Monthly Archives: March 2020

48 Hours

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48 Hours

I used to journal on a daily basis. It’s been quite some time since I last journaled. I thought it might be fun right now as I have a lot of time on my hands. I challenged myself to write a two day journal. After all, my friends up north keep asking me what I do all day, now that I’m self-isolating.Sunday March 29thI woke up feeling very refreshed…..until I looked at the clock. 6:42? Who in their right mind gets up at 6:42 on a Sunday? But I was wide awake.That first cup of coffee sure came early. A cinnamon bun and some cheese and I was revived.I checked out Facebook and left a birthday greeting for my daughter. I then shared a blog post. Next came What’s App and email. Finally it was time to relax and play Candy Crush Friends.Then out I went for my morning walk. The jacaranda trees are in bloom and they are my favorites.Social distancing is easy now. The streets are deserted and I believe I only encountered 3 people as I walked through the neighborhood.Back at home I tuned in to Church of the Rock in Winnipeg. The service is broadcast through Facebook as well as on the website. Shortly after I next went to Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene’s website where I listened to Pastor Andy’s final sermon before moving back home to Indiana.Time to color. I tuned in to Fred Penner’s concert using the Facebook link. Great music to color by. I lose myself in the moment when I color and two hours passed by quickly.Lunchtime. My diet has been mainly vegetarian and chicken. Today I had delicious veggies (high in protein) and rice. This was followed by a cup of herbal tea and a pan dulce. I should add that I usually eat my lunch at around 3:30 pm.Seeing as my lavenderia has closed, I now do my own laundry. That was my next task. I had just finished when I got a beep on my phone. My lives on Candy Crush had been refilled!Soon it had cooled off sufficiently to go on my second walk of the day. Once again I saw empty streets.I returned home and my phone calls began. First up was my friend Becky in Shipshewana. We’re Bible study buddies as well as great friends. We had a lot to talk about last night.The next phone call was to my friend Ann in Leavenworth. We reminisced about our dinners on her deck overlooking the river as well as other times spent together. I wonder how long it will be before I can return to Leavenworth.One last check on Facebook for the night where I found a link from Becky. I then spent the next forty minutes watching the church service that her church in Shipshewana had put on the internet.Time to put my phone on the charger for the night. I realized I hadn’t eaten dinner yet. Oh well, a bowl of cereal would have to do LOL.Monday March 30I slept a little later this morning so my first cup of coffee wasn’t until 8 am followed by breakfast. I then spent the morning writing and coloring, aside from a short walk outside.In the afternoon I watched a couple of movies. When the beep on my phone announced that my lives had been refilled, there was also an announcement that I had unlimited lives for the entire week. Perfect timing with this self-isolation going on.Then it was time for phone calls. First up was Cheryl in Winnipeg. Cheryl is awaiting a lung transplant and is totally housebound. No visitors allowed. That means no visits from kids or grandkids.I had a fast salad for lunch.Next was a video call to my daughter Kimmy and granddaughter Maddie in Kelowna. Definitely the highlight of my day to see that little munchkin laughing and playing. I wonder how long it will be before I can hold her in my arms again.Time for a walk around the block again. When I got back I was pleasantly surprised to find a movie on TV in English. So I had that on in the background while I colored.A few more games of Candy Crush Friends and time to call it a night.Today was a quieter day but the time still passed quickly. I think I’m adjusting well to this self-isolation.I also think I made the right choice to stay safe here in Mexico. I don’t think there is a country anywhere in the world today that is fully prepared for this pandemic. Mexico is as good a place as any to hunker down and weather the storm.May God help us all.

My New Virtual World

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My New Virtual World

Social distancing. Physical distancing. Self-isolating. Self-quarantine. Common buzz words we all live with today.

I’m a people person. I like to be with people. I like to do things with people. I like to go places with people. I like to wander in and out of shops conversing with the locals.

Here I am in Mexico in the mist of this COVID-19 madness where I spend most of the time by myself. And my virtual world has become more important lately.

I confess I spend much less time on Facebook. Too much negativity and misinformation. However I do share my blog posts every other day. And I respond to private messages. But when I want the facts about the virus I check the Mayo Clinic website. I also participate in discussion groups on this site too.

On Sundays I no longer go to church. Instead I tune in online to Church of the Rock in Winnipeg.

And new this past week…. Pastor Kent of Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene is offering an online Bible study on Wednesdays. And I have partnered with my friend Becky in Indiana to further discuss what is presented each week.

And then there is What’s App, Instagram and Twitter. But I refuse to Zoom.

I do try to limit my time in this virtual world. I have my writing, coloring and daily walks to occupy my time. I also spend much more time on the phone with friends. I was even interviewed by a Winnipeg Free Press journalist on the phone a couple of weeks back.

But I miss the in-person contact. I wonder how much longer I will have to just be content with only my virtual world.

My New Daily Routine

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My New Daily Routine

Since I’ve been retired I haven’t really had much of a daily routine. Basically it’s been traveling around Mexico six months of the year and doing a lot of volunteering and socializing in Leavenworth the other six months, with an occasional side trip to Canada.

This winter I returned to Aguascalientes City with the intent to focus on my Spanish skills. I returned to the same neighborhood where I am the only gringa.

I used to savor my first cup of coffee at 8 am. I’d often go to my favorite gordita stand for breakfast. And then it was off to the shops to engage people in conversation. Now many shops look like this.

In the afternoon I’d go to the park to color. Sometimes I’d meet friends there.

I also used to attend church services on Thursday and Sunday. Saturday was my one teaching day.

And then COVID-19 entered our lives.

I now have breakfast in my hotel room. And some days I don’t even get dressed until around noon. I watch movies in Spanish to improve my comprehension but it doesn’t do much for conversation or pronunciation.

I still color every day but not in the park. The park is closed.

I go for shorter walks. I spend more time on the phone with friends. I do on-line church and I’m going to sign up for another course on Coursera.

That leaves me with lots of time for writing. I now do blog posts every second day. And I’m hoping my imaginary friends keep talking to me so that my work in progress does indeed continue to progress.

Phase 2 has begun in Ags. People around here seem to be taking COVID-19 very seriously and the streets are quieter than usual. No problem with social distancing.

Stay home and stay safe!

Leap Year

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Leap Year

I decided to take a break from COVID-19 and publish this post I’ve had sitting in draft form for almost a month.

Thank you Facebook for reminding me where I’ve been on February 29th in the past decade.

Today I am in Aguascalientes. Four years ago I was in Mazatlan. Eight years ago I was in Guadalajara.

But the most memorable February 29th of my life was back in 1984, long before Facebook was established.

I was eight months pregnant with Kimmy. I awoke that morning in incredible pain. Somehow I managed to drive Kyle to nursery school and then myself to the hospital.

Upon my arrival, hospital staff were smiling and reassuring me that giving birth a month early was no problem. I kept telling them that this pain was different from labor pain, but they admitted me and hooked me up to all the monitors.

That’s when the smiles disappeared and were replaced with frowns. I was right. Not in labor. A specialist arrived immediately and diagnosed torn ligaments in the uterus. Yet another hospital stay and more bed rest.

I was worried about Kyle. This wouldn’t be the first time I wasn’t there to pick him up from nursery school due to a hospital stay. It hadn’t been the greatest pregnancy and Kyle was such a trooper.

One month later on March 29th I arrived at the hospital and this time I was in labor. I’m glad Kimmy was born then and not on February 29th. I can’t imagine celebrating a birthday on the exact date only once every four years.

Not Just Another Day

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Not Just Another Day

Aguascalientes City has taken COVID-19 seriously. Bars and restaurants have been closed for a week now. Meetings and other events have been cancelled. Group gatherings are discouraged. Workers are out trying to sanitize public areas.

I have bid farewell to coloring in the park for a while. I will probably limit my time to just short walks instead.

A short distance from where I live is a long street saturated with bars and restaurants. This is what it looked like on Saturday night.

Compare this with the chaos at the airport in Puerto Vallarta. Just think of all the potential diseases that are on their way to Canada right now. I feel that my decision to remain here in Mexico is a good one.

There is no country and no medical system prepared for this pandemic. Friends up north have told me of family members who are struggling with COVID-19 right now. I hear about shortages of masks and gloves.

But mostly I hear about people who believe they are invincible. They continue to go out on non-essential errands and visit with friends. They hit the grocery stores and hoard more than just toilet paper. I urge them to stop being so selfish. They are potential carriers and may be unknowingly spreading this horrid disease. Not everyone infected exhibits symptoms.

My friends in Mexico tell me the beaches are still crowded. Semana Santa hasn’t even arrived yet. I am so thankful that I live inland far from the tourist areas.

Stay at home and stay safe!

Mayo Clinic And Me

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Mayo Clinic And Me

My association with Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota began decades ago when I was a teenager. Specialists in Winnipeg had been unable to diagnose my condition. And I was referred to the Mayo Clinic.

After a three week hospital stay at Rochester Methodist Hospital, I returned to Winnipeg. I continued to receive medication from Rochester for several years as it was not available in Winnipeg.

I kept in close touch with my doctor there and returned periodically for checkups.

Flash ahead a few decades and another serious medical condition was diagnosed. Once again Mayo Clinic came to the rescue.

The Mayo Clinic has long been my Health Bible. I subscribe to newsletters and find the information very helpful.

I am alone here in Aguascalientes during this pandemic. My children are in two different provinces in Canada. My Mexican family is in Culiacán which right now feels as far away as Canada.

There is so much negativity on the internet right now. There is also an abundance of misinformation which only adds to the panic and anxiety.

Once again Mayo Clinic has come through for me. I’ve joined an online discussion group where we all post positive thoughts and comments. Photos and poetry are also welcome. My featured image is a page I colored and submitted to the group.

I encourage my readers to check out the Mayo Clinic website for reliable information and support at this time.

Today in Aguascalientes

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Today in Aguascalientes

It’s hot out there. The 90s have arrived. Days like this I miss the ocean in Mazatlan.

Thursday morning there is an outdoor market in my neighborhood.

Restaurants are closed. Take out and delivery only.

Bars are closed here although my friend told me they’re still open in Leavenworth, Washington. Go figure.

Schools are closed. I haven’t heard anything about the indoor malls yet.

A friend in Zacatecas told me this morning that she couldn’t find chicken or eggs. So far we have no shortages here in Ags.

Corner tiendas are open. Note in my pics that these are not completely enclosed. Lots of fresh air gets in and social distancing is easy as there are seldom more than 2 or 3 people in them at the same time.

My saving grace are my daily coloring sessions in the park. The flowers are beginning to bloom again.

I really miss all the time I used to spend walking in and out of shops and engaging in conversation. It was a great way to socialize as well as practice my Spanish. Now most of my socializing is over the internet or on the phone.

A silver lining to every cloud……more time for writing!