Wednesday, April 29, 2020

musing on beginning my 70th year

I'm going to be 70 on my birthday tomorrow. April 30, Taurus, Sunday's child, you know, bonnie and blithe and good and gay, the last year of my 7th decade on this planet. Next birthday I'll be entering my eighth decade. That's sort of mind boggling, especially since I just finished clearing 218' of heavily overgrown fence.

When I was in high school, 50 seemed really old to me. As it happened, when I got there it was much like the 40s only a little more relaxed, maybe a bit easier. After that I really had no conceptualization of age or aging other than not being like my mother who announced at some point after she turned 60 that she was old now and didn't have to do anything and parked her butt on the sofa and that was that. But the 60s were hard to accept. Maybe because of the sudden aging of my face. I had maintained a fairly youthful appearance for so long and it just seemed to crater soon after crossing that threshold even though my hair is still mostly dark, which amazes me every day, and was the reason for the year of the selfie when I was 64. I figured if I took and looked at enough pictures of myself I would adjust and I did. The 60s have been a pretty good decade after all even if I now have age spots everywhere and wrinkles and deep creases and crepey skin and chin and mustache hairs. For all of that I am still strong, still limber, can still work hard though not for as long, and my friends tell me I don't look 70, but then I expect no less from them.

So, 70. Both my parents died in their 70s. I'm planning on lasting longer.

When I was working my birthday was always a personal day off but every day now is like a personal day off since we retired from doing the etched glass and the small pate de verre sculptures are getting fewer and farther between. Our go to celebration for birthdays has always been a movie and dinner out, something we won't be doing this year so I imagine tomorrow will just be another day. No party now though one was planned, postponed and maybe canceled. Who knows. Covid-19 maybe.

In any case, it will be a good day because I am alive and healthy and the yard is blooming and we got some good rain and the mockingbirds are singing and the mississippi kites are back and the magnolias are in full bloom and scenting the air and the earth is a beautiful place and I have family and friends even if we have to keep our distance for now and I have no real complaints.

Monday, April 27, 2020

week 6

OMG, it just never ends and I'm not talking about the pandemic but about the continuing shit show of the Trump administration.


All you American citizens married to immigrants without SS numbers who file tax returns jointly won't be getting your $1200. You are excluded. And those of us on SS may have to wait up to 5 months to get ours. In other words, we won't get it either. But certain businesses that support Trump and McConnell? They're getting millions from the fund that is supposed to support small business.


And now McConnell wants states to declare bankruptcy for 'mismanagement' instead of getting federal help since they are running out of money for jobless benefits and other extraordinary expenses like having to pay exorbitant prices to buy the necessary PPEs that FEMA et al keeps confiscating from blue states to sell to middlemen who will then sell to the states or, as Trump implied, is hoarding them and only releasing them to red states as punishment of course but does he think there are no Republicans in blue states? The governor of Illinois finally arranged for a secret mission to China with a private plane in the dead of night to purchase PPEs in constant fear they would be found out and the material snatched away from them. McConnell's attack on blue states (that, incidentally, pay in to the government far more than they receive and as a result are the ones that subsidize the red states) is in stark contrast to his own state of Kentucky that receives far more federal aid than they pay in, in fact, receives the most federal aid of any state and is still the poorest state in the country. Where's all that money going Mitch? I read one article that stated that McConnell's goal with this idea is to break government workers' pensions and in the process break the labor union that keeps their pensions intact.


After his insistence that the malaria drug was an effective treatment and a study done at the VA proved that it did not help and in fact killed people, now Trump suggested at his briefing today that sunlight kills the virus and there might be a way to inject UV rays into the body or clean out the lungs with disinfectant cause it kills the virus in one minute. One minute! It might work, it might not. Where did he get this idea? From a group that peddles industrial bleach as a virus cure. Holy fucking shades of Mengele. He's already caused some of our veterans to die with his insistence that the malaria drug works.


Meat and food processing plants are closing down after the virus runs rampant in the work force and some may never reopen. This is bad news as it may result in food shortages down the line since food doesn't just magically make its way to the grocery stores from farms and ranches.


Trump is still blocking the $10 billion Congress allocated to the USPS unless it immediately quadruples its prices for package shipping in a bid to undercut people's preference for USPS over the expensive Trump donors FedEx and UPS. FYI, the post office was self-sustaining before Congress passed a law in 2006 that imposed extraordinary costs on the U.S. Postal Service. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) required the USPS to create a $72 billion fund to pay for the cost of its post-retirement health care costs, 75 years into the future (covering postal employees that aren't even born yet). This burden applies to no other federal agency or private corporation.


In his continuing attempt to blame the WHO for his own incompetence, America will not participate in the WHO's and other world leaders' efforts to speed up the response to covid-19.


The new leader of the free world, Angela Merkel of Germany, and the other European nations have come together to organize a worldwide response and vaccine effort and the US was not invited to join.


A former labradoodle dog breeder has been appointed to lead the US Pandemic Task Force. I kid you not.


Unexplainable rashes now join loss of taste and smell, fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and body aches as symptoms of covid-19. There is still no treatment besides IV fluids and oxygen, there is no vaccine, and no promise of immunity if you get it and recover. And now they are finding that people in their 30s and 40s are throwing blood clots left and right and stroking out.


I have good health, maybe better than good my heart rhythm problem aside, and yet I have moments of fear of getting infected (was that cough last night covid or just a reaction to all the plant dust and debris from the fence, are these body aches covid or just the result of weeks of pulling on stubborn vines, was the sweat I woke up with in the middle of the night a fever from covid or because I was hot under the quilt) especially after I read anything about how horrible it is to have this virus.


One piece of good news, after walking out of several of his incomprehensible 'briefings' or refusing to take any questions or lashing out at the reporters when he does, Trump's handlers have finally convinced him that he is only harming his chances of reelection with these daily shit shows and he's going to stop having them!


My county, after holding steady for about a week at 35 cases has now added one more. We're at 36 but no deaths.


Current US statistics as of today 4/26/20, 19:04 GMT (last five weeks' totals in parenthesis): cases – 976,403 (741,230, 534,494, 312,223, 123,958, 38,757); deaths – 54,965 (39,103, 20,637, 8,483, 2,231, 400); recoveries – 118,633 (68,610, 30,548, 14,828, 3,238, 178). There is still no country-wide testing, contact tracing, forced quarantine for exposed individuals, or income support, all tactics that have proven to work in other countries, here in the US and despite that, people are protesting the stay at home orders and want businesses opened back up because they want a fucking haircut not caring who they infect or if they get infected and then take it home to their families. This is what we are left with, the knowledge that a portion of our population  is willing to sacrifice anyone for their selfish need. MAGA!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

OMG! I did it!

It was hot yesterday, and no I was not in the shade, but I got out there anyway because if I start taking arbitrary days off it won't get finished. So. One section down, one to go. Rocky showed up to see if Fred needed anything and was surprised I was heading out to the fence. Well, yeah, it's not done yet.

Yesterday's section was mostly trees covered with a canopy of grape, virginia creeper, and iron weed instead of a pile of the last 6 years of built up growth and dead branches covered with a canopy of vines that I have been dealing with. Underneath was like a little grove of hackberry trees with an occasional pecan. This part is a little different because a big limb or a tree fell on that last section and cratered our fence  there  a couple of years ago and so when we ignored it the neighbor on the other side who has dogs got out there and cleared it out as best he could and put up some fencing and then tied it into ours.

Today was cooler with low humidity and...


the corner

looking down the fence line to the street

Here's a reminder of what it looked like.

I bet I cut down 100 hackberry trees between yesterday and today from 6” to taller than I can reach. Also a few pecans and another trash tree that I can't remember its name. I'm not done of course. Still need to clear out the rest of the dewberry brambles now that they're done fruiting

 as well as the 22 bare tree trunks still standing along the fence line and consolidate the smaller piles into bigger ones for burning

and then the poisoning. All the guys on the street are armchair quarterbacking for me...use roundup, diesel fuel, flame thrower (the neighbor that suggested this offered to do it for me), some other granular shit. And then there's the rest of the fence along the front of the property that needs clearing as well but it's mostly dewberrry bushes and poison ivy. Big poison ivy and the ditch on the other side is full of poison ivy so I'm going to have to hire someone to do that.

As nearly as I can tell it took me 18 days. I started April 2 getting down in the ditch cutting down the trees on the front fence and starting on the four sections along the front fence to the corner and finished April 25 (today). Out of those 23 days, there were five no one worked on it, four that my sister came and helped, and one that Rene helped. So, 13 of those days I worked on it by myself.

I think I'll take the day off tomorrow.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

shop buildout and fence clearing

This is turning out to be a busy year with a lot of projects which is just as well because now I don't have time to waste on FB or Twitter depressing myself with the continued shit show and pandemic. It's like things that have been on hold all got the go ahead all at about the same time. The stopped up toilet that led to the talked about remodel of the big bathroom, the acceptance of our offer of a house for my sister, and now the buildout of a room and a bathroom in the shop that we can air condition and heat so we can work over there all year (!) that the stay at home orders precipitated because people don't want to start any work that will entail having workers in the house and our contractor/handyman/neighbor/friend was hurting for some work. So work over there began Monday. Insulation, sheetrock ceiling, leftover beadboard walls, gonna leave the concrete floor for now. Rocky's emptying his garage of all leftover material that we can use...insulation, sheetrock mud, maybe even a new toilet. He already gave me a faucet set from a previous job months ago for this eventual buildout.

Aaaaand, work came to a halt end of day Monday. Before they closed in the ceiling with sheetrock an assessment of all the electrical wires needed to be made because some of the plugs worked, some didn't; some of the switches worked, some didn't; and we needed x amount of light fixtures, x amount of plugs, and x amount of switches and there was some pretty ancient shit up there. And Gunnar would not be available til Thursday.

So Rocky set his brother Rene, who is currently on leave from his job, to helping me on the fence Tuesday morning while he enlisted the aid of another of his people to come assess the electrical wires.

All the guys are amazed that I have cleared that fence by myself with a few days of help from my sister. I tell them, two hours a day day after day after day. After helping me for an hour Rene says this is hard work for a woman. I told him women can work hard. We have a higher tolerance to pain and have more stamina. I'm thinking women's work has always been hard like doing laundry before washing machines and helping their husbands plow fields. All that aside, there is something to be said for male upper body strength. Rene, he's a small guy like his brother Rocky but he pulled down four sections of crap off that fence in the time it would take me to completely clear one section. 

At one point he asked me if I'd seen any snakes which I hadn't and told him so though I was surprised as I figured there would be snakes in there. Not five minutes later Rene was poised to cut the head off a little 8” garden snake that slithered out from under some debris. “Don't kill it!!!”, I exclaimed as I herded it off to safety. “It's a harmless little garden snake, a sign of a healthy ecosystem. It's not hurting you so leave it alone.” I do not understand why people want to kill things just because they can.

Rocky returned 12:30 with Fred, y'all take a break he tells me and Rene, and then we pondered the ancient and the just old electrical wiring, a plan was formed, an amount of money agreed on with the resumption of the buildout on Friday.

I thought it would take me nearly a week to cut up and pile up Rene's work for burning but I got it done in two days. 

I had to go out into the world yesterday for new work gloves since I've destroyed the two pair we had. Just two more sections of fence to the corner but those last two are going to be a real bitch but at least I'll be working in the shade for a change.

 And I wish we would get a day with no wind so I can start burning some of those piles.

Monday, April 20, 2020

another day in the life

I took the day off Sunday from the fence. I had planned to anyway but the weather cooperated and it rained lightly off and on all day, thunder rolling in the distance keeping me in while I got an extreme weather alert on the iPad every two hours. I didn't do my yoga routine either. Saturday after I finished the section of fence, about 12 feet worth, and as I was finishing lunch, I could barely hold my arms up to finish my sandwich. And the arthritis in my hands zinged me all night. And the poison ivy itched.

I did kitchen duty all day instead. Made a peach dewberry pie

looks funky, I forgot the edge shields so they burned and I used frozen store bought pie crust that had been in the freezer for too long that I transferred over to my glass pie pan but it tasted great

and made shepherd's pie for dinner (another labor intensive and time consuming dish). We had everything but the mushrooms and peas from the recipe which I'm happy enough to leave out. Especially the peas which I substituted green beans for. Certainly wasn't making a special trip to the grocery store for mushrooms.

And washed the mountain of dishes (no picture but take my word for it).

Another hour on the fence today, another (less than) 10' but by the time I got out there it was already warming up and humid and I was sweating buckets. My cap was so wet it was just about dripping. Gonna have to start getting up earlier to get these last sections done. And I know you are just anxious to see another picture of another cleared section but tough titty kids, I didn't take one.

It's been a couple of days since I picked dewberries and the rain yesterday just plumped them right up and I got a full bowl just from the patch on the corner of the shop, big fat juicy sweet ones from the rain yesterday, didn't even check the fence or ditch. I'm thinking this is the best harvest we've ever had.

I scared up a little snake yesterday when I was pulling evening primrose and mistflower out of an area right next to the small pond that I put the parrot feather in having given up on water lilies. It couldn't have been more than about 16” long, black with very narrow vertical yellow stripes about an inch apart. I think it might have been a baby eastern kingsnake. Didn't have my phone on me though so no picture. But here's a picture of the area where I saw it.

The evening primrose are about done so I'll be trimming the big backyard soon. The pansies are stubbornly refusing to stop blooming even though I quit deadheading them and picked all the good blooms.

The easter lilies are blooming and their fragrance fills the house in the evenings.

that sweet little carved stone bird is another of my birthday presents to myself from UK artist Jennifer Tetlow (I love her aesthetic) 

The indigofera and lizard tail are blooming.

And now it's time for my evening cocktail.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

week 5

When state governors were asking for federal help in acquiring PPEs, tests, and medical equipment, Trump told them they were on their own. Trump desperately wants to get the country back to work, not because he is concerned about the financial impact on the workers but because he sees the economy as his only chance of reelection and so is talking about ending the closure of all non-essential businesses at the end of the month if not before regardless of how many people are still getting sick and ordering the governors to end their quarantines only he doesn't have the power to do that. So in response, the governors of states in the northeast and the west coast and the north central have formed pacts to help each other to determine when and how they will lift the lockdown orders in their states in order to get people back to work and life back to normal regardless of what Trump tells them to do. Trump went ballistic at his briefing rally Monday, opening with a campaign video produced there in the White House touting what a good job Trump has done in combating the virus which we all know is a pack of lies. Then he ranted on about how he was the president and he had total authority to open the states. The truth is there is nothing in the constitution and no legislation that gives him power to override any state's public health measures.


After initiating post mortem testing, NY added more than 3,700 more deaths to their total. Approximately 1 in 800 New Yorkers have died from the coronavirus.


A NY Times article  today reports changes in the way doctors are treating covid-19 patients. “Instead of quickly sedating people who had shockingly low levels of oxygen and then putting them on mechanical ventilators, many doctors are now keeping patients conscious, having them roll over in bed (lay on their stomachs), recline in chairs and continue to breathe on their own — with additional oxygen — for as long as possible.” “Some patients, by taking oxygen and rolling onto their sides or on their bellies, have quickly returned to normal levels” making intubation (inserting a breathing tube and being put on a ventilator) unnecessary though it doesn't seem to work as well in older patients. I've already decided that, if I get infected and get so sick they want to put me on a ventilator, I'm going to decline as a very small percentage of people on ventilators recover and when they do their whole bodies are fucked up.


Trump has, in fact, withheld funds from the World Health Organization in an attempt to shift blame by accusing them of the very things that Trump has done or rather, has not done.


In another round of threats and bluster, Trump has said he will adjourn Congress so he can make recess appointments if the Senate doesn't start confirming his nominees. Congress has not adjourned even though they aren't sitting in chambers due to the virus and social distancing. While Trump does have a constitutional right to do this, he can only do it under certain conditions which he doesn't have. And the fact is that he either hasn't nominated anyone or the people he nominates are so unqualified that even the Republican Senate won't confirm them. McConnell's Senate has however been stacking the judiciary with right wing judges many of whom are considered unqualified by their peers in an attempt to put the president out of reach of any check from Congress or the courts. They're assuming, I guess, that their voter suppression tactics will prevent any Democrat from ever gaining the presidency again because I don't see them supporting an untouchable Democratic president.


His bluff called by the governors who are following the health guidelines set out by Trump's own administration re reopening the economy, which Trump is desperate to do as he links his reelection to a good economy, he now says that the governors are in charge and he is talking with them daily and he issued reasonable guidelines for reopening the economy based on testing, leveling out of infections and a lowering death rate and then told the governors that the federal government would not help the states with the necessary testing. In response and I'm sure at Trump's behest, his Republican support groups and all the fringe idiots and his cult followers started mounting protests at the state capitals about the stay at home orders demanding their (surprise, surprise) Democratic governors open up their state's economies NOW. And then he tweets “LIBERATE MINNESOTA”, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN”, “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”, all states with Democratic governors, inciting violence. And in this way he plans to blame the Democrats for the faltering economy. Remember, Trump is nothing if not vindictive.


Trump is setting us up for a more deadly second wave.


The money that the Democrats fought for for small businesses has run out and it didn't go to small businesses but to larger businesses and chains and by far the vast majority went to businesses in red states once again proving that Trump and his administration doesn't give a shit about most Americans.


Anyone else getting healthcare spam headlined Trumpcare?


I continue to be eternally grateful that we had the foresight to escape a big urban area. Life goes on pretty much as before except for no extracurricular activities ie no in person yoga classes or dashing off to the big box store for something I want but don't necessarily need or hanging with friends and family or hugs. Even though my age puts me in the most at risk category, I am grateful that I am old enough that I don't have a job I can't go to or have kids at home I have to educate or have parents to care for or have loans I can't repay.


Thirty five cases now in my county.


Current US statistics as of today 4/19/20, 15:51 GMT (last four weeks' totals in parenthesis): cases – 741,230 (534,494, 312,223, 123,958, 38,757); deaths – 39,103 (20,637, 8,483, 2,231, 400); recoveries – 68,610 (30,548, 14,828, 3,238, 178). Some good news...even though deaths doubled this week, recoveries jumped way up. The death tally, though, is hardly complete because it doesn't include the rise in deaths at home. And this is just the first wave.

Friday, April 17, 2020

more progress and peak spring blooms

Another day, another two hours on the fence. Same story every day.

Tuesday's progress

Pam piled up all the debris cut so far for burning

I have poison ivy on my face and both forearms from the section I did on Tuesday which involved clearing another vigorous growth of that heinous plant even though I scrubbed both forearms and face because I stupidly had my long sleeves pushed up thinking I can see it, I can avoid it. And then the dog kept squeezing through a little tunnel to the fence to bark at the neighbor's dog and of course there was some growing right there so the dog also got scrubbed when I came in. So far it's not too bad but I hate when I get it on my face.

Wednesday, I did my two hours, came in, showered, had 3/4 of a beer with lunch and that was it for me. Down on the couch, I was out. Got up around 5, fed and walked the dog.

Wednesday's progress

I counted fence sections yesterday after I finished...15; four across the front to the corner and 11 between us and the neighbor. I think I'm more than halfway along the side. And I've uncovered five trees between the big tallow and where I stopped, though one is quite dead, and not including the two saplings I hacked down with the machete.

Thursday's progress

the entire 11 sections of the side fence (that power pole on the left is on the corner)

The surveyor came out yesterday to survey for the floodplain to let us know how high the bottom of the house needs to be in order for us to get a permit from the county to get the house on site. So one more step done. I didn't think we would have to build up a pad as this side of the street is higher than the other side where part of my house got 18" of water. The shop only got about 6" which is about how high off the ground the plastic pink ribbon is he nailed to the cedar by the gate. 

I have corresponded with the county and yes we will need to get a new septic system as she checked their records and there is not a permitted system on the property. That's how old the septic system for the shop is. So next is to get someone out there to figure out where to put it and if the house needs to be there first.

Here's something that's not about clearing the fence...the queen anne's lace is in full bloom

as is the northeast corner of the big backyard.

One last picture (I know, they all look the same, the only thing that changes is the position of my neighbor's house). Pam came out early and worked and I got out there about a half hour after she left and between the two of us we cleared two more sections today.

Monday, April 13, 2020

the real tales of the past week

Friday it was a little cooler and overcast so I managed to get in a little over two hours on the fence and made it all the way to the tallow tree which is 8 sections of fence from where I started. Each section is 10' so that's 80'!

My sister and I both worked on it (at different times of the day) on Saturday and made a little more progress (three more fence sections). 

I hacked down two more trees, a hackberry and a pecan, about an inch and a half in diameter (two handed machete swings, c'mon you bastard). Fruiting dewberries hindered us along the bottom of the fence and now we are into the heaviest, densest part where the fence has been overtaken by the wild grape vines.

I laid down to nap Thursday afternoon after my drenching hour and a half earlier that day, something I never do. Well, hardly ever. I think I slept some. I can't always tell.

Finished my drawing. I had planned two other separate components to the drawing but I changed my mind because the page wasn't big enough so I eliminated one of them.

I have yet to get my periwinkles in, just too tired after my stints on the fence, and I need to fertilize the azaleas and roses which I should have done two weeks ago (I did get the azaleas, camellia, and roses fertilized on Saturday). Maybe today but probably not. 

This last week for some reason every morning I have tried to talk myself out of doing my yoga routine. Just do it, I tell myself. Yesterday, though, I had a realization. There is nothing more important that you have to do at this moment than this. So, yeah, yoga.

I've picked four full bowls of dewberries (now five) so far. Usually I keep an amount in the refrigerator and then freeze the rest, washing them and then spreading them out on a towel to air dry and then putting them in a plastic bag, sucking the air out with a straw as I seal it, and then put them in the freezer. Was chatting with my neighbor (six feet apart) Saturday evening and he told me that, supposedly, if you spread the berries out on a cookie sheet so that they aren't touching and freeze them that way before storing them in a container, it will help keep the berries firm when they thaw out. So, I'm trying it. I'll let you know how it works out the first time I thaw some out. I made a dewberry cobbler Sunday with fresh berries and we both agreed it was the best one yet.

I think I've shown my row of bird skulls that sit on the top little shelf of my buffet before. Most mornings, not all but most, I have to straighten them up. Something comes during the night and messes with them. Sometimes just one or two is slightly out of place, sometimes several are knocked over and pushed around. Yesterday morning, the cardinal skull was on the floor, the two smallest were pushed aside and bunched together, and one of the seabird skulls was knocked over.  This morning, the same seabird skull is knocked over, the blue jay skull has been turned about 45˚ as has the wren skull and the last two, the finch and the warbler, are knocked askew and bunched together. I have no idea. I need one of those motion detection cameras.

I walked out in the big backyard yesterday to see that the big limb that fell last summer that has been dangling like Damocles' sword over my azaleas, caught in the crook of two main limbs, at least that part of it that we weren't able to get to to cut up and remove, has finally fallen the rest of the way and fell in such a way that it completely missed the azaleas. That was my fear, that they would get crushed when it fell.

After taking the day off Sunday from the fence, I put in another two hours this morning and uncovered the next section. Fortunately it was nice and cool since a cold front blew in last night and I didn't even break a sweat. (I know, I know, sick of seeing pictures of the fence clearing. Tough.)

I haven't been sleeping well the last several nights and haven't been aware of any dreams except last night I caught a fleeting glimpse. I can't even begin to tell you what it was about but I'm pretty sure it was an anxiety dream. The uncertainty of what's going on is starting to weigh me down I guess since as far as I can tell, there's no real treatment even if you are in the hospital and no vaccine. Basically you survive on your own or you die, even on ventilators. I don't think many survive once on a ventilator. About the only thing we can do is just not get infected. Dr. Fauci wants widespread testing to help determine just how prevalent the contagion is, that there's a possibility that upwards of 50% of the population is infected but completely asymptomatic, meaning they don't get sick but are carriers of the virus.

Well, that's enough for today. Maybe I'll try to get the periwinkles in after all or maybe I'll try to take a little nap.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

tales from a COVID-19 self-quarantine, part 4

(These reports quickly went from personal anecdotes to following the news because as the quarantine deepened we all settled down into our new and solitary routines. My days are all the on the fence, household chores, work on drawings).


16 positive cases now in my county.

We're getting more and more reluctant to venture out even to the grocery store.

Republicans continue to engage in voter suppression trying to purge another 240,000 voters. Michigan's republican legislature refused to delay the election tomorrow at the democratic governor's request in order to send out mail-in ballots to voters so they wouldn't have to possibly expose themselves while waiting in line to vote.

Trump continues to push the malaria drug for use with covid-19 because he is invested in it's manufacture, not because he thinks it will help people.



My county now has 18 positive cases of covid-19.

Seven big cats, lions and tigers, in the Bronx Zoo have developed covid-19 from an asymptomatic infected worker. While we can apparently pass it on to cats, scientists are pretty sure they can't pass it to us.

Trump has attacked the WHO and is thinking about halting US funding. During a pandemic. Cause that's just the kinda guy he is.

Trump is refusing to consider national vote by mail because he says 'they' cheat, 'they' gather up the mail in ballots and cheat. And then he walked out in the middle of his own presser because none of the questions from reporters were going well for him.

Trump fired the guy who was supposed to conduct oversight on the distribution of the $2T pandemic relief fund and is reportedly getting ready to fire all 7 of the rest of the Inspector Generals.

In a direct conflict of the separation of church and state in the constitution, Trump plans to send churches part of the relief money so that they can pay their pastors and utilities to buy their votes.

The silence from the Senate and House Republicans is deafening. I can only surmise that they hate democracy. I never thought I would witness the dismantling of our government and our democracy and yet here I am.



People still getting sick, states are still having their purchases of PPE etc. confiscated by the federal government, federal government still not sending states what they need, Trump still bragging about his ratings and what a great job he's doing, still using the pandemic as cover while he and McConnell continue to push through unqualified right wing judges. In other words just more of the same of the Trump shit show.

Bernie Sanders finally dropped out of the presidential campaign.

Pence refused to let Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, and other medical experts talk with reporters from CNN and MSNBC  because they stopped broadcasting all of Trump's ill-disguised rallies, only airing the pertinent parts about the pandemic, and Trump barred their reporters from the press briefings  because they ask the tough questions which he really doesn't like.



My county now has 24 positive cases of covid-19 with 6 recovered.

That little trip the completely unqualified and now resigned acting Secretary of the Navy Modly took to harangue the shipmates of and insult the captain he fired for protecting his sailors cost us taxpayers over $243,000 and that was just the cost of the plane ride to Guam and back. Trump says he doesn't know the guy. Doesn't know the guy he appointed and was sitting next to at a football game. There's a picture.



Two more cases bringing the total to 26 with 7 recovered.

Trump has ended federal support for covid-19 testing and we haven't even reached the pandemic peak yet, says widespread testing isn't going to happen and isn't needed to open the economy. Why? Because he and his family and his toadies have all been tested. That's all he cares about as he continues to withhold lifesaving gear and equipment from those who need it unless they are suitably 'appreciative'. That and more testing increases the known number of cases and the more cases the worse he looks.

The post office is nearing crises level with many postal workers ill. They requested financial aid and Trump told his aides not to give it to them. Why? Because he wants to privatize the USPS. He wants it to go under. And also because Republicans don't want a national vote by mail because they know that if everyone gets to vote, they will lose.

Trump wants to lower farm worker pay to help farmers. So yeah, let's cut the pay of one of the lowest paid essential workers in the country.

2,000 people died from the virus today.



Now that all us humans have been sent to our rooms for disrespecting the planet, the Himalayas are visible from India and whales are swimming in areas they have avoided.

Walking the dog, we stop and and chat with neighbors who are also out...standing six feet apart.

Some of the chatter on Twitter is about hair cuts. People are missing their monthly trims. Do I let it grow long or let a family member cut it or try it myself? I only get one haircut a year usually late spring when I start putting it up in a ponytail or bun. I like it short in the summer, out of my face and off my neck, and then let it grow for winter so I'm missing my annual haircut. Pretty soon I'll be able to braid it again.



Trump continues to show why running the government like a business is a bad idea. He confiscates supplies ordered by the states, gives some to FEMA to distribute but most to the business sector which is allowed to sell to recipients, ventilators have nearly doubled in price, because Trump says they already have distribution lines set up except the most needy aren't necessarily getting the supplies while other places are getting supplies they don't need. Why? Because the business sector sells and distributes the supplies to their established customers.

Current US statistics as of today 4/12/20, 14:10 GMT (last three week's totals in parenthesis): cases – 534,494 (312,223, 123,958, 38,757); deaths – 20,637 (8,483, 2,231, 400); recoveries – 30,548 (14,828, 3,238, 178). Yay! Trump finally made us #1 in something...the most cases, the most deaths. MAGA!