Friday, April 17, 2020

Friday Walk, Class and Organize

I joined Hannah and Julie again for a morning walk, this time down to the bluff above the shore of the Sound. This was an opportunity for many pictures of beauty or curiosity.
I updated 4freeCLE with a great many programs, and took one myself ("Litigating Through Coronavirus"), and emptied out the pantry. Now that it is neatly organized, I have the issue of what to do with the stuff I removed. This may seem like a small thing, but it is the seed of organization, newly planted and starting to sprout.
Our Destination: The Bluff Overlooking the Sound

Coat Hanger Bench
Dragon House

Sea-treated Log Planter

If You're Going To Gate Your Patio,
You Might As Well Use Found Art

See The Monkey?

Very Rare West Seattle Sea Squid
Rush Hour Commute

Empty Pantry Ginny

Pantry Organized!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Thursday By The Season

High Point
This morning I drove over to Hannah and Julie's for a morning walk to the highpoint, 520 feet above sea level - a lovely walk in the morning, with very little traffic but a lot of conversation. We had all been feeling the social isolation and this was a very pleasant change. Tomorrow I'll bring weeds for their chickens.
I was surprised to see how very close they are to Cyril's; we passed through his alley on the way back.
They are reading (or having a recording read to them) a book about the health effects of living according to the season instead of the clock. This makes sense to me and it helps explain some of my practices now that I am not tied to the work clock.
The news does not give me confidence that the office will open for at least a month, and if so, nothing I have learned this month changes my mind about retiring as I have planned. If anything, it encourages me to consider the brevity of life and the need to get on with it!.
Once home, I put off yoga for the evening - and it didn't happen. I did my mask pickup, and on the way back picked up a whole lot of plants someone had set on the curb for free. I think the guy in the bandana who went by me and into the house, smiling at me, was the gifter and pleased. I set those in my front yard for sorting tomorrow and regifting as appropriate.
Zoom does not impress Imp
I picked up supplies, mostly cat food and kitty litter - the only real reason I need to go to the store, but an important reason. Otherwise I was mostly home and zooming. I did Reema's Zumba at 4:30, and then started to open up the Toastmasters contest run-thru when I realized I wasn't really dressed for it. I took a quick shower and made that meeting in plenty of time.
I am happy to report that my new ear buds work fine. When I tried them for a Kent Toastmasters meeting Tuesday, they didn't work at all but I got by with phoning in. Today's Nordstrom Toastmasters I skipped because my shopping ran overlong and I have a lot of housework today.
I plan to practice my speech daily and study my recordings; my first try at zoom recordings the sound was bad so I'm hoping the earbuds help.
Dewdrops on the ladies' strawberries

Arthur scampered after tossed pinecones

Charlie's Tulips

Cherry Tree And Me

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Wedneday Like Retirement

I resolved to first get organized, then do my morning exercise; as a result, I was both not organized and not exercised. Well, that's a learning. At 10, I met Soy at MacPherson's Produce at 10am to shop for Seattle FEEST. When I got home, I took a walk around the house while putting the emptied trash cans back (it was garbage and recycling pickup day) and noticed some new flowers.
 Lily Was Here
Also, they had delivered my earbuds, which I hope will help with web based presentations.
I had had two free CLEs scheduled, but had to skip one because of shopping. That's ok, I've got plenty of credit. I just like to learn stuff.
At 4:30 I was home and comfy for the WPTL Executive Committee meeting - much better than my usual practice of holding the phone up to my ear on the bus. I was voted onto the Executive Board to fill a seat vacated by non-attendance. We discussed a committee for online productions: Me, Camille, Dwight. I suggested Camille as chair, since committees need chairs, I didn't want another responsiblity, and it's good to give newer members opportunity. She seemed pleased.
We reviewed recent actions - and, since someone mentioned remote meetings, I brought up the subject of meeting by Zoom. Some were dubious; phone calls can be more efficient without visual distractions. Others said
(A) at $15/month, it's cheaper than the phone conferencing we're using,
(B) it makes us seem more legit,
(C) additional flexibility/options in meeting are good.
I made a couple of public commitments so I would actually accomplish the tasks (otherwise they would be shoved aside by sudden urgencies):
  • To ask Eileen about WSBA's rules for online meetings on Zoom or other tools. Does the Section need its own license or are there other issues? This email I'll send by the weekend and get back to XCom by 29th 
  • To draft the seminar learning document and share with the Committee within a month 
After this, I took my brief walk around the block, then logged into the Kent TM meeting. I could not get my new earbuds to work! Once I put them away, my speakers were stil not working with zoom. The backup for this isto call in by phone, which Heather recommends anyway in case the connection is bad.
The meeting was fun, as they usually are, and I am learning lots of little things that are useful in online meetings. One person had the camera maybe on a coffee table, so her knees were bigger than her head. This was distracting.
Now it is past 9 and I am needing to sleep. Arthur comes by an goes "huh!" which is his sign.
Is this what retirement will be like?

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Tuesday: Barre, Masks and Toastmasters

Around the time I turned 60, my YMCA changed our Saturday morning class to "Barre Basics". I thought "Whatever, I just need something to start the weekend off" and was prepared to be unimpressed.
Hahaha! The class kicked my glutes....also my calves, thighs, and several other body parts. It was "Exercise Unplugged" - no fancy equipment, just your body and gravity. That is enough!
In the years since, I have noticed many improvements in my strength and balance. Walking Seattle's slippery winter hill sidewalks will never be easy but I have vastly more control now. In terms of raw barre technique, I will never be able to raise my heels more than the height of a ladybug, but I don't need that. I understand the reluctance of men to give barre a try but just pretend you're an astronaut in training for a high-gravity planet and you'll be fine. I was sad when our current COVID19 crisis suspended classes, but I started expanding my morning exercise routine to include both yoga and fitness options, of which Madfit is my favorite. Recently I responded to her standard request for feedback by requesting something barre-ish. I can't be the only one who's said this, but I'm happy this came along this morning. I suggest you try it and prepare to have your glutes beat! (P.S. I love the phrase "Attitude Squats!")

Pam in front of the small house,
with mask donation
After I recovered, it was time to pick up a couple of sets of masks for the Seattle Mask Brigade. I had a delightful chat with Pam, whose adult children were the donors; they are sharing a plot, one couple in the main house and the other in a small backyard house that looks to be a converted garage. She expressed interest in sewing masks so she texted me a message for me to respond with information.We are in a crisis and that is a great tragedy, but it is also an opportunity to build community.

Surgical Mask Donation
In the early afternoon, I drove the 500 surgical masks that I'd picked up Renton yesterday, up to Providence in Everett. The collection point was the Colby campus, so it might not have technically be the building where I was born, but it was the same hospital so what the heck! I tried to get a good photo of the donation but could not figure out the pose.
I met Dave at the waterfront park (on the cliff over the rail line) and we talked stuff for an hour or two.
In the evening the Executive Committee of Toastmasters 832 (West Seattle) met. My VPE report noted that we were on track to earn our President's Distinguished Award, but Karen noted we were falling below the minimum membership. We need to have recruited 5 new members, or be over 20 members; at the least, we need 1 more new member by June. I feel we can reach more prospects by increasing our marketing of online meetings, but we still have a problem converting prospects to members. This is something to think about.

Monday, April 13, 2020

COVID Route Monday

Masks for Everett
This morning, after the usual exercises, I planned out my route, and replanned as other pople's plans changed and then as I laid out the route on a map and discovered that Renton was farther away than I thought. When it all was ready, first I mailed the kids' masks at USPS. Then  I went to Renton to get the Mask Brigade masks to take to Providence in Everett tomorrow. I got back in time for lunch and then off to MacPherson's veggies to start shopping for FEEST.
If I had recognized MacPherson's as the veggie stand on the way to the VA hospital, it would have been a much less stressful drive. For some reason, Google maps stopped talking to me as I drove so I missed the 1st exit, whereas if I'd known where I was going I would have gotten there on autopilot.
Today we had 4 shoppers for 4 families, so the shopping itself went fast. However stores now have limits on the number of people allowed inside. We happened to get there at a slack time so we didn't notice the limit, but as we cashed out people started being halted and lining up. Several of us went outside to free up slots and there I had a pleasant conversation with another masked FEEST shopper. She's a speech therapist for the school district, so she's not working all the time; she can do a little over the internet. I recalled the speech therapy I'd had at home very young, maybe 5 or 6. The man had a tape recorder which fascinated me because I could hear my voice. He also had a book of words that I was supposed to read and must have had some problems with - in particular the "ook" sound: book, look etc. I must have had trouble figuring out "look" because he helpfully turned the o letters into eyes, by dotting pupils and drawing simple eyelashes. The pleasure of recognition in that instant is one of my earliest memories.
After MacPeferson's we went to the Ranier Safeway for dairy, meats and cleaning supplies. I delivered for 2 families since one shopper's call was mostly full of firewood. On my way home I got a call from one of the families' neighbors, asking if I knew when her shipment was coming; I apologized and gave her Leigh's number.
 I got home in time for the last half of Reema's Zumba class - better than no class!
Now I'm having dinner and writing in my journal.

Mailing the Kids' Masks

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Super Cute Face Masks for Kids

Working through my "do this day" I got a reference to FB's COVID19 resource page so I went to look-see.
On the right side of that page were local requests for and offers of help. One person asked about getting a couple of masks for her children in case she had to take them somewhere in public, such as a doctor. She said she'd ordered them online but the order was cancelled. She was willing to pay and just needed a source.
Face Masks for Kids, by Alex
I pinged my network: my sister Ellen, my "Buy Nothing" pal Alex (who I knew was making masks because yesterday I'd responded to her request for more fabric with a torn sheet and a shockingly orange pillowcase). My sister expressed interest but by then my neighbor Alex had dropped off a couple of darn cute masks with doggy print. I packaged for mailing tomorrow (I figure the Westwood USPS isn't open today).

It is easy to get distracted while working through my mail!
Meanwhile, my Toastmasters friend Vikki offered sheets in response to Alex's call for mask materials; I connected them thru FB.
This week I took one of those test to figure out what sort of activist you are, and of course I got "networker". I most enjoy connecting people with resources and then letting them work it out. Obviously!
Catherine from the Time Bank offered seeds from her garden; I accepted and picked them up today. It looks like she's converted her front yard to a garden, which is my ambition too.
I planed Sunflower spouts and Chard sprouts (I'm not sure what size they need to be to transplant; we'll just have to see) mostly in the part of the back fenceline garden that I'd dug out yesterday. I'm happy to see that the pea sprouts seem to be perking up, but I'll have to remember to keep them well watered.
I had gone to bed at about my usual time (at the urging of Arthur) when I heard loud thumping. I didn't see anything in the house or out the windows so I went back to bed. Then, some very loud thumping. I put on my robe want was headed for the basement when I got a call from Heather: her largest cat was stuck in her bathroom and the door locked. This took just a short poke from a straightened coat hanger but you have to know how to do it just right. Kinda funny, if you think about it.