Thursday, July 23, 2020

After Covid

My first outing was to Madera Canyon where I watched two Coatis roaming around their patch for food
When you're almost dead and don't have the energy to clean, there's the aftermath of house cleaning!  Good gods!  There was laundry, bed sheets to wash, cleaning the floors, dishes and so on and so forth. And then, there's the whole covid sleep factor. 


Nova "helps" me organize a trip.  Knock on wood.  I'm hoping it happens. 
When you have covid, sleep is amazing.  I have spoken to so many dead people in my dreams in crazy fantastical places that it's not even funny.  The dreams are intense and real.  And the sleep is deep and sound.  Maybe it's because we have one foot in the grave now?  Who knows?  But it has created a terrible sleep pattern over these past 2 months!  I stay up until 4 in the morning and sleep until 11 everyday but expect myself to keep the same daily routine with less time to do so!


Cassin's Sparrow
After a month of quarantining, I am slowly getting my groove back.  I had a haircut!  And I've been hesitantly interacting with humanity. Once you get covid, you don't ever want it again. I went to the post office today to mail off some masks to a friend but noticed two "Karens" without a mask in our mask mandated city of Tucson. It made me angry.  There were so many people being careful and two jackasses didn't social distance or wear a mask.  My attitude? Get the hell out of the post office.  I don't want covid again. And it's not fair to the all the people who were standing there socially distancing with their masks on.  There's a special place in hell for people like that.  Needless to say, I reported the post office for servicing those covid spreaders. If we don't take this seriously, I will never see my students again.  My tolerance for stupidity is very low now.  And I am angry. There were a lot of wide eyes at the lady. I won't be going to the post office again. 


Blue Grosbeak
The public is exhausting. I am grateful for the friends and family who brought us groceries while we were down.  Even today after the covid, shopping can be very draining. So much careful planning has to happen for every visit to a store. I try to go when numbers are low.  And I avoid shopping on the weekends now. I think that was the hardest thing to do......grocery shop again.  The body has to build strength again and those first baby steps were hard.  I'd break out in a sweat for a minimal amount of exertion. So I had to approach my birding that same way for a week until my body could build strength.  It was a treat to see people outside exercising as if there wasn't any major pandemic going on.  It has also been very strange that there hasn't been any real quarantining happening in Arizona even after we became the hotspot.  If you're lucky to leave your covid hell, it's a real eye opener!


a juvenile Bridled Titmouse begs the parent to feed them
Escaping the endless horrible news after quarantine is a must. I get so bored, but thankfully, I enjoy writing. For several weeks, I pulled out those "emergency blog posts" while we were dealing with our sickness.  I lost the stamina to write.  Now that I'm back to "normal", I have enjoyed the writing process again. I had a few students who shared with me their stories of the covid infection.  Here is some useful information if you get the mild case of covid. There are 3 choices with this virus. You either are asymptomatic, have a mild case(what we had) OR you are in the ER/Covid Unit/ventilator due to breathing issues. If you experience "allergies or a slight cough", get tested as soon as you can. After the hellish experience with our mild case of covid, we were told by doctors that a slight cough can be expected for a few weeks after you had the virus. (which was good to hear).  It's probably similar to what smokers experience.  Hopefully it's not for life. 

Lesser Nighthawks are quite visible now at sunset.  We had one fly over the garden recently.
One night, my stubborn German side came out and said, "You're going for a walk!" Part of the resistance building came from simple walks at night or from the car.  My first attempt was a walk around Agua Caliente Park when everyone went home.  I watched Lesser Nighthawks and Purple Martins zip around me at sunset. 

Greater Roadrunner
During those first few outings, I just drove in my car and went to places away from people.  Monsoon is here now and it has been rather beautiful so I did my yearly trek during a rain event to count Cassin's Sparrows in the grasslands.  There was lightning so I stayed in my vehicle, the USS Betty White. 


A lot of the action has been also happening at home.  I've been purchasing more oranges and seed for ONE station under our oak trees in the courtyard. You can see the plants getting "excited" for the rain events.  The humidity in the air is wonderfully nasty for humans but the plants love it!  It looks like they are almost glowing green as if they were giving a sigh of relief. And after getting beat up by the sun for nearly 2 months, they immediately perk up with that glorious first nitrogen rich rain!

a view of the beautiful monsoon sunset from our side garden
Tucsonans get excited about the monsoon season.  Most people groan elsewhere but in the desert West, it's a celebration. It also makes for very comfortable birding after the rain event. I just have to be careful with the lightning. It's not a joke here. Birding is also good for the memory.  I had a moment on the trail today when I forgot the name of the blackbird with red on the wings.  Seriously! I stopped what I was doing and concentrated.....RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD! It took about 30 seconds to remember. I was a bit scared that I couldn't multi-task and remember all the birds zipping around me.  Baby steps. 


A first for our patch!!!!!!  A Bullock's Oriole visits our feeder!!!!  It was so exciting!
I am so glad we secured our place with our catio screen.  Crime rates in midtown have gone up.  For TWO nights, there has been a police helicopter shining lights over my garden!  An armed felon hid on my neighbor's patio!  It was very scary.  And then the next night, two men, one without pants, lit a dumpster on fire and ran into our little forested oasis. But no worries readers:)  I have strategically placed deadly cacti, like cholla in unexpected areas where people could run or hide. It's super painful if you step on it. They are placed near lush vegetation making the person think that it's "safe" to hide.  LOL!  Besides keeping the criminals out of our oasis, I also placed cacti like cholla in our garden to encourage Cactus Wrens and Curve-billed Thrashers to nest.  They have lost habitat in midtown due to construction and so I'm trying to help them out. They do visit our gardens often for insects, etc. 


This has been a good year for our Broad-billed Hummingbirds.  We've had lots of nesting happening.  I keep putting in their orange jubilee plants and keep the feeders full.  They stick around all year on our property. 
And after being in bed for nearly a month, I got fed up looking at ugly ceilings.  So, I pulled out the supplies I had stored and mustered the little energy I had to begin Covid Project 3, the Coastal Room.  



This room surprised me with different challenges.  The vinyl material I used did not want to stay up on the ceiling unlike the other room. There were cuts in the ceiling for electric additions.  And notice that there is an area of the vertical wall that needs to be re-painted.  As I began the art of redesign, I cleared the area for a blank slate. 


I watched so many DIY projects on Youtube and did a lot of reading.  The glue did not work.  I used tacks to keep the thin planks up on the ceiling and quickly realized I was going to need a staple gun to make this project work. Plus the tack method, which worked in the other room, did NOT work in this room.  And it killed my thumbs. 


Each day I did little by little.  My body would get tired and then I knew it was time to stop.  I wasn't going anywhere so I didn't force myself.  


As the ceiling was being completed my photography began to come in.  So I started placing the work in different areas to get a feel for the coast.  


Like a jigsaw puzzle, I began to sort out all the pieces and details.  



I sat back one evening and smiled.  It all fit together.  Now there is more I have to do!  Do you see where the horizontal seams are on the ceiling between the wood planks?  Well.  A wooden beam will cover that seam adding to the coastal charm.  I need more reds and whites over the next couple months to complete this project.  So I look forward to adding those fun and simple ideas.  When I finish this, I'll post the complete pictures.  Right now, I'm happy how this turned out, but I want to finish this before work starts up again.  Until next time and thankfully there will be a next time......stay safe and free from the nasty covid.  Avoid the Karens at all cost.  You don't want this. Now that we've recovered, I'm even more careful.   




18 comments:

  1. wOW! I did not know you had covid and although your was mild it still seemed bad to me so I hope you will be FULLY recovered very soon. Little and easy is probably the way to go now. I enjoyed your post.

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    1. This corona takes weeks of recovery after the the mild or severe symptoms have hit. It's amazing how bad this virus can be. Glad it wasn't worse. Thank you for reading and your good thoughts. We are slowly recovering.

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  2. Hello, Chris
    I do not understand the people who refuse to wear a mask, they should be fined. I am glad you are feeling better, COVID is scary. I always enjoy your photos, all the birds and the Coati are awesome sightings. Your artwork and the DIY ceiling look beautiful. Take care, stay safe! Enjoy your day, have a happy weekend!

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    1. I don't either Eileen. In our city, you can be fined for being a Karen, but there is one for every 12 people. So annoying! Have a great weekend and enjoy the wonderful weather you have over there.....well I'm hoping it's not too humid:)

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  3. I am sorry you have both been so poorly but glad to hear you are both slowly recovering. It must have been a terrifying and frightening thing to have to go through.

    I am amazed at some of the actions of people over here. Such worrying times we live in.

    Your photos are beautiful and the newly renovated room looks amazing.

    Take things easy until you are completely over it and take huge care.

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    1. Thank you for your well wishes. Work starts up next week for both of us and I will be interested to see how my stamina holds up to the regular work day. The great experiment is about to begin. Both our countries are having a moment right now. I just want it all to get better because this is not the way to live a life.

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  4. Wow! I'm so glad you are over your fight with the virus. Obviously, you are feeling better with your walks and work at the house. It's a lovely finished room. And, I had to chuckle out loud about your strategically placed cacti!!
    Things are looking up for you and I am happy for you two.

    It's great to see you at 'My Corner of the World' this week!

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    1. Thank you for the well wishes and stopping by. Cacti placement here is everything:) Oh and water:) It was a 118 degrees yesterday in Phoenix and a 110 in Tucson. Yuck!

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  5. I have heard it takes a bit of time for your energy levels to recover. Be careful not to overdo it. Your photographs look amazing on the walls. A silver lining for having had to lay in bed and look at the blank walls for so long. You knew exactly where to put them.

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    1. Unfortunately, I have heard the same thing. I think of driving long distances and it mentally exhausts me. Then I try less than an hour drive and I'm beat. I do things slowly, but even then it is exhausting. The next day I have to recharge. Going to the store is always an adventure. But one day at a time. It has been over a month now...slight coughs and well.....sleep is still very nice:)

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  6. You are the first person I know who has had COVID. I have been following Arizona, especially Tucson, because we abandoned our RV there in storage in February. We chose to self isolate in Bellingham, Washington, and just come home to Canada after realizing that things in the States are getting worse rather than better. I am glad to hear you are getting your energy back. We follow all of the recommendations to stay COVID free and are now finishing up our 14 day mandatory quarantine here in Canada. Even with the stronger enforcement there are Karens and disbelievers here too. Keep getting better. - Margy

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    1. You did the right thing. I'm glad you headed back to Canada. It's a mess down here. So Karens have infiltrated Canada as well. That doesn't seem right. I thought everyone was supposed to be polite there. What does that even look like? LOL. Take care Margy and thanks for stopping by!

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  7. That's a nightmare journey that both Lindsay and I are doing everything we can to avoid, Chris. Delighted to hear that you both pulled through though, and hope that you both make full health recoveries soon. Too many people in UK ignoring any social-distancing recommendations for us to feel comfortable enough to visit any sort of store yet.

    Wishing you both the best of luck - stay safe - - - Richard

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    1. Hello!!! Thank you for the well wishes. Please be careful you two. It's nasty. I know a 63 year old coworker who contracted the disease and for almost 2 months was on a ventilator. They released him this past week on an oxygen tank and walker. The doctors said he'll never return to "normal". I'm not sure how he will teach. It must be disheartening for a person to hear those words. The social distancing is so important. You let your guard down one moment and BAM....you aren't feeling so well. Hugs to you both. Chris

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  8. Good to hear you are doing more things as you recover. The ceilings and photos look great!! Cacti to deter trespassers -- good plan. Take care and keep healing!

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    1. Thank you for the well wishes. I have to tell you, I have had a resurgence of feeling for my garden. It makes me so happy. I've created my own urban forest and the wildlife has found us. Just like your nighthawk you had in your yard years ago. There's so much stuff hiding there waiting for us to find. Take care, be safe and thanks for stopping by:)

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  9. Dearest Chris, I am so glad you are still alive. I am glad you have not lost your sense of humor! I am glad you know how to landscape for self defense as well as proving homes for nesting birds. I am sorry I was not there to help you out, but happy I am not there to catch Covid! I am missing you terribly and hope that you survive the return to teaching, and I hope the birds continue to make you smile!

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Thanks for stopping by!