Just Sit Right Back and…

you’ll hear a Tale… a tale of a fateful trip

Yep!  I’m beginning to feel like I’m on a 2020 fateful trip, stranded on an island, feeling pretty damn helpless.

I got a call this morning… my sweet step brother Michael will be having surgery for appendicitis. It hasn’t burst… yet.  That’s bad enough but he has pneumonia as well.  No Covid-19, thank goodness!  Later tonight, they still hadn’t gotten to him. They blame it on Covid-19.  I am certain he will be fine, but good grief!  He said the pain meds they gave him were working and he has a good attitude.  I told him he was a survivor.

I don’t want to bellyache, but I’m venting because what else can you do when you can’t expend all this angst any other way?

Could things get any worse?  In case you haven’t followed my family saga, let me fill you in.

In the last two weeks, I had to put my little kitty down, I know it’s not a human relative, but it was still emotional.  She’d been with us 18 years.  Then, I learn sometime later that my cousin died the same day! Over the years we’d lost touch and I knew she’d been in the hospital with pneumonia, then had several strokes to follow.  She’s the same age as my sister who has been in ICU for over a month and she is family, so all of that was just one more thing.  If I don’t sound unusually sad, it’s because she had Parkinson’s and has been suffering of late, so it was a relief for the family to know she is in a better place.

My sister, btw is showing marginal improvement, not great yet, but we are trying to be optimistic.

Still…

What makes all of this so hard is, I can’t go running to be with either sibling, given our isolation status, besides hospitals are no longer allowing visitors anyway.

Then…

As you know, we sprung a leak, but the good news is, it wasn’t as bad as we’d thought it could be.  Apparently the winds managed to channel water through a vulnerable section which is being sealed, as we speak. The overall roof is fine.  The roofer said he wouldn’t charge us until we knew for sure the repair worked and… we have more storms coming, so we’ll be testing it out soon.  He lives down the street.

And then…

Have you ever felt like Big Brother is watching us?

This was so weird so tell me if any of you have experienced this phenomenon…

After the roofer left, I told hubby what he’d said, about the roof and that we could possibly need new gutters after reinforcing the last layer of shingles, which were not done properly and the wood fascia was rotting at the roof line.  Well, this morning my junk box (thank goodness it went straight to junk, but I still clean it out each day, so I noticed) was inundated with solicitations for gutter replacement.  NO WHERE HAD I WRITTEN THIS DOWN.  It was only a conversation we’d had in the proximity of our computers… and hubby’s phone!!!!

This has happened to hubby more than me and we were in his office, not mine.  I have an iPhone, he has a Samsung.  Whether that has anything to do with it, I don’t know. I’m wondering if Apple is insuring it’s users more privacy.

I’m not inclined to be a conspiracy theorist, but … I am beginning to wonder.

On the good side…

I went to Costco and I’m proud to say Californians are well masked and adhering to the proximity requirements.  At least they were at Costco. I was double layered, in fact.  I knew when I got home I would take my outer layer off in the garage and spritz myself.  Hey!  Can’t be too careful.

masked

I covered my hair and wore glasses so my eyes would be somewhat protected.  If I had swimming goggles, I might have worn those.  Heck who would have recognized me anyway? Hmmm now that’s an idea…

An interesting note.  While I was in line, waiting to check out, there was a grumpy guy in the lane next to mine barking orders to his wife.  In the lane in front of me, the woman saw my cooking oil and realized she’d forgotten to get some, so I told her to run. The checker was then ready for her and she’d not returned yet.  He looked up and around and she came running, shouting “I’m here!”  Then she says how grateful she was that I was behind her.  I said, “Well, you know in this time, it pays to be kind to one another”

Grumpy heard the exchange, “You can’t mean everyone, some people don’t deserve to be kind to”   I looked at him and sweetly replied  “I said, “yes, every one, you don’t know how that might change their day”.  His wife chimed in and said, “She’s right, you never know”.  Secretly, I hoped I had changed his.

the car…

Earlier in the week, I took my car on a drive, I was told it needed to be driven now and again and I happened by Home Depot.  They had roped off a section to filter customers into the store a little at a time.  Home Depot was doing their part, but… the people in the line were not proximity conscious and other than the employees, only two or maybe three were wearing masks.  I did not stop.  Only observed.

Time on my hands…

What am I doing with my time other than entertaining conspiracy theories and whatever else, I can come up with?

Weeell, hubby’s home a lot which means . . .

I get to have lunch with him and . . .

And… I’m actually trying to be useful.  My neighbor, God bless her, is making masks.  I’m not as useful, but I did help a little (very little) with making straps for them.

Strawberries . . .

Now I did buy strawberries from a neighbor, who has a large family.  Her hubby is a gardener, so I’m guessing work may be limited.  She and several others in the household do housekeeping, so I’m sure they’re not working right now. She doesn’t normally come door to door, so I’m guessing things might be tight.  I practically threw money at her, but I just couldn’t turn her away.  We didn’t talk except through the closed window. Her son was wearing gloves and mask, she wasn’t.  He usually goes along to interpret.  I told her to set the produce down and after awhile, I went out and hosed everything down just to be safe.  I felt badly that it had to be that way.  I don’t think she was offended, after all I didn’t just turn her away.

Well, that’s the story of our fateful trip for now and it’s not over yet.  Our mayor is talking about this lock down not being over until we’ve had 28 days of no new cases.

So in the end, like Gilligan and the Castaways, you roll with it, add levity, look for the positives and hope for a rescue.

Soon.

 

 

 

 

Annie’s Canyon Trail

I went off this past Sunday to do my first lone hike. I needed to expend some energy and do something good for myself, so I thought, why not a hike?  I mentioned this to hubby, who quickly got online, (he obviously thought it was a good idea too) and he found this place called Annie’s Canyon…

Before I get into that, this is what my life has been like the past few months.  As most of you who follow my blog know, my sister was diagnosed with a genetic brain tumor that has recently started acting up, but for some reason, her surgery keeps getting postponed which has been extremely frustrating to all of us. Right now, she displays all the signs of dementia which is disturbing to me.  No one likes having a conversation with someone they care about and moments after you finish your sentence, she retells it to you in the third person, as though she is talking to someone else, about you.  Yeah, it’s a lot to handle.

Then… I had the flu, starting after Thanksgiving and for what lasted forever, so Christmas was pretty much a wash. Even so, we spent it with my in laws, who happen to be atheist. Yeah, I know, you don’t have to say anything because that’s how I feel too.

My father in law is in his 90’s and refuses to die.  Not that he doesn’t want to, he just can’t seem to get there.  He’s miserable, incontinent and hating his life.  My mother in law, can’t do anything or go anywhere because he’s so clingy and she feels trapped.  No, she doesn’t complain. EVER. I only sense it.  It wasn’t until my brother in law’s heart attack  that she opened up at how miserable it has been. She was beside herself, and said she just “can’t do this anymore” and detailed some of what she’s had to do.

Last Monday week my father in law ended up in the hospital, again. BUT, what’s worse is my brother in law had a heart attack on the same day and my mother in law couldn’t go to him!  He ended up in ICU and on a respirator and they couldn’t operate until they stabilized him which took a week. He was operated on yesterday and so far, so good.

What’s unfortunate is, I’m a first born and first born’s want to take care of everything and everyone and when you can’t and or shouldn’t, you take a hike.

ANNIE’S CANYON TRAIL

Annie’s Canyon Trail is tucked away in the middle of suburbia, near the beach and near the Interstate 5 Freeway in San Diego County, California.  The online pictures looked like snapshots of one of the many canyon’s in Utah or Colorado, so of course, I wanted to go. Here’s my photo log.

Excited to be doing my first solo hike, I got off the freeway and to the trailhead to find this:

Annies Trail 18

That’s okay.  I’ll head to the Rios Ave trailhead which was another couple of miles away. Fortunately, that was open.  Not a lot of parking since it’s all residential and many homes have signs against it, but I found a spot.

Annies Trail1

And, it was cold.  I should have thought of that.  The trail starts out on the north side of this “mountain”.  (You’ll have to excuse the quotations, but after having lived in Colorado where there are real mountains, these seem small.) I was in workout leggings, short sleeve shirt with a light flannel over that.  I was grateful I, at least had that. lol

The hike was interesting.

Annies Trail 20Annies Trail 22Annies Trail 19

To the left of the trail is a preservation of salt water marsh and wildlife. You do see the birds right? Parts of the area where the little blue flags are seen were recently replanted with indigenous flora.  As I walked there were a number of memorial benches honoring a lost loved one.  This one especially caught my eye because it had a “no smoking” sticker on it and behind were the charred remains of a slope that had recently seen fire.

Annies Trail

Later there was was a fork in the road. One was for a difficult path, the other more moderate.  I went for the difficult.  People on the trail were all friendly greeting one another with a “good morning” or “beautiful day isn’t it?”, so I was by no means unaccompanied.

I have to chuckle though because on my way there I’d debated taking mace with me since so many of our California canyons are filled with homeless and unfortunate dangerous characters, but as I parked, I could see I had plenty of company from families with children and dog walkers, so no worries.

 

Annies Trail 10

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My new found friend Levi was right behind me and his mama in the background below. As you can see the climb up that gorge was quite narrow.  I mean he’s a little guy and there’s not a whole lot of room on either side of him.  It was a manual free climb up until the last little bit where a ladder presented itself.

Annies Trail 15

At one point in the narrow gorge there was this tall step up and the soil on it was sandy, so needless to say, I hesitated. Because it was narrow, there wasn’t a lot of room or handholds to place my hands in order to lift myself up.  Levi was patient however, and I ended up relying completely on thigh strength (and a prayer) to push forward and not slip back down onto my little friend.

 

You can see engraved graffiti here, but one gentleman informed me that the whole area had recently been closed down to clean up sections covered with graffiti both painted and carved. Sad, that people will do that, but they do.

Signs and there were signs everywhere, directional and cautionary signs. Signs to warn against trampling areas that could impact wildlife.Annies Trail 12Annies Trail 9

Annies Trail 14

At the top you can see the ocean and salt water marsh.  To the right is the freeway overpass and it’s expansion site although construction crews were not present.

Annies Trail 21

My hubby is always saying how marvelous it is to find these little hidden gems in our heavily congested city.  I couldn’t agree more.

Annie’s Canyon Trail was not a long hike but there were so many little side trails to take to make it a bit more so, that I took them.  The elevation gain was approximately 540 feet, so for the distance, it is quite steep.  For more information, the link will show you areas I did not get to go on because they were closed for construction, but I will go back.

On a humorous note, funny but not funny… you had to see it.

As I was walking out, I saw a little girl of about 5-6 years old pitching a fit, crying, “Daddy, I don’t like this! I don’t like it here!”  He told her they could go back, and her response was, “It’s far, we came a long way!”  I felt sorry for this father and his prima dona daughter. I wanted to give him words of encouragement but had no clue what to say. I hated to think what his future with her would be like.

Funny, I had just been marveling too, at how many families were out  having such a lovely, educational morning together with their children.  It was such  a beautiful day.  I guess the outdoors is not for everyone.

I liked it.

PS I just learned that my brother in law had a quadruple bi-pass and is doing okay for now.  Because their father died of a heart attack at age 34, both sons were checked early on so he has always known he had to be careful. He has been on medication,  watched his diet and all that. Still…  I hope he will be fine now.