6/16/2020 of COVID-19 Home Life

First, I HATE THIS NEW BLOCK LAYOUT AND ALWAYS HAVE.

Annoying Prompt

Really, WordPress? Don’t you have enough problems?

As to Coronaignoreit, people ’round these parts have lost interest. Coincidentally, that was pretty much the title of the New York Times article I skimmed this morning: “America Is Done With COVID-19. COVID-19 Isn’t Done With America.”* People wear the masks where they need to, but I see a lot of pullings-down or restings-on-necks.

I get it. Masks are annoying and hot. My friend who works making food for a ritzy country club has to wear compression socks, a mask, and gloves all day at her job. …And their air conditioner hasn’t worked properly in years.

hans-reniers-mE6e5-5jLu8-unsplash

The oddest thing for me about Coronastillhere is how a person’s approach or even belief in the disease relates to politics. Utah’s state epidemiologist, Angela Dunn, agrees: “Opinions about what needs to happen now in the fight against COVID-19 appear… to be split along party lines among the legislative committee members.” She’s referencing our spike in cases (double the number per day compared to when we were in lockdown) and what various Democrat or Republican representatives propose as solutions for the future.

Our governor decided to remain at yellow level till June 20, last I heard. Rural communities want to be green. As Madame Dunn pointed out again, however, disease doesn’t stop at county boundaries.

*Sigh* I think I’ll have to contract the thing at some point, as will my children.

On a funny note, my grocery pickup order was a little off this morning. I didn’t know until I drove back home -and unloaded NINE POUNDS (4.1 kg) of fresh green beans. The computer order shows that I set the quantity to ‘9,’ but that means I would have had to click the little ‘+’ sign nine times when ordering.

I purchased the beans as part of my new diet. The diet involves a lot of vegetables per day; but, as I explained to the grocery store over the phone later, not that many.

20200616_143047

If anyone needs a few pounds, let me know.

In reading over my past updates on Coronayesit’sstillaround, I see I conveyed my fears, panic, and sometimes sadness. The last post only showed the spray painted defacement of our state capitol building. My updates on Costco are about how everyone’s required to wear a mask. I wrote about food shortages and nervous dental visits.

In truth, there is good in the bad. In further truth, there is almost all good and a few bad.

Residents around the state of Utah offered to help clean the graffiti from the capitol building and the ensuing protests were peaceful.

Don Gamble cleans off graffiti at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Sunday, May 31, 2020. Daylong protests moved across the city Saturday after a peaceful demonstration to decry the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis turned violent. Protesters vandalized buildings throughout the downtown area before a curfew was enforced in the evening.

That dude’s name is Don Gamble. Thanks, Deseret News.

Costco is the wonderful place I know and love, without food samples but with masks.

While stores encourage limits on meat and toilet paper, there is no shortage. I walk through a completely-full Costco and arrange pickups from a grocery store that receives new shipments every night.

The dentist is still an odd experience, but not as odd as entering the bank lobby wearing a face mask. Businesses used to post signs about removing sunglasses or hats or beards for their security systems; now, they have signs encouraging a face covering.

I’ve resisted the urge to give someone a finger-gun greeting so far.

In my world of blogging, I’m at least one segment away from finished with Going Postal. I intend to write a description of my process and design for it after that final installment, and then I’m OUT OF HERRRRREEEEEE!

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

 

*1984-style, that article was named “The U.S. is Done With COVID-19…”

Photo Credit: Photo by Hans Reniers on Unsplash

Vincent Ehindero Award Thing

The awesome dude of Rethinking Scripture named me in his Vincent Ehindero Award waaay back on April 23. Yes, that was this year, but I think I’ve been too flaky in not answering it yet. So, here ya go:

  1. If you could be anyone living or dead who would that be?
    I asked for specifics on this question, like length and whether I’d have to also be dead if I picked someone dead… So, assuming I could be anyone for a short period of time, I would definitely choose to try out a celebrity’s life. I’ve always been fascinated with how people live; a very rich person would be interesting.
    (Further, a very poor person would also be interesting but less comfortable. Further further, I’d enjoy any other life for a bit since I am naturally curious.)

    cemetery

    I would not be this person for a day.

  2. Using just one word how would you describe yourself?
    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?
  3. Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert?
    I consider myself an introvert, with a confused expression when others say they assumed otherwise.
  4. Name one thing that if you had the means to do it what would that be?
    My son keeps asking me a similar question, to which I keep answering, “A permanent end to Coronavirus.”
  5. Are you a cat or dog person, or maybe both?
    I am a dog person, but that is the cats’ fault.

    cat on green grass

    It’s planning to eat me.

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Some people you should follow include:

Carrot Ranch‘s blog for a great community and for writing prompts and tips.
Carol‘s musings, recipes, and recycling news for musings, recipes, and recycling news.
-Carol’s friend, Sally Cronin, for great information on writing and nutrition (and much, much more!)
Sue Vincent‘s prompts and sharing of people who responded to her prompts. She is, hands-down, one of the best writers and poets in the blogging world.
Colleen Chesebro, who does a poem-writing contest every week. She includes a lot of resources and instructions on poetry as well.
Basically, anyone else I’ve nominated in the past. I loves me my friends, and think you all should know you all.

If anyone is looking to answer awesome questions, respond to any or all in the comments:

  1. If you had to choose between a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and a Hershey’s Cookies and Cream candy bar, why is that even a choice?
  2. Seriously, who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?
  3. What’s your favorite color?
  4. If you became the supreme leader of your own country for a day and could put any law in place that you wanted, what would you do?
  5. What’s one of your favorite books?

…..

This is the part where I re-post the re-posted parts about ‘rules’ and such:

Rules:

Thank the person that nominated you with a link to their blog.

Make a post of the award (with a photo.)

Post the rules.

Ask 5-10 questions of your choice.

Nominate 10-30 other bloggers.

Follow Vincent Ehindero at vincentehindero.wordpress.com (to qualify for a free blog promotion and shoutout) and more blogging opportunities.

Photo Credits: Brett Sayles and Viktor Mogilat on Pexels.com.

5/31/2020 of COVID-19 Home Life

I went to the hardware store yesterday. Although I was unable to record actual numbers, I estimated about 1/3 of the shoppers and nearly all of the workers wore masks. I don’t mind the more-conservative, DIY-types; I figured those hardworking sorts would be very likely to shop for their own building supplies and gardening equipment. What concerned me is what always has: they don’t think distancing is important, so they aren’t minding their space.

I also went to Costco, for the second time since they severely increased their rules. Last time, everyone wore masks and adhered to restrictions. This time, even the workers seemed more relaxed. “Place your purchases on the conveyor belt,” the cashier told me, though she was still scanning the items of the person in front of me.

Costco Sign

The temperature’s rising. Birds are singing. Our lawn is burning where the sprinklers are broken (hence, the trip to the hardware store). People are out jogging, biking, walking, and hopscotching.

On the drive to the two stores, I passed a splash pad. They’re more recent inventions. Basically, water squirts out of tubes and holes in the ground all across a cement park. The splash pad was PACKED.

sophie-dale-ibD7j7IXXAs-unsplash

I’m not blameless; I took four of the boys to a public park for the first time on Tuesday. They played in dirt and on the playground and had a wonderful time. I visited with a neighbor who also happened to be there. She told me they weren’t doing “inside playdates” yet, only “outside playdates.” In point of fact, she said they’d been to the selfsame splash pad I’d observed being crowded.

Furthermore, she and her family are planning a road trip to Mount Rushmore. Don’t worry -they’re renting an RV and will be outside for all their activities. She knows that the Founding Fathers and Roosevelt aren’t likely to contract Coronavirus in their condition.

Several friends and neighbors have traveled or are planning on traveling. I don’t know of any who are flying …yet. I can’t say the same for SpaceX, but they looked pretty protected in their suits.

jet cloud landing aircraft

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The official officials of COVID-19 in Utah aren’t sure if moving to Yellow Quarantine has led to more cases. We did have a spike in cases reported after Memorial Day weekend. We also did have people unable to test during that weekend, so those numbers might be a catch-up situation.

Ambivalence aside, Coronannoying is still around. It’s apparently devastated our Navajo community and wreaked havoc amongst any nursing homes it visits. I know it’s old news. But if there’s one thing pregnancy taught me, it’s that wishing uncomfortable situations away doesn’t work.

The biggest news, however, is not of contagions. The biggest news involves a very sad, divisive event in Minneapolis. I stay moderate on politics; the protesters in Salt Lake City, yesterday, did not.

The wall outside our Capitol Building, ©2020 ABC4 News

I’ll likely get more vocal about my opinions and ideas as I age. For now, I will say that I disagree with violence, hatred, and destruction from anyone.

On that note, I hope for resolution and return to peace. I hope people calm down and work together. I hope restaurants open again, stores open again, tourist destinations open again, and SCHOOLS OPEN AGAIN.

Between what super-conservatives are saying on a super-conservative Facebook group someone added me to (who knows how that happened?) and the proposed state guidelines on education, I’m not sure we’re heading toward …reasonable yet.

“The guidance for K-12 education addresses the resumption of school activities, including sports, under jurisdiction of district and school authorities in adherence to indoor and outdoor guidelines. Additionally, hand sanitizer will need to be made available to faculty and students in each classroom and regular hand washing routines will be instituted. Faculty and staff will need to wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible. Updates regarding face coverings for students will be provided by local school and charter boards in consultation with health department officials.”

-Governor Herbert’s Executive Order of May 27, 2020

I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt, and assuming they are referring to colleges and universities with these guidelines. Most adults can put on a mask or sanitize their hands. Most children can barely wipe their bottoms.

I fully intend to drop all media for the summer, but promise to pop in with news like this as appropriate. I hope news from your corners of the world is better, and continues to become so.

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

 

Photo Credits: Me, Photo by Sophie Dale on Unsplash, Pexels, and ABC4 News

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…

ani-kolleshi-vu-DaZVeny0-unsplash

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.

josh-soriano-Aydu-0d4Iwc-unsplash

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?

jaxon-lott-d91KFAekDtQ-unsplash

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