Saturday, May 30, 2020


I've thought about writing a bit about my life for my grands.
First step is the time line. this is really for me :) But if you have a question....

I was born into a new neighborhood in Phoenix in late 1950's.  Middle child of five. Religion practicing mother, faith living father.
Summer of 1964 our family went East to visit my father's family.
Watching history evolve on TV and seeing it on the ground. Solidified early my love of history and finding out the full story.

Early 1970's in high school. Being a first "girl" to do many things in my religion.  Dating people from every race and social level.  Music, music and more music. Theater

Mid 70's- Moving begins
Loyola Marymount
Arizona State
Northern Arizona University

Last of the 70's
Open classroom co teaching
Teaching migrant kids
Migrant work in desert
Security guard to pay the bills.

Early 80's
Teaching in Wuerzburg
Breaking up with one person and marrying another in a six month period.
Two children
Washington DC

Next 15 years-
Indianapolis- first encounter with public housing
Kansas- first encounter with generational poverty
Monterey,Ca- first encounter with privilege
Pok Fu Lam Hong Kong/ Asia travel
Honolulu - first encounter with real prejudice directed to my kids
Saudi Arabia- first time becoming a non person behind a mask.

      ten years of kids
     teaching on Navajo Reservation
     choosing minority PS over CS for kids and working hard with that community.
     Food Kitchens
     Championship multi racial cross country.

   Travel- 49 states
   Pushing limits.

    Teaching in a school of farmers
             and people who thought they never could do much (which was BS)
     Casualty Assistance
     West Point
     Non compliant young adult
     Marriages and grandchildren

     Grand kids

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Day 50! Yes, I am still at home.

Delaware begins to open.
I would attempt the beach, but I know everyone will be there
and one of the things I love about our beach is
how few people go there.

It is a rocky beach really (this is a stock photo)
Most of the sand washed into the bay years ago...
Still, it is the beach my ancestor landed on in the late 1600's
and it is close to me. 

I did sneak by and see this gang at the beginning of the week.
We had all been inside for about five weeks.
My "touch meter" was pegged at zero
I needed a fill up.
Better then medicine. 
Continuing to plan my kitchen in Idaho.
After a major meltdown 
about the move.
Poor hubby.
He did survive.
But the next time I pull that sh*t on him
I might not.....

Finished Outlander and Homeland last weekend.
Looking forward to the last Belgravia on Sunday.

The TV is mostly off except late at night when it puts me to sleep.

Started the new Tom Clancy novel
Doing research on seventh grade curriculum 
for the possibility of the oldest grand doing it at home.
Found all of my old curriculum and put most of it up for sale.
I have hope it will all sale.

Moved almost all of our savings to other places.
USAA is doing some strange things, so it is time to go.
While I was at it I opened a credit union account in the town 
that we WILL be living in two years.

Flying to Phoenix for three days
in July.
Really. My mom turns 90.

I'll report what Southwest is like...

Began to plan our masked Disney trip in November.

The hotel rooms were booked in January.

I am stubborn and have not canceled my Germany trip yet.
Germany has opened travel to EU people. 
Do you think I could pull,
"I am writing a blog post about the new travel on Delta."
How about, "Ancestry says that I am more then 50% Prussian"?
My bet is it will close at the beginning of the winter for flu...

Trying to decide if I should just throw away all of my Covid clothing.
Is is fashionable to wear house dresses when I go to the local commissary?
I didn't think so....

BTW- I "borrowed" most of these photos if you couldn't tell. 

Back to trying to go to sleep
It is already day 51......

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Looking forward

I am looking forward today.
I may have to get paperwork---but I have no "co morbid" problems- no AC1 issues, no diabetes, no heart, no lung---no medicine. I am under the age of 70. I may have even had the virus in January. I wear masks and gloves and walk far away from anyone who is not in my house. 

So why does this matter?
If the economy opens I may be Ok to be a part of it.
My mother informed me the rest of them should stay inside until there is some sort of cure. 
They can get people to pick up their dogs,
get their food,
do telework (if they are still employed),
and learn to do lots of crossword or jigsaw puzzles.
They will be sheltered from harm. 

I get it, if they all go out they may get the virus

and begin to overwhelm the hospital.

To say the least, it was an interesting conversation. 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Inequality and the virus

Well, I was misinformed last week.
We are not even close to being green.

My state is a sanctuary state.
But they seem to have missed the idea that undocumented should be cared for,
not just protected from being hauled away.
Our chicken farming has long hired undocumented
to do the dirty work of plucking, wringing necks and cutting up
to get that beautiful piece of chicken to our door.
Because they are undocumented, they can also pay them whatever they want
and not give sick leave.

That bit them in the butt this week when a factory worker dropped dead
from the virus.
The first word was that the infection rate was well over 60%
Our 200 bed, not full, hospitals
are now running full at 270 and climbing.
And those are the people who came forward....

Doesn't it bother anyone that the only people who are allowed to get sick
are the people at the second wrung of our ladder?
They are not allowed to work their American dream to start their own business
but they can be "our" servants.
They cannot distantly have fun,
because they are not rich enough to be allowed on a golf course to chat in carts
or go to the marina and sit on a boat (and how is that distancing?)
They could not do that anyway because
in their free time they have to figure out internet
without service
so their children can go to "school".

They certainly cannot go to Super Cuts to get their hair cut
but they can sneak into gated communities
and give service to the wealthy.
They cannot go to the library and get their children book players,
but the middle and upper classes can download and read at leisure.

They cannot keep their smaller shops open to help their communities
but they can drive 30 miles and go to a big box store.

Humm...inequality is showing panties right now.
I wonder how many are actually looking?
Do we really WANT a servant class
that we can pay poorly,
do our dirty work a
and we can feel like lords of the castle
while we sit and keep ourselves from being ill?

My daughter says I worry about too many things.
I guess I do.

Friday, April 17, 2020

A Green State in a Sea of Red

Delaware is tiny state.  Under a million in population
Two Senators, one representative.
We got our first larger  COVID tests two weeks ago.
Yup, we are back burner.

The center part of the state is farming
The lower part is active retirement, beaches and farming.
The top is connected to the other metroplexes of  I-95.

So here we are:
See that tiny spot of green between the states in deep poo poo?
Yup, that is where I live. Tiny green in the Mid Atlantic states.
Our governor has decided to be a part of the red coalition. 
I get it, 
He is afraid of telling people they cannot come to the beach if we open up. 
Those PA and NJ drivers would be here in a minute. 
So, we stay under house arrest.

Here is the catch.
 Many of our worker bees for the farms and product factories (read chickens)
live in the state next to us--that would be Maryland. 
And, currently, there is a no travel order between the two.
If you are in the upper East Coast
you probably eat Delaware Chicken.
But not for long. The factories are closing for lack of workers.
Soon will be strawberry harvest time....
I don't mind staying home. I have gotten the hang of it.
I have an income and plenty of savings.
But my hair salon is closed for good as of the 1st
and my country farm will not have picking until "we" open.
I actually hope my church closes for good so they will stop asking me for money to keep closed. 

Friday, April 10, 2020

Baltimore 1918 and 2020

The more they are the same...
It is eerie that my family is in this same situation- 100 years apart.
Keep in mind that the main target of the epidemic was young people, poor and ill of health.
MY great grandfather was a pressman for the Baltimore paper. My grandfather and his brother were in the military camps close to their Baltimore home, waiting to be shipped to France.
They left in December.

The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919:

A Digital Encyclopedia

Here are some pieces of it.

"On September 24, 1918, a small number of influenza cases among soldiers at Camp Meade–some 25 miles north of Baltimore and on the route to Washington, DC–were reported to military medical officers. ....

 On September 26, he announced that the influenza circulating in the area was the “same old influenza the physicians have recognized and treated for a good many years.

On October 1, Blake did ask the United Railways Company and the city’s theaters to keep their streetcars and spaces well ventilated and to post signs reminding patrons to use their handkerchiefs when coughing and sneezing.7 
We no not consider such drastic steps necessary in view of the extreme low civilian death rate in the city.”9 For Blake, the supposed fear that a closure order would cause was worse than the epidemic itself.

The death rate may have been low thus far, but the number of new cases was quickly overwhelming Baltimore’s hospitals, nurses, and physicians. By October 6, there were already so many residents sick with influenza that the city’s hospitals were unable to accept new patients.

On October 8, the school board decided to take unilateral action and to close all public schools until further notice, over Blake’s strenuous objection. A staggering 30,000 students and 208 teachers were absent on October 7 alone, 

October 9, he issued an order prohibiting public gatherings and closing theaters and other places of public assembly.15 The next day, Blake restricted the business hours of department, retail, and specialty stores. Saloons were spared from either closure or business hour curtailment because of the purported medicinal value of liquor. 
The next day, Blake ordered dentists to wear gauze masks while with patients, and limited the operating hours of saloons and bars to 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.17

Within a week, the number of new influenza cases being reported daily began to decline, although, given Baltimore’s slow response to the crisis, this was most likely due to the epidemic running its natural course than to the recent social distancing measures enacted.

Caskets, as well as the labor to prepare graves, were in short supply. Families, many of them living paycheck-to-paycheck, could simply not afford the expense of one or more funerals in the family.

By late-October, only two weeks after taking action, Blake decided that the epidemic situation in Baltimore was looking good enough to remove some of the restrictions on public gatherings. Beginning on October 26, retail stores would be allowed to operate from 9:00 am until 5:30 pm, while movie houses, theaters, poolrooms, and lodges could open from 7:30 pm until 11:30 pm. Churches could hold services from 5:00 am to 3:00 pm

Interestingly, schools remained shut. When a delegation of private school officials inquired about reopening their schools, Blake –now seemingly a convert to the idea that social distancing measures could have an effect on an epidemic

Over the course of November, Baltimore continued to experience new cases of influenza, but in drastically lower numbers than during the height of the epidemic. Instead of hundreds of new cases reported each day, there were only handfuls. December, however, saw a slight rise in new cases

Over the course of the winter, life in Baltimore slowly returned to normal, as much as it could in a city that, by the end of 1918, had a total of nearly 24,000 reported cases of influenza (Blake estimated the actual count at closer to three times that number) and had lost 4,125 Baltimoreans to the epidemic.

Baltimore’s excess death rate for the epidemic period was only 559 per 100,000, better than that of many of its East Coast counterparts. Washington, DC, for example, only 40 miles to the southwest, experienced a death rate of 608 deaths per 100,000 people, despite a similar lag in response to its epidemic. Boston and Philadelphia, two cities devastated by influenza in the fall of 1918, experienced excess death rates of 710 and 748 deaths per 100,000 people, respectively."

My great grandfather was a pressman in Baltimore. My grandfather and grand uncle were in military camps near home, waiting to ship to France. They left in December. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Toilet paper, Cities, and the working poor

 There has been a lot of talk about toilet paper.
This article helps solve the issue.
And this one helps city dwellers understand why country people find the social distancing of the city like a noose around their neck.

One of the things I think this article gets wrong is the infection rate at "resort towns". Yes, their permanent population is tiny, but the infection rate often comes from the big city refugees. That is why Delaware had to close their beaches and hotels. Many of the infected in the lower part of our state are people who are escaping the cities. That is true in Idaho (San Fran has invaded) and the New York Catskills (NYC). 

I have one more thought...there is a lot of articles about terrible Christians who gather for prayer.  My own area was shamed into closing down parking lot/in car services. Really? What is the difference between that and golf cart parties in the wealthy back yards? or gathering on porches? As long as people are in cars....  I understand the mega church issues in some areas, but shaming everyone who gathers? I don't really NEED to gather, but it brings some people great comfort (just like the martini on a cart). 

And if we are going to socially distance-- why cannot the working poor have two days off? Shut EVERYTHING two days a week--say Wed and Sunday? Why is it that only the working poor have to be unsafe? At this point, everyone should have a week of food and Amazon deliveries.