Tag Archive | COVID-19

Daily Bread #107

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I have become quite the hiker.  There isn’t a whole lot else to do.  At least the fire roads near our house are open and not crowded at all.  It is a real blessing.

My goal this week was to burn 2000+ calories every day.  I did it!  Mainly with hiking/walking, but also with some time on the stationary bike.   I also did a few sit ups and push ups every other day or so.  Exercise can be fun and I believe it is also helping keep me healthy.  I really did up my game this week with 20,000+ more steps than last week, with an average of 5+ miles per day.  I am down only a little over a pound rather than more because I also increased my calorie intake.  I did enjoy that too!  This week I also dipped down to a number on the scale that I haven’t seen since my mid-30’s.  My weight loss curve has definitely begun to “flatten” in the last several months, however,  as I near the end of the “losing” journey and shift completely to simple maintenance.

Flattening the curve is a good thing.  A life-saving one in fact.

Two poems I wrote this week:

First, a kind of fun one.

Heel

I scraped my heel

Walking down a hill

Or maybe it was up

I can’t remember

 

I was well prepared

Thick socks and boots

Hiking sticks to lean on

It didn’t matter

 

Hills come

And we go up or down

Defying or giving in

To gravity

 

The view was worth it

At least I think it was

Because with time

My heel will likely heal

 

Isn’t that what we want?

Isn’t that why we were born?

To climb the hills

To accept the challenges?

To live our lives

Without regret?

 

Preparation always helps

But scrapes come still

I climbed a hill

But it seemed a mountain.

I’ve got the scars

To prove it.

 

And now a more serious one:

Virus

This virus isn’t new

Not really

The sickness has been here

From when the first white colonists arrived

To this green and healthy land

 

They took possession of the earth

Not caring that it wasn’t theirs

They drove compassion out

Down a trail of tears.

They sent justice on the road.

 

They brought the poor of Europe

Here to work their fields

Then stole the souls from Africa

Leaving their own hearts behind

Frozen tight in greed.

 

The beat’s gone on

The infection’s spread

200 years and more

Walls are built and borders closed

While vigilantes roam

 

It’s time to pause it really is

Take stock in measured order

Heal the sick and feed the poor

Find some shelter for all souls.

A vaccine to prevent this evil

 

We’re all in this together

A lesson we must learn

Before this virus kills us all.

A pandemic isn’t easy

But we WILL find a cure

 

We are well stocked on food for awhile, thanks to a Costco 2 hour delivery which actually came the same day and within an hour and a half of ordering.  It was a minor miracle, as it has been taking a week to get “same day” deliveries.  We ordered 2 gallons of milk and gave one to the insta-cart shopper who said he could use it.  I don’t drink milk and no way could Anne drink two gallons before it went bad.  We also tipped generously, but it also felt good not to waste food when so many are hungry.

Be well!  Stay safe and healthy!

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 93507 steps last week for 38.7 miles.   I ate approximately 10906 calories and burned 14434 for a deficit of 3528. My average weight this week is down 1.3  pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 170.5

Daily Bread #106

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I saw this on one of my walks.  People are leaving positive messages everywhere these days it seems.  This is a good thing.  Sometimes good things come out of hard times. And the message feels right. “This too shall pass.”  It doesn’t always feel that way and it is easy to feel despair and lose hope.

Poetry definitely helps.

Poem:

Old Leaf

The old leaf rattling down the street

Doesn’t yet know it is spring.

Dry and brittle, energy spent

It looks for a place to rest.

That gutter maybe

Or under that bush

Somewhere safe from the rain

Or a virus in the air

Whatever is lurking

On the other side of fear.

 

Once you were green

And spring felt eternal

You lolled in the grass

And got drunk on the sun.

 

You won’t feel this spring

Like you did in years past

Please find you some shelter

As you wait for this strange

Lonesome winter

To pass.

 

What also helps is just sticking to it, carrying on.

Reflecting on the Passover and Easter stories can also help.  The plague will pass over some of our houses, although the sounds of grief from our neighbors will echo down through the centuries.  The Egyptians are always remembered at the Seder table. And after 3 days, or 3 months, the stone will roll away and we will be reborn into a new life.  Not the old one.  Not the one filled with consumerism and callousness toward the vulnerable. No, hopefully into a kinder, more compassionate world.  That is my prayer anyway.

I did suffer from some food anxiety this week.  2 hour delivery from the grocery stores takes at least a week, and they don’t have everything you order.  We have plenty of staples to sustain us, soup and canned beans, rice, protein bars, and pasta.  But being able to control what I eat has become very important to me, and I started to stress out about not having enough veggies and protein to stick to my food plans.  The delivery came, however, and I have relaxed again.  We are now well stocked with cod, chicken, pork tenderloin, and fresh and frozen veggies. Getting some Thai food via Grubhub also helped cheer me up.

Thai food is apparently less salty than the Chinese we had last week.  My weight is back down, despite a couple of cocktail parties via zoom where I enjoyed martinis.  I am running out of garlic stuffed olives, and am rationing them, but I have plenty of gin and maybe a jigger of vermouth.  No worries there.  Who needs vermouth anyway?  We also got some wine delivered for Anne and showed the required ID and our gray hair through the kitchen window.  We are both WELL over 21!  Our son dropped off some TP and coffee for us on the porch.  We now have all the necessities of modern life.

Gratitude.  This could all be so much worse, as I know it is for too many.

Be well!  Stay safe and healthy!

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 72610 steps last week for 30.3 miles.   I ate approximately 10115 calories and burned 13593 for a deficit of 3478. My average weight this week is down 1.6  pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 169.2.

Old Leaf

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The old leaf rattling down the street

Doesn’t yet know it is spring.

Dry and brittle, energy spent

It looks for a place to rest.

That gutter maybe

Or under that bush

Somewhere safe from the rain

Or a virus in the air

Whatever is lurking

On the other side of fear.

 

Once you were green

And spring felt eternal

You lolled in the grass

And got drunk on the sun.

 

You won’t feel this spring

Like you did in years past

Please find you some shelter

As you wait for this strange

Lonesome winter

To pass.

 

 

 

 

Daily Bread #105

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Last week I posted about a trail that was too steep for me.  This week we found another way, and I reached the top.  Someone hung two swings where you can sit and enjoy the view.  They made me a little acrophobic so I didn’t get on one, but the view was amazing as was my sense of accomplishment.  I am so lucky to have had my knee surgery when i did because now I can go on hikes when there is nothing much else to do while we shelter in place.  We are using delivery for groceries because although I am fairly healthy now, my age alone puts me in a high risk category for serious complications from COVID-19 as well as a lower priority for a ventilator if needs exceed the number available.  Even when just walking around, we are advised to cover our noses and mouths.  My purple bandana still serves.

92262968_10220895137835771_7119867651374972928_n These are definitely unusual times and I am not at all sure that we will ever get back to what we once thought was normal. There are some good things happening.  Governments are renting hotel rooms to house people without homes.  People are being released from jails and prisons early.  Why did we have so many non-violent offenders behind bars and why did we ever ignore all the people forced to live on the streets?  Now we finally appreciate grocery clerks and farmworkers because we know we would not eat without them.  They have always been essential.  Maybe we should be paying them more.

I do worry that the November election may be delayed. Our President has killed people, right on 5th Avenue like he bragged about, and I am really afraid about the callousness to suffering and death that he displays.  He is either stupid or evil; most likely both. I am also really glad to be in California and also proud to be part of a faith that went to virtual worship nationally even before California shut such gatherings down.  Listen to the scientists not the politicians unless it is very clear that the politicians are listening to the scientists.  I like having a rather nerdy governor.

I am getting used to the way things are and will be for longer than we may expect.

I wrote this poem to keep my spirits up.

Live your life

Live your life

Such as it is now

This isn’t ending soon

The world grows smaller

Shrinks down to a neighborhood

A house, a room, a prison cell.

Our connections are more distant

But deeper too

As we share the fear

The grief, the loss.

Howling in the night

We find some small release.

 

Live your life

Such as it is

While you have it

While you can.

Relish the sunshine

Savor the flowers

Bursting with spring

They are

What your soul needs now.

Talk to your neighbor

From a distance of course

Help them if you can.

We are all refugees now

There is no escape.

There are no borders

Anymore.

This is the whole world

A planet in pain and fear.

 

Live your life.

It is what you have

For now.

Enjoy each day, each moment

Find a way to laugh

To smile.

Courage will come.

This isn’t ending soon

I hope not for me

Or for you.

This is the time to focus on what we can do, not on what we can’t.  The weight management program I have been in is a practice, a lifestyle, built on thousands of separate decisions which when taken together make a difference.   So too, a community responds to a pandemic.  Thousands of individuals make decisions that affect their entire community and even the world.

My weight went up a bit this week, but that is nothing for anyone to worry about.  We have bigger fish to fry – um – I mean bake.  I am getting at least 10,000 steps in every day – if it is raining too hard outside, I just do them in the house. This is not the time for mall walking. I am also doing 30-40 minutes on the stationary bike most days.  My exercise level and calorie deficit were both up slightly this week from the week before, so if it was simple math, I would have lost rather than gained.  The difference might be the amount of salt I ate last week and some water retention that went along with it. That Chinese food delivery order was delicious and well worth a small gain, however.  There are thousands of decisions as I said.  Some are worth it and some aren’t.

We are all  learning what matters most as so much of our former life has slipped away.   I miss our adult children the most.  I knew I was lucky they all lived close by and we could see them often. Now they might as well be thousands of miles away, but am glad we can stay in touch via the phone and video chats and they are all healthy and still employed, at least for now.

I’ll end with the messages I hear so often these days, from family and neighbors, strangers and friends.

Be careful out there!  Stay home if you can, wear a mask, wash your hands.  Be safe.  Stay well.

Love to you all!

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 87053 steps last week for 34.7 miles.   I ate approximately 10269 calories and burned 14276 for a deficit of 4007. My average weight this week is up 1.7  pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 167.6.

Live Your Life

Live your life

Such as it is now

This isn’t ending soon

The world grows smaller

Shrinks down to a neighborhood

A house, a room, a prison cell.

Our connections are more distant

But deeper too

As we share the fear

The grief, the loss.

Howling in the night

We find some small release.

 

Live your life

Such as it is

While you have it

While you can.

Relish the sunshine

Savor the flowers

Bursting with spring

They are

What your soul needs now.

Talk to your neighbor

From a distance of course

Help them if you can.

We are all refugees now

There is no escape.

There are no borders

Anymore.

This is the whole world

A planet in pain and fear.

 

Live your life.

It is what you have

For now.

Enjoy each day, each moment

Find a way to laugh

To smile.

Courage will come.

This isn’t ending soon

I hope not for me

Or for you.

Daily Bread #104

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Sometimes there is a path you think you can follow.  The rise looks gentle enough, doable, as they say.  But sometimes that path, after it winds through some trees, after you get a glimpse of simply breathtaking views, the trail becomes a trial.  It goes almost straight up and there are loose rocks that slip under your boots.  At some point you realize that maybe you can reach the summit, but no way could you get down again without falling and sliding on your butt. It is important to find a path that leads more gently to the place you want to go.

The above picture is of a real trail in my neighborhood that looked inviting, but quickly became terrifying and so we turned around.

There are lessons in my walkabouts, if I pay attention.  The metaphors get strained sometimes, like my muscles, but moving can also be a meditation.

I think we are in the second week of lockdown due to COVID-19; time is a little weird these days.  We walk through the neighborhood between rain showers, I ride my stationary bike and do my physical therapy, we play cards, read, go to virtual church, share video calls with our kids, talk on the phone, and cook meals which take more planning as we are avoiding grocery stores and home deliveries can be delayed.  Having a hot tub really helps for relaxation and we discovered GrubHub this week.  We had a great dinner delivered from our favorite local Chinese restaurant with lots of leftovers for another day.  I also wrote a couple of poems.

The Wind

Little Things

Life goes on, at least for now. It feels important to pace myself.  This is a marathon not a sprint.  After almost 2 years in the program (started in April of 2018), I have yet to wander too far from the path. If I can do that, I can also make it through this pandemic.  I am grateful to have good companions and guides along the way, and feel very lucky to be in California where science is not considered fake news.

For all who are afraid, may courage come. For all who are sick, may they be healed.

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 75670 steps last week for 31 miles.   I ate approximately 10367 calories and burned 13889 for a deficit of 3522. My average weight this week is down 1.1  pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 169.3.

Little Things

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It’s the little things

That make me weep

The sunlight seeping through the fog

Two mourning doves on the deck

Looking out on the world

It’s the little things

We need

Here and now,

In this time, this place.

When death looms outside our doors

And in our neighbor’s breath.

 

It’s the little things

That make me smile

A rainbow drawn in sidewalk chalk

A delivery at my door.

A neighbor holding space

A howling in the night

That chorus of lament

Which strangely echoes

Hope inside the fear

 

The Wind

The wind came up today

While I was walking

It blew clean and clear and cold.

I listened but there were no answers

Or if there were

I did not understand.

How many deaths will it take?

Bob Dylan asked so long ago.

I’ll keep walking as long as I can

Listening, hoping, watching

Wondering if that dove is sleeping

Somewhere in the sand.

Sheltering in place

Like the rest of us.

Daily Bread #103

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Who is that masked woman?

I used to wear that same bandana back in the day, going to demonstrations against the Viet Nam war.  I kept it wet and pulled it over my face to protect my eyes from the clouds of tear gas.  These days, I just pull it up when others are passing a bit too close.  It isn’t as good as a N-95 mask, but we need to save those for the health care workers because the US government is very unprepared for the pandemic.  I am glad to be in California where I can at least trust the state, county, and city officials to not lie to us about the situation.

It is getting to me.  The clueless people still running around in groups.  The run on toilet paper.  The racism still coming from Washington. I wish we had a president that at least acted like he cared about anyone but himself. They closed the parks here, which I knew was coming after the traffic jams at the beach this weekend.  I’ll miss the trails, but at least my neighborhood is pleasant to walk in.  Great views, especially if I head uphill.  Tempers are short, though, including my own.  I usually write this weekly blog fairly early on Mondays, but just couldn’t get centered enough today to put any words together.  I am still not very centered, but am writing anyway.  Does it have to make sense?  Does anything make sense these days?  I am scared and grumpy and am trying to cut myself some slack about it, and trying, not always effectively, to be generous with other stressed and grumpy people, especially on-line.  We will get through this.  I have to keep that hope alive, a flame that at least still flickers even if it isn’t burning very bright right now.

I lost some more weight this week again.  Who cares?  Maybe I still do.  Paying attention to my body and its needs seems even more important just now as we hunker down and try to survive as best we can.

Love to all of you who might read this.  We are in it all together, that much, at least, is very clear.

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 78875 steps last week for 32 miles.   I ate approximately 10479 calories and burned 14074 for a deficit of 3595. My average weight this week is down 1.7  pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 168.2.