Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Day 17-I Think

Not so sure about that number of days of isolation.  I have to actually refer to a calendar and then count down from the previous post.  The days are running together.  Not sure why that is the case as I often have to ask the wife what day it is.  We had actually started a modified isolation at least a week earlier, and I took measures even earlier at 'K's' urging as I am in the high risk class.

It really doesn't matter.  Our lives have not really changed that much as we spend a lot of time at home anyway.  It's just the thought that we should stay home and not expose ourselves to others that might be sick, that we can't just get up a go  anywhere we want any time.  We have pretty much stopped using drive thrus for food.  I BBQ'ed a brisket Saturday and we have been eating that off and on.  The rest will be frozen for other times.  

We did take a short drive into the hills near us to see if there were many wildflowers.  There weren't many at all.  We have a small patch in our backyard that was as good or better than what we saw.  They are going to seed now and will get cut down in another couple weeks so they can go to drop those seeds for the next year.  More yard work is in the near future.  Once the oak pollen has lessened I'll be out trying to get the yard cut.  The oak pollen has bothered me some this year.  It usually doesn't.  

I attempted a repair on our refrigerator.  The water line that feeds the water dispenser was spraying water all over the wall every time we used it.  Took us a while to discover it.  Ordered the part and it went pretty well...until I checked for leaks.  There was a very minor leak at the hardest to reach connection of course.  I decided to reinstall that connection.  I made it worse.  Since it is at location that is very difficult to reach I strained my hand.  So it sits until my hand stops hurting.  We just don't use that dispenser.  I guess that's why that there was a water catch tray that drains into the main water tray.  If I can get it back to that very small leak I guess that will be good enough.  Until then I refill water bottles and put them back in the fridge to have cold water to drink.  I really need my cold water.  I rarely drink room temp water if ever.

It appears that most of the country is now taking this virus more seriously.  Another 30 days has been added to the isolation guidelines.  I wish they had done that sooner instead of piecemealing it week to week.  Maybe we would have been farther ahead of this thing.  Just  uninformed speculation on my part.

I hope all is well with you and yours.  I pray every day for you.

Happy Trails


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Day 11 of Isolation


2 Timothy 1:7

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Too much time on my hands... 

I have been formulating some thoughts over the last few days of this Chinese virus that is holding much of the world hostage. It’s not the whole world, as a lot of folks don’t seem to be taking this serious.  Mostly they are the millennials and younger folks.  I have heard that a lot of these folks don’t believe it is serious since President Trump has been asking the nation to take precautions.  They say, ‘he isn’t my president.’  This is a dangerous, arrogant, ignorant and just plain stupid position.  In fact any position that doesn’t take it serious is at the least uninformed.

Social media and the news media seem to be driving a narrative of panic.  Most of it is negative and alarmist.  Some things have been positive, trying to lift up others.  There has been more of that on my feeds than the negative.  

WARNING: RANT COMING: I will probably make some enemies here. 

Then there are the ones I am a bit flummoxed by.  I generally see eye to eye with them as we have very similar views.  They believe the government is using this pandemic to get more control over all of us and is stealing our personal liberties.  In fact they believe this is all a hoax and manufactured by some sinister dark forces.  They don’t agree at all with shutting down ANYthing it seems, regardless of the danger.  They issue dire warnings and with every measure they say ‘see? I told you so.’  OK, I get it, I truly do.  But there is just a hint of conspiracy theorists here.  I mean that in the way of those that wear the tinfoil hats. No, I don’t trust big government either just for the record.  While we berate the media and those that are keeping the panic buying going, this only creates more fear on the other end.  Neither of these type posts helps calm the panic.  It truly has me concerned.

Our government was founded on the idea it was solely there to protect the citizens and conduct trade.  Yes, I realize it has gone far beyond the original intentions and continues to grow.  But, in my eyes, taking steps to protect the health of our people falls in that area, IMO.  If they have to ask you to stay home because you won’t otherwise, I understand.  But what about my rights guaranteed by the constitution, my liberty to do as I choose you may ask? 

There is the old adage, “do you have the right to yell ‘fire’ in a crowded building if there is no fire?”  If you are endangering my health by going and doing as you please thereby possibly endangering my or my loved ones health, IMO, your rights and liberty end …at 6 feet.  You have no right to do as you choose then.  If you don’t get it, then the government must step in to protect me/us.  If the government won’t I will.  Which would you prefer, Me confronting you for endangering my loved ones or the government?  I can assure you mine would be less pleasant.  They do this to prevent chaos.  What is it I am not getting?  Will these measures stay in place, is that what you are telling me?  It’s a tricky issue I know.

First and foremost I believe in the scripture above with every fiber of my being.  So that is able to keep me grounded and unafraid.  It is out of my hands other than the things I am able to do for myself and loved ones.

Being fearful and worrying does no one any good.  Fear only adds to the anxiety.  If it is a fear that is rational, something you can do about it, it’s in your hands to control it.  If it is something you can’t control, what good does it do to worry about it?  It only makes you more stressed and also affects those around you.  Firstly, keep it off social media.  Your fears being posted makes others more fearful and on and on.  Can you see what I’m saying?

Here is what concerns me.  As Americans, we have always risen to the challenge of any disaster.  Whether it is weather disaster, a war, a pandemic, 9/11, you name it, we have always responded strongly and come together as Americans.  In the past we, and especially our ancestors, all sacrificed something for the good of others, our country.  We would do without so others could have.  Now we have people hoarding everything because of their ‘me first attitude’ and being full of irrational fear.  Causing others to suffer and do without.  Also, in those times we weren’t Democrats, not Republicans, not black, not white, not brown, but Americans.  That is the thing that has made us the greatest country in the world.  We came together to defeat the threat, as Americans.  Somehow this time seems different to me.  The Democrats are playing politics with the major financial relief bill by adding their agenda of things they can’t get passed on their own merit.  This is reprehensible.  (I am not saying this bill is good for the country either.  I have concerns it will make our economy worse, but I’m not an economist.  Again, it is something I have no control over.)  Politics over the good of the whole country, their agenda being their primary goal is the worst.  Holding America hostage on top of the virus holding us hostage, it’s political blackmail.  If those that have voted them in office don’t reverse that, I have little to no hope we will ever come together again as a nation of Americans.  This is not a time for Us vs. Them.

Admittedly our country has for the most part abandoned God.  Now it is fashionable to be an atheist or agnostic.  I do know that the providence of God works in our lives.  Will he continue to bless us so richly if we have abandoned him as a country like we have?  All we have to do is look at his word, to see the answer.  Most of the Old Testament is a lesson on what happened to a nation that abandoned Him.  Does he work that way today?  I can’t answer that and wouldn’t be so bold to speak for Him.  Am I saying that this virus is a result of us and the world turning away from Him?  I truly don’t know.  Is it possible?  I would never try to put limits on His power.  I would never presume to say my thoughts are like His thoughts.  I can only hold onto my Faith and believe in the things he said we can know. 

Come on America, we are better than this, and were before, and can be again.  It’s in our hands, but mostly His, if we trust and believe in Him.  I pray for each of you and all of America and the world several times a day for His blessings to be on us all.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Day 6 of Isolation

Saturday.  We are doing well.  I have had some sort of allergy thing off and on all week.  The oak pollen is very heavy and we have tons of oak trees here and they are yellow with pollen and it hasn't even peaked yet.  When this first started I kinda wondered if I might be getting something more serious.  That was mainly due to all the Chinese virus news.  If I had that, I would be full blown by now, and this comes and goes so I know it's some unidentified allergy.  

We have been going to drive thrus for some meals.  That was a planned thing to help preserve our stores longer since we have no idea how long this will last.  We have decided to stop that now.  Most all the drive through places around here are manned by kids.  My experience tells me they are not as reliable as adults in sanitation.  So we are now almost totally homebound.  We go out for short walks but the weather hasn't been cooperating lately.  We may take a drive or two next week as we can avoid the public and still get out.

Our family get together for Son #2's birthday is still on.  'K' had some reservations about going a couple days ago, which got my attention.  She had been less concerned than I about catching something.  Her concern got my attention.  We watched the Governor and President on Wednesday and things seemed much more tense.  That is when we decided to stay home from the party.  We called the Daughter in Law and let her know and she expressed relief.  She was worried about us coming and getting something.  

I have been reading some of the several books I have waiting for me.  That is something I have not been able to do over the last year.  My attention span has been very short in that regard.  Glad to see it has improved.

Our congregation has now cancelled all assemblies.  They will live stream a full worship service, announcements, prayer, singing, sermon and communion for our members.  There will be a few men that will handle all of that.  Looking forward to that.  

I've seen a few rants by folks expressing their displeasure with the Governor saying that he is trampling our liberty guaranteed by the constitution.  OK, but how does your rant help the situation?  I have my own opinions and will keep those to myself.  I do suggest that if you are anyway PO'ed about the current state of affairs, check yourself before you rant.  Will it help others or make others worry or get PO'ed too?  What does that serve?  Think before you speak applies here especially now.  

My prayers are for those ill with this scourge and our country as we face the unknown.

Happy Trails

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Self Imposed Isolation-Day 3

Yes, Isolation is the term I prefer.  I think quarantine is a much stricter meaning and we are not quite there yet.  While we have been decreasing our exposure over the last week, Monday really was a the start of us trying even more to stay home.  Although yesterday we braved the grocery store and Costco.  I was prepared to just turn around and leave if there were lines out the door or near full parking lot.  This was pretty much our regular shopping trip, no hoarding.  Since we were getting very low on meats that was our first priority and hearing aid batteries.  

We hit Costco first.  The parking lot was pretty full but no lines at the door like I have seen pictures of on FB at this very Costco.  It was very busy.  There was a very long line to check out, we were told that it would take an hour just to check out.  We went by the meat counter specifically looking for those giant packs of ground meat.  We always buy those as that is the most versatile meat for the price.  No joy, they even had a sign that said there would be none.  Grabbed a pack of chuck roasts as those last us for several meals.  Got most everything else we were looking for.  I did see some that I thought were probably hoarders.  One lady had a basket nearly overflowing with produce.  At Costco, produce also comes in large portions.  I was amazed by how much she had.  I just had to shake my head.  No way a family could go through all that produce before it rotted unless they were a VERY large family.  The line moved very quickly and I have to give a shout out to Costco about their efficiency.  There were no empty shelves but the meat counter was looking very low but you could see the guys in the back working hard to keep meat coming.  Kudos Costco.

HEB was next and everything I heard was that it was a disaster with lines and barren shelves.  Evidently if that is true they had managed to restock a lot of the items.  Even though they were busy it was no more crowded than our regular visit.  Yes, there were more shortages here, with some barren sections of shelves.  The meat counters were pretty vacant but I lucked out and got a couple packs of ground chuck, woohoo, a pack of pork chops and I picked up a brisket.  All of these we can get multiple meals out of.  The frozen food section was hit really hard.  Very little of anything except some frozen fruit or ice cream.

All in all everyone was well behaved.  I was prepared for rude aggressive folks.  I would return their behavior with kindness and understanding...to a point.  I only encountered one person I thought was less patient than he should have been while I was helping another lady that asked me a question.  I have heard, through the grapevine that at another HEB farther from us had some issues and had to call the police.  Some folks had taken it upon themselves to grab items out of others baskets and fights ensued.  They were limiting only 20 people inside the store after that.  The local news did not report it to their credit if it was true.  I don't know if it happened or not, but I can and do expect it to happen.  I can assure you we took extra precautions.  'K' did not want me going out due to my risk level but there was no way I would let her go alone and rolled for her groceries by some idiot.  My concern was her getting hurt in a situation like that, not groceries.

Our church elders have cancelled all but our Sunday morning assembly.  It will be streamed live for our congregation that will allow us to see the entire service at home.  We are choosing to stay home until the threat lessens considerably much to my displeasure. 

We have planned a family get together for Son#2's Bday this Saturday.  That's still on since they all work from home they have had little to no contact outside so the risk is next to nothing.  Plus, keeping those bonds strong during this time is important.   

I hope all is well with those that stop by here and that your are being prudent your everyday actions.

Happy Trails 

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Craziness

I am just beyond amazed at how crazy folks are getting from this corona virus news.  The stores around here are barren.  This has forced the big grocer around here, HEB, to modify their hours of operation.  They are no longer open til midnight or open at 6 AM.  8-8 is all you get now, they have to have time to restock.  They had previously said they have plenty of items and people shouldn't worry.  That message fell on deaf ears apparently.  I'm thankful we have a small stockpile of food.  My Mom had to make a rare trip to the store to stock up as she normally eats most of her meals out.  She needs to stay home as much as possible being 87, no telling who might try to roll her for her few groceries where she lives.  

This 'crisis' is self imposed.  I am ashamed to be of the human race.  Those that are truly in need will be even more in need.  The media bears the responsibility of making the gullible act in a panicked manner.  When all you see on every news cast is nothing but the virus.....it's just stupid crazy.  

I am pretty much home bound anyway.  My back has acted up and I have hardly even been able to walk.  I did get a couple visits in with an FNP at my chiropractor, and that has helped quite a lot.  I am going to remain a couch veg and catch up on reading and give it even more of a chance to heal.  I will miss church Sunday.  No, not because of the virus, but the things I do there tend to aggravate my back and I have been doing more than usual there lately and it just caught up with me.  At least that is what I think happened.  

Happy Trails

Monday, March 9, 2020

Corona and Security.

I admit I really don't know what to think about this corona virus news going around.  I pretty much suspect that a lot of it is media driven hype.  But like I said, I really don't know.  Whatever it is, it is now affecting things you can get at the grocery.  Not to mention what it has done to our IRA's.  I went last week with the idea of getting some things we run out of on occasion.  One of those is the Clorox wipes.  We use those all the time.  I was expecting them to probably be out from things I heard.  They weren't out...yet.  There was definitely a low number available when I went.  I did take the opportunity to replenish some canned foods we had been using more of lately due to the weather.  I figured food would be more of an issue than wipes if we decided to stay home for an extended period.  

Now I see this morning that TP is the next thing they are having run on.  Our local Costco has put a limit of 2 per customer.  Two of those multi packs are a lot.  Oh and water.  We have enough of both.  I can see it now all of there people being found dead starved to death surrounded by TP and water.  (yeah, I stole that from FB).

At church yesterday, shaking hands had decreased, which IMO is a good thing during any season of sickness not just corona virus.  I offered my elbow several times.  I got chuckles and a return elbow.  Everyone understood.  Since I got stuck on security again by the door, I didn't offer my hand as usual unless someone offered theirs.  Visitors was a different story.  I did shake a few of theirs.  I didn't want to make them not feel welcome.  I kept hand sanitizer on me for those instances.  I had to remind 'K' not to shake hands.  We are in the class pf folks that is most vulnerable, on several levels, so we are trying to be a little more cautious.  Not even positive those things will work.  

The course I took offered by the small town PD for Civilian response to active shooter, was much better than I expected.  Only one other person from our security team attended unfortunately.  I wish I had taken 'K' with me, she would have benefited.  I know that we will now revisit some of our security plan.  We also got the instructor to come out and talk to our congregation about the things they should know.  Having him do it would be much more effective than if I or the other person that attended tried to do it.  He has the cred we don't for this type issue.  

I also signed up for a shooting course this Friday.  We will learn how to draw and fire our weapon from a holster.  That will fit nicely with our security work,  They will also work on accuracy, which I no doubt can use.  It's about 2 hours, classroom and range work.  I have sent the info to all our team members, but have gotten no feedback.  I will probably be the only one.

Yes, I know, I'm late on my Fall of the Alamo pic.  I will try to be on time for the Goliad massacre.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Catching Up

I have been pretty busy of late.  Yesterday was some badly needed yard work.  The weed eater started on the second pull.  That's a first if you know my struggles with that machine.  I have spent a very large amount of time in front of this PC, much more than usual and none of it was for posting here.  I have been consumed by getting our church security team up and running.  Finishing up final details, i.e emails, duty explanations and then the very time consuming scheduling.  I have a very limited number of men I can draw from, and they are also tasked with various duties other than security.  So I have to verify from a standing schedule of duty assignments and then build my schedule, it is mind numbing.  We instituted the plan this past Sunday.  I already had one conflict this past Sunday, and I was the one that was in conflict LOL.  I am sure there will be others.  Hopefully one of the men is working on a scheduling software that will eliminate this tedious issue.  He says it should be ready in 2-3 months.  Then I was told he has been working on it for 2 years.  So maybe not.  The plan worked pretty well.  I had a lot of questions directed toward me too.  I also found out a lot of the men never even checked their email.  Others had issues with the attachments.  So some scrambling resolved some of that.  I was a tired, worn out lump by the time the late evening rolled around.

I will attend a class put on at the police department of the town our church is located in this Saturday.  It is for  civilian active shooter response.  I am hoping to learn even more that may be implemented in our security plan.  It is a nationally recognized course from what I understand.  It will be a lengthy class, from 9-2.  I hope I can sit that long without too much trouble.

I don't see any real slow down in the coming days.  'K' wanted to head to the coast and spend a night there for a break in our routine we have been hoping for......Tomorrow.  I had already planned to take her on a short road trip near us.  So she liked that idea.  I didn't tell her where or what hoping to surprise her a little.  I mean a very little.  It's not a big deal at all.  Just a quick trip to a nearby farm that raises her favorite flower and lets folks in to see and probably buy.  See, not a big deal but she is easily pleased.  

Happy Trails