Something Approaching Normal

Slowly, slowly, my schedule is returning to something approaching normal.  I have resumed posting three times a week and am working on Book Four of the Great Library Series. (No title yet. It might be Library Regained. It might be something else. It all depends on how many Maya books I write.)

It helps that spring has come to our home in the woods. Yesterday, Clif and I put on our jackets and had tea on the patio. The temperature was 50°, but it felt fine to be sitting there.

Sherlock joined us. That chair was set out especially for him. Unfortunately, it seems that felines can contract covid-19. Even though we live in the woods, we do have neighbors, and we might have to keep the cats in this summer. Blogging friends, any thoughts about this?

On a happier note, there are lots of green shoots in the garden.

And I  was able to get a picture of this handsome goldfinch, whose feathers are returning to summer yellow.

But sadness is never very far away. As we sat and had tea, I thought of our daughter in Brooklyn who is confined to a small apartment that is somewhere between 500 to 600 square feet. Dee hasn’t been outside for two weeks or so. She doesn’t complain—that is not her way—but when I asked her how she was doing, Dee did mention that she wished she had a small yard so that she could go out on nice days.

What I wish is that Dee were right here with us, and then she could join us on the patio and watch the fluttering beauties that come to our yard.

Alas, the time for that has passed, and Dee will have to hunker down in her small apartment until the worst is over.


Coronavirus News from Maine

From my very own town of Winthrop

Charlie Gove, 90, continues to volunteer at the Food Pantry.  For over 14 years, I volunteered with this fine man. If you click on the link, it will take you to the Facebook page with the article. If you click on the article, it will enlarge, and you will be able to read the piece.

From Maine CDC

Maine’s number of cases of the coronavirus: 499

Deaths in Maine from Covid-19: 10

The News from All Over

From Mother Nature Network

This piece by Christian Controneo about greenhouse gases surely falls under the category of it’s an ill wind that blows no good.

We’re poised to see carbon dioxide emissions plummet to levels last experienced around World War II. That’s according to the Global Carbon Project, a network of emissions experts, earth scientists and economists, that tracks greenhouse gasses and advises policymakers on the issue.

From Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Another bit of good news.

As the US heads towards the peak, Europe’s numbers offer some hope. Fatalities and infections seem to be slowing in Italy, Spain and France, among the hardest-hit countries on the continent — and in the world.

And wise words from Queen Elizabeth

I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge.

The Latest Numbers

Global Cases: 1,280,046

Global Deaths69,789

My own take: Queen Elizabeth knows a thing or two about how a country can suffer. I am specifically thinking about World War II and her own exemplary service, in which she should take a great deal of pride.

60 thoughts on “Something Approaching Normal”

  1. Hi Laurie, I feel for you and your daughter. My Mom is home alone in state far away. I constantly worry about her – tried to get her to come join us before this got bad, but no go. Hang in there. This too shall pass.

  2. Hi, Laurie –

    So much to think about at this time. Here is what one of our local vets has posted about pets and COVID. We currently have a foster dog, and we are erring on the side of caution, probably being MUCH more cautious than we need to be. Hope this helps.

    “Smooth (non-porous) surfaces (countertops, door knobs) transmit viruses better than porous materials (paper money, pet fur) because porous and fibrous materials absorb and trap the virus, making it harder to contract through simple touch.

    If you want to be very cautious, don’t let other people outside of your household handle your pets at this time—the exception being if your pet needs veterinary care. Since we have all been asked to stay 6 feet away from other people when out of our homes, this is achievable. Social distancing applies to the whole household, not just the human members!

    As a matter of everyday health, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets to help avoid transmission of more common illness-causing agents, such as E. coli and Salmonella.”

  3. Finally its Spring.
    In such times it’s really a blessing to have a house with a garden.
    Sending good wishes to your daughter. Staying in a small flat is not easy.

  4. Our 8 cats stay indoors all year round anyway. Living in a rural area, make no mistake about it that cats are part of the food chain for coyotes, foxes, cougar (yes, we have them here), raccoons, etc. We live off of a state road, many feral cats die there and I bury them, and I caught a neighbor several doors down (a temporary renter) trapping illegally on my property, and he had caught a neighborhood cat in a leg hold trap in 20 degree weather. Fortunately I had seen him and his soon heading back toward my property line earlier in the day, had a bad feeling and went out to investigate after dinner one very cold night. I practically dragged the man out of his house. He released the cat, which ran off. I have no idea how the poor thing fared. Never saw that animal again. The man was read the riot act about trapping on my property. Apparently it was his son’s idea. They were trapping raccoons and this particular trap was marketed as not supposed to catch cats. So, as much as I like to see animals run free, my experience says it is a bad idea for many reasons.

    Keeping your cat in may prevent problems with people who feel cats are the #1 cause in the world in bird declines. Yes, some cats who are efficient hunters will take some birds, especially if there is a bird feeder conveniently stationed like the corner store (and I have one of those too, but never see any of the numerous neighborhood feral cats hanging around it), but it is like saying that all immigrants are criminals and should be deported or not allowed entry to begin with. Habitat loss and pollution, both chemical and noise, are the major players in bird declines, and this seem to be ignored by those folks who believe otherwise. Almost sounds like politics, no? 🙂

    Sorry for the diatribe, Laurie. My vote is keep your cat in, virus or no virus. There are too many other things out there which will kill them first.

  5. We have relatives who lived in Brooklyn and have left. I know it’s always a difficult decision, but the wife is pregnant. My heart goes out to everyone who is suffering. I also loved the Queen’s speech. I was still in England at the time of her coronation and it was a huge celebration.

    1. How wonderful to be in England when the queen was coronated! Your relatives made the right decision. I wish our daughter had come home when she could.

  6. Good to hear you can enjoy the patio and are finding your routine again Laurie. As far as pets and other animals are concerned, they can develop Covid-19 from infected humans and other infected animals and social distancing will help protect them too. Here’s hoping the warmer weather will last and you all stay safe and healthy 🧡 xxx

  7. Hi Hope your daughter gets through this – I am sure she will with your love and support. Re cats – our cat loves to be out, but think his friends are not letting him in, or he knows we need him as he is much more at home these days. I think until we are advised otherwise, we will let him out. He will go mad if he has to stay in though.

  8. I know that I feel very fortunate to have lots of yard to move around in, but I know how difficult it must be for folks in small apartments. The spring weather hopefully will get us all through to the other side!

  9. I find being outdoors so comforting, especially at this time of year. I can only imagine how taxing house arrest would be in NYC. I hope your daughter and all of you will be ok.
    Best wishes,

  10. I’m glad spring has arrived and the patio is open for business! We took out the table and chairs for the deck today – feels great to have the warm season ahead of us!
    My sympathies to Dee, it must be such a challenge. They are not even allowed out for exercise?

    1. She could go out, but she feels safer staying in. Her neighborhood is a busy place. Lots of people. Although I do think that people are mostly staying in.

  11. My niece is house sitting in Brooklyn (with a balcony) and feels it is safer than her place in Queens. So that’s one thing to think about. But being inside without access to outside would be wearing. I’m glad you have a routine coming back. I’m trying to establish one, involving meditation in the morning and exercise at noon and inside in the evening. We’ll see. Did a walk with a mask today.

  12. I just heard on the news about a tiger at the Bronx zoo contracting the virus. Are there other stories of ‘pets’ getting it? Do they get it from people? Seems like we don’t know very much about this virus at all. Best wishes to your daughter, we have friends in Brooklyn, a young couple with 2 kids…small apartment of course. I don’t know how they are coping.

    1. The tiger did get it from her caretaker. Sigh. I haven’t heard of other pets getting it, but we shall see. Yes, this virus seemed to come out of nowhere and sucker punch us all. Thanks for the wishes for my daughter. And oh your friends with two children in a small apartment! My heart goes out to them. Wish I could send them a slice of the Maine woods.

  13. Thanks for the post Laurie, one of our daughters is living and working in a small flat too, here in Canberra. Luckily she can get out for a run with a friend at lunchtime & also chats to friends on FT… but it still must be lonely in the evening. We are way out in the suburbs … but we will take it in turns to see her on the weekend. Easter is the last holiday break here before winter & we usually get together as a family. (I know I should never complain about winter here!!) Keep well. 😀🌞

    1. Your comment about winter made me smile. Your daughter’s situation sounds similar to my daughter’s. Best to both of them and to all the children of the world!

  14. As you know, I also have one daughter over in the UK I wished had come over while she could but at least her sister (who lives with her boyfriend) is very close by so at least she’s not entirely alone. It’s worrying and probably even more so for you as Brooklyn is so busy. It sounds as if she is being extra careful though.
    I am very proud of our queen. I thought she gave a calm, reassuring and gracious speech which made such a nice change from some of the posturing and hysteria we’ve been seeing from some other quarters.
    My cats drive me mad enough when they are inside the house so I think they will all have to be allowed out 😼

    1. I sure know how you feel about having a daughter in the UK. Glad your other daughter is nearby. I so loved the Queen’s speech. Yes, reassuring and gracious, exactly what we need right now. As you noted, a far cry from the posturing and hysteria we’ve seen from other leaders. I expect my cats will continue to go outside. Fortunately, they don’t go far and always come in at night.

  15. What a beautiful orange cat.

    Our orange Skooter sprays in the house in rage if not able to go outside. I fear he would have to take his chances. I was reading about the problem and trying to imagine how we could keep him in. If we were not too sick ourselves, we could order some stakes and chicken wire and make an emergency catio. I hope it does not come to that. So far, our county has no known cases and has done some testing. Our other cat is so shy I would not worry that she’d be exposed.

    1. Also, I am so sad for your daughter. When I’m in my garden now, I think of people cooped up in apartments. Especially in places where they cannot even walk their dogs! A friend of a friend can’t even open her window because she too close to the sidewalk.

      1. It hardly bears imagining and yet I feel I must imagine it in solidarity with people in those situations. :-(. Not that they know that’s what I am doing!

      2. I like to think that kind thoughts do make a difference, that their vibrations go out into the world and make things better. A little woo-woo, I know.

  16. Glad you’re getting outside. I’m not a cat owner, can’t offer suggestions, but the comments brought you several replies and info. It sounds like Dee is pretty confined, but has a system that is working for her, and I know that is what you want. It can’t hurt to be too cautious during this time that’s for sure. Stay well.

    1. Yes, she does have a system, and that does make me feel better. She was also able to get some masks, the simple ones. So if she does have to go out, she has some protection. She’ll be all right, but as a mother, I worry. No matter how old they are…

  17. So glad to hear that the spring is coming to you and you can get outside a bit more. It must be so hard to be confined like your daughter. Glad too that you are finding a rhythm again. I have always found that when life is hard sticking fairly rigidly to a routine helps me cope but maybe that is just me being odd!

    1. I think a routine gives you something to hang onto, especially when times are bad. Yes, must be very hard to be so confined. Fortunately, she loves movies and computer games, which is help. But still.

      1. Wish her all the best from me. I know what it is to worry about adult children!

  18. I’m pleased to see the patio in use. I feel for Dee. I appreciate your comments about our Queen. In the early days of AIDS I read that it may have originated from cats, but I believe their strain was different from the human one and they were not transferable.

    1. Thanks, Derrick! I was so moved by your Queen and what she said. I thought of her service during World War II and all that she has seen. A true leader.

  19. You are understandably worried about your daughter, cooped up in such a small space for so long. I am sorry. At least you know she is being sensible. She will be OK.

  20. Things seem to be returning to some kind of normal here, too, although I hesitate to call it normal. Perhaps it is, or will be, since the experts are saying it could be a while before we can consider going out and about again (even that might not be as we were used to doing). I hope your daughter continues to stay safe and well. It has to be so hard to be cooped up in a city right now.

    1. Thanks, Robin! I, too, have heard many experts state that this is a marathon, not a sprint. This might be the new normal for quite a while. We never stop worrying about our children, no matter how old they are.

  21. We are being told that a tiny number of pet cats have caught Covid-19 and shown symptoms of breathlessness etc, but there is no indication so far that they are passing it on. If the household is isolating because someone has it, the cat should be kept inside too, if it is possible to do that without badly stressing the cat out.

  22. Love the backyard photos (especially Sherlock) and I do wish families could be together safely during these times. I can’t imagine not being able to be outdoors for a little bit each day. I’ve read about questions concerning animals and since our information about the virus continues to change daily it’s probably safest to take as many precautions as possible with them too.

  23. I feel bad for your daughter. Sound like she is the stoic type. Clearly not everyone will be able to be proud of their role in this pandemic, but at least we have seen some strong leaders emerge at the state level.

    1. Thanks, Jason! She really is. So true about not everyone will be able to be proud of their role in this pandemic. And, yes, strong leaders have emerged at the state level. Maine is lucky to have one of them—Janet Mills.

  24. Shirlock looks like a interesting fellow. I haven’t heard that kitties can pass Covid-19 to humans.

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