself… I knew there was something I forgot! -Ooh! I bought toilet paper.
  2. What’s one song, when it comes on the radio, you just have to sing  along with?
    I seem drawn to those impossible sorts, like “Titanium” and “Dream On.” I try to remember not to do so when my children’s friends are also in the car.
  3. A formal dinner has been held in your honor. Who’s the master of ceremonies?
    M.C. Escher’s in my house! …or, down that staircase. …or, down that one…

    Escher's_Relativity

    Wikipedia, Fair use

  4. A fish comes out of the water next to your boat and starts talking to you. What message is the fish telling you?
    “Did you know that the pH of most natural lake waters ranges from 6-9 and that figure varies based on the presence of carbonates and bicarbonates?”
  5. You’re playing real life Wizard’s Chess. What’re your odds of surviving?
    Haha! None. That Sorceror’s Stone is gone!

    two white and black chess knights facing each other on chess board

    Photo by Syed Hasan Mehdi on Pexels.com

  6. If your life was a play, what would be the major dramatic arc?
    Erm. Hm. I’d have to say the part when the chocolate lands on the floor.
  7. If you could have one chore be automatically done for you for forever,  what would it be and why?
    Omigosh; dishes. If you don’t know why, come fulfill my magic wish.

Thanks for the fun, as always, Madame Arc. Stay cool, and keep your chocolate away from the cruel clutch of gravity!

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Tour of Utah: Deseret Industries

Today’s episode of “Sites to Visit in Utah” features a retail store most of the world is not familiar with: Deseret Industries.

The next question on your mind is So, what is Deseret Industries?

D.I. Closed

Currently closed, due to COVID-19.

Started in 1938, Deseret Industries (D.I.) is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s goodwill store.

But, why would we want to visit there?

D.I. may be a place to sort through and pay for donated ‘treasures,’ but it’s also much more!

For one thing, the LDS church uses D.I. as a job training resource. Those needing skills work in receiving moccasins someone’s been walking in, sorting some Pro Wings, pricing a fur fox skin, stocking the shelves with flannel zebra jammies, and even ringing up your purchase of your grandad’s clothes.

I …am a D.I. addict. I love going there. At least, I loved going there. Once The Scary Coronamonster drew closer, I eschewed my thrift shop stops. Before that point, however, I was a regular.

Mostly, I use D.I. to feed a gnawing bibliophile appetite. Sometimes, I find signed copies.

Besides books I’m interested in, I also uncover valuable literary treasures.

1800 Books

This is one of many valuable antique books in the locked case that day.

…And, less-valuable, less-literary discoveries.

Pizza!

Yes, this is a plush pizza.

I shop for luggage, lunch bags, bicycles, fake ficus trees, antiques, Halloween costumes, VHS and DVD films, tools, furniture, toys, vases, decorations, banana split dishes, and random crap I didn’t even know I wanted.

It’s similar to what I’ve heard flea markets are like. I think.

D.I. is all over the place in Utah. I even have my favorite locations, depending on what I’m searching for. It’s not just me, either; my former sixth-grade teacher used to show up at our lunch dates (when I was older, naturally) with her latest book finds from her favorite D.I.

It sounds crazy; but if you’re in the area, you should hit one up!


For no cost to you, here’s what I donated to the internet last week:
Wednesday, May 13: A virtual tour of Capitol Reef National Park.

Thursday, May 14: “Dear Teacher,” after reminiscing on my school/home experiences.

Friday, May 15: Announced that Charles won the Weekly Hilarity Contest.

Saturday, May 16: Announced this week’s Hilarity Contest. Write a response to the quote from good ol’ Kephart.

And, another update on the Coronavirus Home Life.

Sunday, May 17: “What’s in a Name?” for Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Monday, May 18: Shared a quote by Norman Cousins.

Tuesday, May 19: “Going Postal, X.”

Wednesday, May 20: Today

I also posted on my motherhood site. I wrote “Sleep, the Unattainable Dream.”

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens, including pictures (excluding the front image of Deseret Industries and YouTube’s video).

5/16/2020 of COVID-19 Home Life

As of 12:01 a.m. this day, our severity level in most of Utah has gone down another color. Instead of red or orange, we are now at yellow. The exception to that is the areas still reporting high levels of infection: Grand County, Summit County, Wasatch County, Salt Lake City, and West Valley City.

This would explain how I saw many people out and about today. It would also explain the grocery store worker cheerily greeting me as she loaded my groceries, without mask, while her coworkers stood outside chatting. When I pulled up and called, they also did not tell me to open my trunk according to current COVID-19 guidelines and maintain appropriate social distancing from the associate that will approach my vehicle…

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The pediatric dentist was different, yesterday. They’ve been closed to patients until very recently; considering the nature of dental work, they are still being careful. We were asked to call from our car when we arrived and to enter their office wearing masks. I hadn’t brought my kids’ masks (c/o my helpful neighbor) but the assistant met us with some dental varieties and an electronic gadget to measure our temperatures. I also signed a paper that promised I had not experienced symptoms, did not intend to experience symptoms, and had not traveled anywhere that might have symptoms in the last 14 days.*

Thus began the only dentist visit in my life where everyone wore a mask up until getting his teeth cleaned and examined, a visit in which we all smiled with our eyes and tried not to get high from the fumes of rubbing alcohol.

Less-strict restrictions are good news for the right-wing types, who have been smugly getting under my skin for the past while. It’s funny, because the left-wing types were getting under my skin pre-quarantine.

Divisive

Mommy Needs Vodka shared this on TwoFacebook.

*Sigh*

Farmer-Cowmen like myself often stand around, scratching our heads at the divisiveness.

Hopefully some other cause will come along to distract them all from imminent death by asphyxiation, like the presidential election or …goats invading a neighborhood.

Now, that’s breaking news!

Honestly, we’ve been very fortunate in how Coronavirus has affected Utahns. As might be expected, those who’ve still had to work the service jobs and those who’ve lived a long time and those who’ve increased their risk due to preexisting conditions have been affected the worst.

As to those fortunate enough to be young and fortunate enough to be able to stay home, the reaction’s becoming Old News. To some, it’s becoming a joke. Impatience is setting in; some question or demand when they may return to Disneyland, Europe, or to eating samples at Costco.

For me, day-to-day life has been like a typical summer vacation -without a planned family road trip or excursions to pools or splash pads. In some ways, I’ve felt odd writing about Home Life. I’ve thought to start my report with Well, the boys didn’t want to wear clothes …again. Then, the water heater broke …again. Then, I did dishes laundry weeding dusting toilet-unclogging etc. …again.

I hope good news is the same for all of you and that it stays that way. Keep waiting; keep washing; keep masking. It’ll get better …again.

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

*I exaggerated a bit. They wanted to know if I’d traveled outside the state in the last 14 days.

 

Photo Credits: Photo by Ani Kolleshi on Unsplash

Tour of Utah: Capitol Reef National Park

Utah has a LOT of national and state land. It’s a recreational paradise if you like hiking, biking, camping, skiing, fishing, feeling dry almost all the time, walking, and a bit of boating or canoeing.

I haven’t been to all of the government parks, but I have visited Capitol Reef. When I was a child, my mother used her local library and a telephone device to book us a week’s stay at a vacation home nearby. The owners had a farm and built the guesthouse as an extra way to make money. Their kids played with us and even let my brother come along on their ATV to move sprinklers.

As to the park itself: I don’t remember much. I take Utah’s scenic destinations for granted and did so to a greater degree as a child. I remember thinking, “Oh, great. More red rock. Oh, great. More big, open spaces where deer and antelope roam.”

Okay -I didn’t think those phrases exactly. I did mentally yawn over yet another hike through sagebrush and sand.

I mean, what’s so fabulous about this?

CR1

Navajo Dome, from Capitol Reef’s website.

Or this?

CR2

Looks like the Fruita Schoolhouse, also from their site.

Or this?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Okay, I stole this from Wikipedia.

…Maybe we ought to go back with our own family.

Wanderu outlines the attractions and explains the meaning of its name, below:

“Located in Utah’s south-central desert, Capitol Reef National Park is defined by the Waterpocket Fold – a unique geologic landform extending from southern Wayne all the way to northern Kane counties. Some of the park’s highlights include the Chimney Rock pillar, the Hickman Bridge arch, the towering monoliths of Cathedral Valley, and, of course, the Capitol Reef. The latter is an extremely rugged segment of the Waterpocket Fold famous for its whitish Navajo Sandstone cliffs with dome formations.”

They also provide a live webcam and a few YouTube tours. If you go in person (by car), it’s 3 hours 39 minutes from ye olde airport to a pricey lodge near the park entrance.


 

And, here’s the writings of the Chelsea before this point:
Wednesday, May 6: An update on home life during Coronavirus.

Thursday, May 7: “Going Postal, VIII.” The plot thickens…

Friday, May 8: We toured Beehive House. You know, virtually.

And, announced that Ellen and her cheeky tits won the first Weekly Hilarity Contest.

Saturday, May 9: Announced this week’s Hilarity Contest. Think of a not-too-shocking caption.

Sunday, May 10: “Love the World” for Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Monday, May 11: Shared a quote by Charli Mills.

Tuesday, May 12: “Going Postal, IX.”

Wednesday, May 13: Today

I also posted on my motherhood site. I wrote “What the Frick?” and a haiku.

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Pictures ©2020 Capitol Reef National Park, and By Axcordion at English Q52 – Own work, Public Domain

Tour of Utah: Beehive House (AKA Brigham Young’s House)

Today, we’re ‘traveling’ to a historic site in Salt Lake City. Not only is the Beehive House in SLC, it’s about a good stone’s throw from the exact center of Salt Lake City.

The front of the house, with plaque. Thanks, templesquare.com.

The Mormon leader and Utah governor Brigham Young wanted some order to the settlement of Deseret. As such, there is a starting point for all of the addresses in its principal city. Since I live in Salt Lake County, my house address measures from that point. Young also ordered the streets on a grid and made them wide enough for a carriage to turn fully around.

compass

See? Mormons are organized folk. Thanks, waymarking.com.

Besides those accomplishments, Brigham Young was quite the family man. Wikipedia says he had 55 wives (some, he only sealed his name to); The Church stops at 27ish. Understandably, all those women and children needed housing. Beehive House is one of his residences.

Built back in 1854, he and his family (families?) lived within it and the extremely-adjacent Lion House from 1855 to his death in 1877.

Why visit Beehive House?

In 1959-1960, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints revamped the thing and opened it as a tourist stop. Visitors may see how the Young family (families?) lived, ate, slept, and passed their time.

beehive_house_kitchen

This looks like a kitchen, although 56 children would not have fit at that table. Maybe they took it in shifts? (Care of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.)

The last time we visited as a family, the cute old lady conducting our tour told us about Brigham Young’s favorite wife, Amelia, throwing a new sewing machine down the stairs because she didn’t like the brand.

“On one occasion he sent her a sewing machine, thinking to please her; it did not happen to be the kind of a one which she wanted; so she kicked it down stairs, saying, ‘What did you get this old thing for? You knew I wanted a Singer.’ She got a Singer at once.”

Ann Eliza, two wives after Amelia, from Ann’s book Wife No. 19.

Be that a lesson to you, gents: don’t gift your 37-years-younger woman anything less than a Singer.

We like the blast to the past, the interesting stories, the neat architecture, and that it’s close to The Lion House Pantry (a cafeteria-style restaurant with dang good rolls).

Staircase

That’s a mighty fine beehive, c/o The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Unlike Arches National Park, our last designation, Beehive House is about half an hour East and a titch North from the airport. There’s some on-street (metered) parking and a few underground spots (possibly able to get validated) beneath the nearby City Creek Mall.


You get two weeks of writings!:
Thursday, April 23: Wrote about Arches National Park.

Friday, April 24: Obbverse won the Terrible Poetry Contest for that week.

Saturday, April 25: Announced the final Terrible Poetry Contest. It was a good ‘un.

Monday, April 27: “A quote by Robin Sharma.

And, “How Much is That Love in the Window?” for Carrot Ranch’s prompt last week.

Wednesday, April 29: “Going Postal, VII,” in which we meet Marty Mennet.

And, got excited that Pam sent me her new book!!

Friday, May 1: Winner of the last Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Trent! We’re still working on rapping…

Saturday, May 2: Introduce the new Weekly Hilarity Contest! I’ll post the winner tonight.

Sunday, May 3: Shared Nitin’s opening line contest. He intends to do more funny contests, so stay tuned!

Monday, May 4: An inspirational quote by the internet.

And, “Longboard Records Are Meant to Be Broken,” for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Wednesday, May 6: An update on home life during Coronavirus.

Thursday, May 7: “Going Postal, VIII.” The plot thickens…

I also posted on my motherhood site. I wrote “What the Frick?” and “Mother of Four.”

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

5/6/2020 of COVID-19 Home Life

I know, I know: “I’m sick of hearing about Coronavirus. Go away, Chelsea, and take that thing with you!”

woman in white and green shirt holding yellow plastic bag

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

But, it’s not going away. Well -it is, just slowly. Hopefully, all this jazz about calmly sitting at home and glaring at your neighbors’ parties has kept COVID’s coming a slow process as well.

On the subject of coming:

“Remember that time I was sick back in February?” my neighbor asked me recently.

“No…” Personally, I don’t remember what I ate for breakfast most days, but she didn’t know that.

She paused, adjusting something I couldn’t see because we were engaged in an old-fashioned telephone conversation -over cell phones, but still talking. “It was when I flew back from Denver. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and then had a nasty cough. I lost my sense of taste for several days; not just one, like what happens when I’ve gotten sick before.”

airplane wing towards clouds

Photo by Sheila on Pexels.com

The ‘Rona’s been a mysterious mist, revealing more of itself as time goes on. Having done a report on the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl for a college paper, I can’t help but see similarities in China’s revelation of facts to the rest of the world. As many have pointed out, however, such hindsight isn’t helpful. “Should’ve” can’t save us. “Will” just might.

For myself and my family, I feel fortunate that we have not been directly infected affected. Our worst casualty is inconvenience. A relative finally got in to her doctor …to learn she has cancer. Another’s been growing increasingly worse regarding mental illness because of the isolation. Yet another lost a good friend -to the virus- and was sad to not attend a funeral.

I’ve also had some irritation in items out of stock for pickup orders, in trying to plan ahead, and in not being able to keep a device with microphone and camera intact. Yes, another accident befell us. Our derelict iPad of half-a-decade’s age fell to the basement floor in a second karate-related accident. The defendant claims gravity reached its apathetic hands up against an already-unstable iPad stand…

Speaking of technical mishaps, I need to enter a Costco today. I haven’t been in weeks. A computer we purchased recently has had no end of problems with the keyboard input and network card. Why, for the love of gaming, would anyone want a computer to forget ASDWX in the middle of strafing?

dries-augustyns-58ASFVAP2Y4-unsplash

They’ve posted store rules that I’ll need to wear a mask. Here’s me, wearing the PINK one my neighbor made me. Being the only female in a predominantly-male household, she assumed I’d need more femininity.

20200506_122853

In other news of stores and merchandise, Smith’s grocery store told me they were fresh out of chicken breasts. I was able to procure a whole, frozen chicken but not pieces of it. The worker kindly explained that, since the Tyson plant had closed, they were seeing their store-brand meat disappear faster. Others I’ve spoken with said similar things. So, maybe we ought to stockpile a bit of meat…

We actually tried to get a small chest freezer back when things started getting crazy in March. When I called to follow up on our purchase a month later, the representative explained that ALL appliance suppliers’ chest freezers were on backorder till July or August.

Again, inconvenience.

I find myself rushing in thoughts or actions, then suppressing the behavior. We need more: meat, clothes, gasoline, emergency supplies, Tylenol, etc. Frankly, I don’t. I have enough. It’s just an inherent panic and a need to do SOMETHING instead of wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Everyone’s sick of waiting. Here in Utah, the waiting time’s dimished. They’ve stepped the panic level down a titch.

Plan to work - Risk Gauge Image

What a lovely graphic of Utah’s COVID-19 plan.

We’re at Code Orange now. Oddly, this move resulted in an increase of reported cases. 🤦 I guess we’re a work in progress. I suspect the COVID Team suspects such results, and will move the dial down to yellow once we stabilize again.

We’re doing what we can, which is mostly not doing much. The relaxed restrictions are nice; the boys’ room moms arranged for drive-by parades of their teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week this week. We got within breathing range of one of my son’s teachers, for a selfie. She and her aides stood together on the sidewalk to receive presents and posters. I realize I’ve developed an automatic anxiety at the sight of crowds. I ought to turn it off, now that we’re allowed to congregate in groups of 20 or fewer -although that’s still stupposed to be in a social-distanced and masked manner.

Because of bat-man, we are all masking like Batman…

In last news, our European trip was officially rescheduled for 2021. Maybe I’ll get to wave to a few of you after all.

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Other Photo Credits: Dries Augustyns

Tour of Utah: Arches

I’m the sort of person who could be next-door neighbors to Leonardo da Vinci and neglect to bring him a plate of cookies. Ohhh- I might do so when he first moves in. I’d definitely bring him one at the birth of his child(ren). I’m certain I’d also wave whilst driving to carpool when I saw him out painting his house.

On the whole, though, I’m not good at appreciating and utilizing resources I live near to. This is not the case for my blogging friend, Lisa, who not only lives in the paradise of the French Alps, but takes beautiful walks and hikes.

Since spending so much time indoors recently, I’ve resolved to change. I’ve resolved to GET OUT once getting out is safe and to visit what is right next door (figuratively). In the meantime, I’ve resolved to ‘visit’ the places virtually. I will use this as a guide for where to go once going is a good option.

So… first on our list is Arches National Park.

tom-gainor-P5Y0jG2FqMo-unsplash

I’ve hiked around the area twice, I think. I remember seeing a photograph of my family from when I was a child. We stayed in a motor home (RV) borrowed from my grandparents and hunted for our Easter eggs in places like the shower, compact fridge, and foldout table.

My memory’s fuzzy since creating and caring for children, but I’m fairly certain Kevin and I returned to Arches as newlyweds. We encountered a boisterous family group from Utah and a much smaller family visiting from France. The large family thought teasing the French couple to be quite funny. “Yep; I’m the dad,” one of the men said. “These,” he gestured to cousins, daughters, and his wife, “Are all my wives.”

The French couple had one or two children, as I recall, and joked right along. Oh, how I wish I were proficient enough in a foreign language to understand subtlety and humor.

All of this tells you nothing about the park itself.

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Arches National Park is located out in the middle of nowhere, very near to a very small city named Moab. A college roommate of mine came from Moab and explained that (polygamy or no) they were all related. “My family tree’s like a family wreath,” she joked.

Strangely enough, she ended up marrying a local and they still live there…

To get to the park, you drive and drive and drive and drive. If you were a tourist, the drive from the Salt Lake City International Airport to Arches National Park is 3 hours, 43 minutes (thank you, Google Maps).

Once you arrive, you realize you have driven and driven and driven and driven …out in the middle of nowhere. It’s hot (unless it’s winter). It’s dry (we are a desert). It’s red. It’s windy. It’s also slightly radioactive, but they don’t really want that in the brochures.

You and I will need sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, good hiking shoes, and lots of water. We’ll eat rattlesnake for food -or, also remember to pack in food.

The park is BIG. According to Wikipedia, it’s about 76,000 acres. It contains “more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches.” And, yes, those arches are really cool to look at. You just have to hike to them (good thing we brought hiking shoes).

The trail to Delicate Arch, the one you’ve likely seen pictures of the most, is three miles roundtrip. With a toddler, that takes about 6 hours. After that, you pick him or her up and hike the rest of the 2.5 miles without complaint.

The area has neat-looking land forms and geological striations visible from the road and the Visitor’s Center as well. Not bad, eh?

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I recommend trying to find lodging nearby so as to enjoy the hikes and area on a fresh night of sleep. RV companies rent vehicles out for limited-time use. Locals have Bed and Breakfast options. One of my neighbors offers an on-site, parked RV for paid use as well.

Supposedly, this link will bring you to a virtual tour of Arches National Park.

—————-

Last week’s schedule, a little closer to home:
Thursday, April 16: “This and That and a Blogging Schedule,” a mix of thoughts and ideas for a blogging outline.

Friday, April 17: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to DumbestBlogger! We’re working on the special prize, I promise!

Saturday, April 18: Announced the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a humorous end to a useful object. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, April 19: “In the Mind of Crazy Rhyme,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, April 20: An inspirational quote by the internet.

And, another update about home life c/o COVID-19.

Tuesday, April 21: “Going Postal, VI.” Gotta love “Lucy.”

Wednesday, April 22: Today.

I also posted on my motherhood site. I wrote “Mom Time in the Closet.”

Photo Credits: Tom Gainor
Josh Soriano
Natalie Chaney
Stephen Leonardi
Jake Nackos
Jaxon Lott

©2020 Chelsea Owens

4/20/2020 of COVID-19 Home Life

It took me three tries to get the accurate date today. I went through the same exercise yesterday (Sunday, apparently) and again for that-day-that-comes-before-Sunday. Once the boys and I decided the phones and computers had the correct date, I realized we’ve been staying home for a month and two days.

Time flies when you’re looking back. It i-n-c-h-e-s when you’re looking forward.

Speaking of, Utah’s state governor announced that we’ve graduated to less-stringent measures. The state parks have opened to non-county residents. By May, people could sit inside a restaurant to eat. To combat that sedentary option, he also anticipates the re-opening of gyms. Furthermore, elective surgeries will resume. He stressed the importance of still maintaining social distance and rocking the mask.

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Word is that the world will adopt a currency of toilet paper and surgical masks.

The announcement came after our county’s mayor extended her Get Yer Butt Back Home order till May 1. After the governor lightened up, however, she has renamed her order to Stay Smart, Stay Safe.

Utah’s Coronavirus crack team said we need to approach the reopening as a dial, like on a dimmer -not like an on/off switch.

Word must’ve not gotten around, because a posse protested two days ago.

Protest

They’re not social-distancing. I mean, obviously. (© The Salt Lake Tribune)

I don’t get it. Then again, I’m not out of work because of all this.

On the plus side, I’ve decided to count my blessings:

  1. We are not living through the pandemic of 1918, when we didn’t have Amazon.
  2. We’ve got the internet, which allows our connecting to others, working from home, and playing or watching games and shows.
  3. My family and I do not live in an urban area, in a multi-unit apartment building.
  4. Our local stores offer grocery pickup.
  5. If food gets scarce, my LDS upbringing means I have enough dried black beans to get us through at least two months. It won’t be pretty, but we’ll have regularity and protein.

Amazon is great, as is grocery pickup. The only problem is costs are rising. I needed to replenish our regular household cleaners this last week, and couldn’t believe how expensive they’d become.

Either everyone is panic-buying, or people do not use soap during non-panic-buying times. I’m just glad I’m not desperate. I also know how to mix some of my own all-purpose cleaners. If worse comes to worst, we’ll forage for bits of bark to replace the soaps. Actually, I have boys. We’ll all just start smelling of a more-natural musk.

In better news, the boys’ school released a video of each teacher reading a small line of encouragement. Home life looked good on them; some of the guys were going Rip Van Winkle with the facial hair. We drove past their school after this week’s grocery pickup this morning, then ‘visited’ a favorite teacher of theirs.

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Pretty much the state of things.

My boys seem resilient and unaffected. When I suggested that my pre-teen might video chat with his friend, he asked, “Why?” Only when I said they could arrange for playing chess online did he consider it a good idea.

Their conversation went something like this:

Hey.

Hey.

So… what’ve you been doing?

*Shrug* Staying home.

Yeah. Me, too.

So… wanna do chess or something?

Okay.

…When can you?

Ummm. Probably Wednesday from 1-3.

Okay.

Okay.

Actually, for accuracy, you need to read it with an awkward pause after every two lines. I’m not sure if it’s a guy thing to be so verbose and animated but …yeah, it’s a guy thing.

For me, I finally caved and installed an app called Marco Polo. My friend told me about it awhile ago but I hated the idea of recording myself. That, and my phone has never been the top of the class. My reward after install was a video she’d recorded that day, over a year ago. I cried watching it. Since then, we’ve made videos back and forth a few times.

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Yes, we look exactly like this; and not like we’re calling from the closet, in the dark, after not showering all day.

They’re a bit longer than my son’s conversation with his friend.

What have you been able to do lately? Is the weather warming or cooling? Have you called a friend, or maybe just played chess with him?

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Other Photo Credits: Mika Baumeister
Rubén Rodriguez
Tai’s Captures

This and That and a Blogging Schedule

My thoughts have been all over the place. Efforts to unite them into a powerful subject that can conquer the evil antagonist prove fruitless. So, faithful readers, you’ve a mismatched mess of pottage from which to sup after your travels through the desert:

First, I’m inclined to mention the elephant in the world, Coronavirus. I’ve been home for about 2,365 days. People ask me how it’s going, by way of polite conversation. They don’t ask in person, of course, unless you count our shouts from porch to sidewalk or car window to front yard.

Many areas Out There are stranger. Yet, inside our house is just the same as usual for me. It’s one of the perks of being a stay-at-home mother with internet. I’m also realizing how a tailbone injury, surgery, impregnation, bedrest order, and C-Section delivery have all prepared me for The Long Dark of Coronia.

Hey; I’m looking on the bright side of things.

~

I’m exercising again, too. Yes, I count if I did so today and yesterday. Many stars need to align for exercise to happen, so I may not be consistent. I’d like to align my stars (aka children) to either go with me or stay asleep around 6:30 a.m. so that I might try this exercise thing outside our four walls.

~

The Kickstarter for our online dice store wrapped up nicely. If you contributed, thank you!! If you’d like gaming candles, dice, dice sets, figurines, or some of the music dice from the kickstarter; go to Game Master Dice or shoot me a message.

Speaking of, Coronaphant has been running amok of our supply chain. Downside? Shortages and closures. Upside? We’re still open and shipping while others are not. Washing your hands and working from home helps, people. -We just can’t get some of the regular products in at the moment.

~

I’d like to try gaming with friends. I understand that many games are available as apps. We have Ticket to Ride and know something like chess would be easy. Have any of you tried games online with friends? What works well? Are they freeeee?

~

Despite deciding I need a plan for this ol’ blog, such a plan is still not forthcoming. I’ve grabbed bits of idea-fluff here and there but not a substantial soup. Here’s a rough idea so far:

Monday – Quote. I have them scheduled till July, anyway.
Tuesday – Currently, it’s poor Ron the postman. Once he’s finished, I’ll do poetry.
Wednesday – My IRL observations with a weekly review.
Thursday – An Open Day for poems, shares, an interview, or book review. Ooh! Maybe I’ll have guest posts.
Friday – Terrible Poetry Winner.
Saturday – Announcement of the next prompt for terrible poetry. As fun as being terrible is, I anticipate this evolving into a different prompt soon.
Sunday – Carrot Ranch’s 99-word prompt answer.

I know we’re all busy holing up, but let me know if you’d like to contribute a story or interview. Let me know if you think my schedule’s potty as well; can’t no one ever say Chelsea’s not open to new ideas.

Pottage

Look at that pottage. I’d rate it a birthright or two.

—————-

For slightly more organization, here’s last week’s stuff:
Wednesday, April 8: Instead of going political, I shared a photo of my fifth son.

And, shared Pam Webb’s virtual book launch of Someday We Will!

Thursday, April 9: An update on life at home.

Friday, April 10: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Joem18b and Bruce!

Saturday, April 11: Announced the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a parody of a popular song, Coronavirus edition. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, April 12: Re-blogged Stuart’s post from Storyshucker, “Hand on the Plow.”

Anarchists and Aliens,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Monday, April 13: An inspirational quote by Anne Copeland.

Tuesday, April 14: An update on a day in the life of COVID-19 from the day before.

And, “Going Postal, V.” Poor Stan.

Thursday, April 16: Today.

I also posted on ye olde motherhood site. I wrote a limerick, “Mother of Three.”

 

Photo Credit: Pottage stolen from Brand New Vegan‘s recipe site.

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

4/13/2020 of COVID-19 Home Life

I went out again today, out beyond my four walls. I’ve been trying to limit trips to once a week, in accordance with our county’s laws and common sense.

We passed a Costco on our way. I recalled how, at my last ‘adventure,’ my oldest son and I tried to shop there for milk. Costco has been more fun each time I’ve visited; their newest attraction, then, was limiting how many people could enter the store. We stood in a line that snaked around pallets inside the entry, out the opening, down the sidewalk, and around the other side of the shopping carts’ new home.

hello-i-m-nik-6ivrz1SJeZM-unsplash

I used to enjoy parking where the carts were. I’d pull right up to the sidewalk. The boys would jump out and race or push each other or yell as they raced and pushed each other. We could always smell something wonderful baking. Perhaps that’s why we often returned home with their oversized ‘muffins.’

On the day my son and I tried to get milk, we waited for half an hour without moving. Signs on cones and tape lines helped us measure our distance. The wind blew. “I wonder how effective six feet away is when we’re standing downwind,” I mused. The wait proved too long, wind or no. Like many others, I chose to leave and try a different store.

Today, we did not go shopping. Our destination was The Pit, itself: the doctors’ office. Yet another son needed his checkup and the baby needed his four-month visit. The office is split into a Well-Child side and a Sick-Child side. My happy baby has had cold symptoms -no fever- for over a week. At the behest of the staff and their posted sign, we entered the condemned half. I’d been dreading the visit for that very reason, but it proved a blessing. The office has been encouraging Telehealth visits for sick patients. We were the only occupants. From what we observed upon departure, the Well side was quite busy. Ironic, no?

My phone beeped with a notification during the visit: the Salt Lake County mayor extended her Stay Home, You Idiots order till May 1. Yes, ma’am.

Utah’s state governor has been broadcasting daily updates around 1:30 p.m. The last one I watched included his wearing a mask and encouraging us to do so; the one before, information about a loan to help small businesses.

Do Not Return to Earth

“Do Not Return to Earth,” says Buy N Large’s CEO ©The Disney Company

I also recall some plan involving visitors to our state being prompted to self-report COVID-19 symptoms. In researching it further, I learned that the texting system didn’t quite work the way they wanted:

Since the system’s launch Friday, [Joe Dougherty, public information officer for the Utah Division of Emergency Management] said, “a number of residents in the state received alerts in their homes, in their bathrooms, and in other locations when they were quite far from the borders.”

“Some people clearly got an annoying number of messages,” Dougherty said, some of them 15 times.

The state learned, Dougherty said, “that these messages will sometimes alert much farther than the areas that we intended.” He apologized to people in the St. George area and the Uinta Basin, both in Utah, and Oneida County in Idaho — north of the Utah border — for being sent repeated messages.

-“Utah’s ‘bold experiment’ to text alerts to road travelers to collect coronavirus data ends abruptly, ” The Salt Lake Tribune, April 12, 2020

Most of my exposure to COVID-19 is online. I watch the updates, read what friends share on Twofacebook, and connect with blog friends worldwide. Some states have put plastic caution tape around their gardening and outdoors supplies. Others have curfews and gathering restrictions. From what I can gather, every country is trying to “flatten the curve” through distancing measures.

LA, who lives on the front lines of New York City’s Coronavirus Action, tells quite a different story than mine. After all, the virus doesn’t have such alarming numbers mathematically. It’s when those numbers apply to highly-dense areas like hers that math gets used in real life. Even if you’re in the “1% death rate” camp, that’s 84,000 of 8.4 million people. That’s also not how many get infected, need respiratory aids, and have lasting health problems.

There’s a children’s book I loved as a child, Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock. In it, Anansi the spider discovers a mossy rock with the power to cause unconsciousness when verbally identified as such.

Anansi

“Isn’t this a strange, moss-covered rock?”

He uses this to trick each animal and acquire his or her food. One animal is never tricked, because she has been watching Anansi the entire time. In fact, Little Bush Deer figures out how to give that tricky spider a taste of his own medicine.

As I’ve been watching Coronavirus since it first broke out in China, I’ve felt like Little Bush Deer. Watching and planning gave me more toilet paper than those who then rushed to install a bidet. It allowed me to anticipate closures and distancing. However, far more animals have dropped than I expected. Far more areas of the forest have been closed off. Conflicting news about the rock and its potency is causing some animals to demand stricter closures while others bare their teeth and say, “Make me.” I never knew the forest could look like this.

I, like many others, feel lost. What plan now, besides a long wait? There seems to be no other.

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Photo credits: Hello I’m Nik 🎞
© the Almighty Disney Company, c/o Youtube
and, Amazon