I Don't Want to Write about Justice

Nope. Don’t want to write about the next extra-PC concept the UU Lent folks brought forth, justice. My Instagram says it all. I got a rock.

Rocks are grounding, though. This is my grounding rock.

I’ve never seen a lot of justice out in the world. Luckily I do see small amounts of mercy, which I find more important, anyway. Creepy people do well. Good people fail and suffer. The wrong people get punished. Whatever. Just keep moving forward one day at a time and see what you learn, but don’t expect to learn a lot about justice.

Ugh

One of my friends on Facebook said it best yesterday:

Today I hit a wall.

FB Friend

I did, too. I was trying to work on my perky email newsletter for friends of LLL, and I just didn’t have any perky in me. I read too many articles on predicted deaths, people doing unsafe things, and tragedies. I always wondered how I’d cope with one of these weird times. I guess, like many, I’ll have good and bad days.

Folks, we are allowed to have bad days, to be sad, to miss things from our previous life, and to worry like crazy about people we care about (and people we don’t know who have it worse off than us). Let’s be gentle with each other and support the people who have a hard time, even while doing our best to keep our own spirits up.

Where I spent yesterday. My ridiculous bedroom would make a great isolation area.

So yep, I spent a lot of time in bed with the dogs, reading a book. It helped. The rest of the family all worked until late in the evening. I’m worried about them, too. But, we are all doing our best and trying to do self care!

We’re entertaining.

I’m glad I have the horses and chickens, who make me go outside even when the weather is awful (we have flooding today, which means the chicken food is a mess). I’m glad the dogs can run around and play, even when it’s raining.

Playing in the wildflowers.
I like the stripe colors, anyway.

I’m glad other people are finding stuff to do. I looked on Amazon just to see what books are popular right now. Best sellers were all preschool math, for some reason, I guess homeschooling. I looked in the crafts section. I had to chuckle, because I never saw so many adult coloring books in my life. My favorite was the obscene one. Maybe I’ll get it.

I shall try to be cheered by the basement office’s art and fake flowers.

Keep in touch with me, and with those you care about. I like hearing from everyone. It helps. Now to go be perky.

Part of the Resistance

Today we have resistance as our UU Lent word. Once again the Sunday word is ripe for sermonizing. I’d rather not preach. If you know me, you’ll know I’m part of the resistance against fascism and oligarchy and such.

Deep Instagram thoughts

As I try to get back to Texas in my Mobile Social Distancing Unit (Lee’s Car), I keep thinkingw oabout how some of us have more resistance to disease than others. That’s one reason for keeping our hygiene up, to protect the vulnerable.

Not planning to die. Just sharing that Donita’s neighborhood once was a graveyard. Many homes have headstones.

Most of my upcoming activities are cancelled, and I’m supposed to work from home for the next couple of weeks. I’m glad we got to visit Flo last week, because they place she lives no longer allows guests, even family. We are wondering if the State will require Hearts Homes and Hands to only provide vital services. I guess there’s a fine line between helping and potentially harming.

Take a breath and enjoy a night view in Swansboro. Resistance is futile. You WILL relax.

I have no conspiracy theories to share, other than to be reasonably cautious. I wish I hadn’t had this week chosen to travel, but we were careful.

I was so proud I got a shot while the blinking light was on. See. I can have fun with no people around.

What we could not avoid on this part of the trip was tree pollen. Oh my. Pines, elms, oaks and more have flowers or candles, in the pines’ case, in the Carolinas right now. Donita’s car turned yellow on our drive yesterday, and I know Libba and I sucked up a lot on our long walk last night, since my sinuses were running like a babbling brook last night. Lee says his eyes are crunchy. Poor guy.

Just a little truck stop pollen.

Now to keep my germ resistance up. Y’all do the same. Let me know how it’s going!

Since fresh air is good for removing germs, eat outdoors! Does alcohol disinfect your innards? Um. No.

A Very Different Ocean View

We’ve been relaxing with Donita and Libba in Swansboro, NC. They live on the Intracoastal Waterway near the quaint old fishing town.

Me, relaxing.

While I have enjoyed my two days of shopping here and in nearby towns, it’s the birds and other animals that have made this trip special. You can see all sorts of marshes and barrier islands, which are just teeming with life.

Oysters by the sea wall

It’s a great contrast from Myrtle Beach, which is all big resorts. No natural beauty.

Laughing gull

Last night I saw an otter bopping around, which was really fun. Today I got to see a wild pony off of Beaufort. That’s pretty good viewing!

The otter was on the shore at left.

And the birds are fascinating. I saw an osprey and a gull fight over a fish. And there are so many waterfowl to enjoy, including many kinds of ducks, geese, egrets, herons, ibis, and so on. This is what makes me happy.

Ibis in Beaufort

Who needs people? I can just sit outside and observe.

Donita and Libba love boats.

What are your plans? When not working from home, I’ll be reading and knitting. And writing!

One of many amazing beach homes. Yow.

Birds Birds Birthday Birds

It’s the spouse’s birthday. That’s why we took a trip! What fun that half the day was taken up doing business! Yes! Woo!

Me taking a break and wishing I was on the beach.

Um. It wasn’t horrible and we came out with some future travel fun. I want to go places before I die. Lee will put up with it, or send me off with Anita.

Whew, he’s as old as me again, and can still hold up a tree.

Birds!

We escaped the towering beach resort at last and made it to a state park. There, I had more Nature Girl fun that humans should be allowed to have. And even Lee enjoyed the walking around my favorite thing on earth, a marsh.

It’s a marsh.

The Huntington Beach State Park is beautiful. We didn’t look at all of it, but focused on the wilder parts. The trails we walked on were spectacular, with huge old pines and oaks and much evidence of fairly recent flooding.

What a huge oak tree!

We saw SO many birds. As soon as we got out of the car, I saw cheeky chickadees, and when we got on the boardwalk, there was a family of Eastern bluebirds. They have lots of nest boxes on the island, and they seem to be working!

Blue birds!

I took lots and lots of photos on our walk, and I got more and more excited with each new bird I saw. The causeway was a real hotbed of shore birds, and I had SO much fun with other birders looking at a group of birds hanging around together, with anhingas, ospreys, and bald eagles flying over head. Wow!

Of course, I took lots of pictures of plants. This is a wild blackberry or a dewberry or some bramble.

Enjoy these photos, which are enough to make any naturalist swoon, far as I’m concerned.

After all that, we had a beautiful birthday dinner at the Sea Captain’s House, a restaurant that has been here 58 years. I had she-crab soup and then oysters (of course) for my main course. Then we shared a wonderful birthday dessert.

The picture is dark so you can see the ocean out the window. Nice.

Was it a good day? Oh yes, it was. That blue bird of happiness followed us all day!

Camellia outside the restaurant.

Trying to Do Nothing. It’s Hard.

This vacation to Myrtle Beach is for Lee to get some rest and relaxation, so I am trying to not impose my agenda on him. Today he wanted to scan in receipts and balance his budget, so okay, that’s what he did. I’m not great at just doing my regular job in a different spot (though I uploaded a post for another blog, dealt with a couple of issues for the Austin job, and such).

I just feel like if I’m in a new place, I should go check it out, so I spent much of the day looking around the resort area where we’re staying. This morning I walked a long way up the beach, and was actually glad for all the brightly colored hotels, condos, and resorts on the beach, because everything else was solid gray. The surf, sand, and sky all matched.

Gray sand, gray birds, grayish water, gray skies.

I did get to enjoy something you don’t get to see every day, though. They were tearing down a condo building that I guess isn’t big and tall enough or something. The wrecking ball had to be careful not to damage the building a few yards away from it. Half the building was rubble and half looked like people still lived there. Weird.

Future former building.

The nature watching was limited. I saw laughing gulls, pigeons, and dead jellyfish. The shells here are all broken (it’s the Atlantic, after all) but a lot of them obviously were big ole clams!

Poor jellyfish.

Lee came out of the building and walked with me to the next pier, where we had a very good lunch at the Pier 14 restaurant. Even veggies of the day were good (most places they are not even completely defrosted and have no seasoning, but these were hot and tasty). I had some good scallops. I’m managing to keep eating healthy!

The boardwalk is nice. I assume it’s much more crowded next month.

Most of Myrtle Beach reminds me of Ft. Lauderdale (a place of which I have never been fond). Not a lot of natural beauty, at least anywhere near the water. I think this place is designed for a different kind of tourist than me. If I wanted to drink, hear live music, buy cheap souvenirs, play golf (mini or otherwise), or ride Ferris wheels, though, this would be nirvana.

This is the most nature I found. The blue thing is where I had lunch.

But, I enjoyed sitting and watching the waves this afternoon, while chatting with a lady from Tennessee, and have gotten a lot of good knitting and reading in. Plus a nap. Yes, a nap! And Lee did go for a walk with me around 5 pm.

Mmm, shops and more shops.

So, I succeeded pretty well in doing nothing and avoiding large crowds. Tomorrow, though, I have been promised a trip to a park. They tend to not be hotbeds of disease.

Go Far Enough and You’ll Eventually Hit Water

Boom! I hit water yesterday, a long way from Texas. How convenient that the UU Lent word for today is water! Lee and I are both water signs, Pisces, and this year for our birthdays we got each other a trip to the ocean, carefully planned to be before the onslaught of spring breaks and such.

Kendall and Jan in the neighbor’s forsythia bushes.

We had a nice visit with my cousins (Jan and daughter, Kendall) and my stepmother (Florence). Jan’s the cousin on my dad’s side who’s kept in touch with me the most. I think I’m too “out there” for most of the rest of them. She made us a nice breakfast and then she and Kendall and I took an excellent walk around her neighborhood, which was blooming with daffodils, but no redbuds yet. We even got to pet some horses!

You can’t quite tell, but the paint is sticking her tongue out.

After that, we had a short but good visit with Florence, who’s doing well for 84. She had forgotten we were coming, or had the wrong day, so we didn’t interfere with her day for too long. She’s so cute in small doses, and was so happy to show us her latest paintings. She kept telling me to approach them straight, or they won’t come out right (once a professional photographer, always a professional photographer.

Where Is That Water?

Here’s the waterfall at the rest stop.

We got to see some new scenery on the way to Myrtle Beach from High Point, which was fun. Lots of small towns and pine trees. Yesterday I shared a picture of the rest stop with a living roof. That was so interesting. The view was amazing, too, and it had water!

We had an interesting time finding the place we are staying, because the GPS routed us to 1600 Ocean Blvd in NORTH Myrtle Beach, whereas our actual place was in regular Myrtle Beach. The check-in lady says that if we had been coming from the south, there would have been a third wrong way we could have been sent in the next town south. Great choice in naming roads. This place is trying to get their location fixed on mapping software, but it ain’t easy.

Water makes me happy.

But we are here now, way up almost on the top of a big resort building, with a nice partial beach view. That’s okay, because the land view has a ferris wheel and other interesting things to look at.

Night view of Myrtle Beach. It’s pretty, but I’d prefer a less urban vacation spot. I think the next one will be like that.

Lee and I took a nice walk on the beach, enjoyed a tropical cocktail and mostly just chilled last night. We are having a very nice time, and it’s so nice to not have to rush around for a few days. This is a perfect birthday present for hermits.

And, don’t worry, we will not be attending large gatherings of any sort. I think we are going to go to State Parks, mostly, though I do want to do a small amount of shopping. Small, really.

As for Water

Water means a lot to me, as a symbol as well as bringing life to us all. The way water moves has always fascinated me, which may be why I love that arroyo on the ranch so much. I am amazed that the spring springs and sends water down that little stream. And there is nothing more beautiful than an area after an ice storm, all sparkly and dangerous at the same time. And water brings us clouds!

Look! Clouds and water!

I spent more than a usual person’s time looking at maps of river systems, and love knowing where the water on my property goes on its way to the ocean. What a journey!

Here’s the Instagram of the day, in case you were curious.

The one thing I asked Lee for in the quest for our permanent “retirement” home (yes, I realize we have failed at retiring) was some kind of water. I was so happy to have the cattle tanks, utilitarian as they are, and frontage on Walker’s Creek, even though Ralph said it was the worst land on the ranch, because it floods. Well, I hadn’t planned to build a subdivision there, and keeping it natural is just fine with me.

I had to put the photo up in a larger format, so sorry for the duplication. Here is water in all its forms. There are some icy clouds way up there by the moon. Photo by Lee.

Water ties us all together, too. The water in us has been in many other people, in many other places. When they say we are all one, they aren’t kidding.

Slowly Trudging across the USA

Whew! I have a hint for you: don’t travel east the day the time springs forward, especially with someone who’s a slow starter in the morning. Today has been long, and we’re still 2 hours from our destination for the night. Vacations are fun!

We took the northern route, via I40. It’s mostly under construction. Lots of stopping next to big trucks. I’m very glad I’m a patient traveler.

Plums. Or pears.

I’ve enjoyed the scenery a lot. Much of yesterday I looked at so many beautiful wild plums. Or pears? I didn’t get close enough. Maybe it was both. They bloom such a short period of time, I felt lucky.

More plums. Or pears.

At the Arkansas welcome station I got to see pretty pansies, too.

Pansies just make me happy.

The best scenery, though, were dogs up for adoption we saw when we stopped for lunch. I got lots of great ideas for MTOL there. They had a storefront donated to them so adoption days are good in all weather. And they have their own van.

Pet adoption.
Puppies!

Today all the trees were pink or red. I think it’s red maples. They are subtle but beautiful in the sun.

Hard to see but that’s them.

The worst part of today was driving through the area east of Nashville, Tennessee. The tornado damage from last week’s huge storms went on for miles. I’ve seen a lot, and this is the most damage I’ve ever seen from one system. I couldn’t bear to take pictures; I felt so sad for the people there.

Violet and teeny field pansies

The Tennessee welcome station had a river, violets, and tiny field pansies. I love both of those!

Rest stop view. Nice.

Then came all the slowdowns. At least the last one was in the middle of the mountains, and I could roll down the windows and listen to the river rapids.

Roadside rapids.

It just goes to show you that even traffic jams can be interesting. It’s all in your attitude!

More field pansies. I like them