What a week!

I hit the halfway point of my writing challenge at the start of the week.

Actually, not much happened out of the ordinary. But compared to most of my weeks during the past year and a half COVID days, a lot did happen.

Here’s a quick rundown:

I hit my goals for NaNoWriMo this week.

I managed to fit in posting blogs and reading other bloggers worked around my novel writing.

I played lots of ping pong and I sense some improvement.

I went to the Podiatrist and found an In-N-Out only 30 minutes from our house.

I had my first meeting as the official newsletter editor for our HOA. I met three new people who will be working with me to get the newsletter written and produced.

I took Olive the cat to the vet for shots. I had to find a new vet, since she hasn’t been to one in Arizona. I am not a person who regularly takes the cat to the vet. First of all, Olive hates it. She cries incessantly in the car and then she shudders and shakes. She doesn’t need to go to the vet if she’s not sick. But I called the place we boarded her in August to make a reservation for a trip planned in December. They told me one of her shots had expired. We both survived the trip to the vet, barely.

I talked to several of my old friends on long phone conversations after reading the article I posted on the importance of friendships. You can read that HERE if you missed it.

I went to my first NFL game in person.

Today I’m headed to our farmer’s market to get treats for Thanksgiving-week guests and my dad.

cat on a patch of grass in the house
Olive cat on her patch of grass next to pots of cat grass.

Happy Friday!

Have you noticed your weeks getting busier? Is it because we’re leaving COVID behind us? What makes your weeks busier? Or did I just have a one-off week?

Looking back to DAY ONE of Shelter in Place

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Views from my old neighborhood park.

Yesterday I went to my first NFL football game. Since I’ve learned you cannot bring a purse into a game unless it’s clear plastic, I decided to wear leggings with deep pockets for what I believed were my essentials: my cell phone with the digital ticket, my driver’s license, my vaccination card, a debit card and an N-95 mask.

I was surprised to find out that I didn’t need anything but the digital ticket. I saw only two people wearing masks in our section. Maybe in other areas of the stadium it was different? Walking in from the parking lot, I saw nobody wearing a mask. I ended up using my mask as a napkin, because my husband bought us hot dogs and fries and of course forgot napkins.

It was exciting to watch live football, but it was also overwhelming to be in a crowd. I haven’t been in one since it seems a lifetime — but in reality it was pre COVID. I was exhausted by the time we got home — but also thrilled to have the experience. What a contrast to March 2020 — plus the stark difference between Arizona and California, where I lived in 2020. I decided to look back on what I was feeling when we first found out about COVID and sheltered in place to flatten the curve.

Cardinals vs. Panthers football game.
View from my seat at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Here’s a look back on my post about DAY ONE of the three-week shut-down to flatten the curve:

I was pretty shaken up yesterday, but I’m pleased to report that I’m doing better today. I got my full walk around the park and neighborhood before the rain started. I saw a favorite neighbor and we chatted while standing six feet apart. He said, “We’ll get through this.”

I was assigned a couple magazine stories by an editor and I think that helped me the most. I have a tight deadline and had to get busy. That kept me from turning on the news, watching the DOW, and reading all the headlines on the web rather than writing.

Life is pretty much the same for me as it is most days. I walk and then work from home. It’s nice to know my daughter is in the guest room working from home, too, right down the hall. My son is in the Bay Area and he’s under the same orders to shelter in place but they started before us. He’s calling everyday to let me know he’s okay. I really appreciate that.

We will get through this. We have so many uncertainties ahead of us. That’s what gets me anxious. I try to think through all the possibilities of what COULD happen and it gets me scared. It’s much better to stay busy at home while we are “sheltering in place.”

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This cutie pie came home with my daughter. He and the cat are practicing social distancing.

What are your memories about the first day of shelter in place? How did you prepare, who were you with and did you think it would go on longer than three weeks?

About digital tickets

digital ticket in an iphone wallet
A digital ticket in my iphone wallet.

I am new to digital tickets and they stress me out. For example, this ticket is in my iphone wallet for a football game that was last weekend. I don’t know how the ticket got there. I talked about going with a friend who was coming from Palm Springs for the game. But, I decided against it and we’ll join them at a game Thanksgiving weekend instead. So how did this ticket end up in my “wallet?”

My first encounter with digital tickets was to buy five tickets for the football game above. I made a mistake and bought tickets to the ASU vs. Stanford game. When I transferred tickets to my friend (I was buying them for her and her kids and my husband and myself) she texted me back and said I bought the wrong tickets.

I said no worries that the Ticketmaster website said there were refunds. But then I read the small print and the refunds are only for when an event is cancelled. Period. I was able to list the tickets for sale on Ticketmaster. Fortunately, the tickets sold and I got my money back.

I bought tickets for my husband, me and a friend who lives down the street for the NFL Cardinals vs. Panthers game, which is Sunday. My husband has been a huge Sam Darnold fan ever since Sam’s USC days. He was supposed to be the quarterback for the Panthers this weekend, but he shattered his shoulder last weekend.

I bought the tickets a couple months ago but couldn’t access them. That stressed me out because they are expensive and I didn’t know if they existed or not. It’s so nebulous. I like paper tickets. Something solid in my hands that I can touch.

Our friend has pneumonia and we uninvited him to the game. Now we have an extra ticket. Since I successfully sold the ASU vs. Stanford five tickets, I figured I could sell our extra ticket. But if I can’t access the tickets how can I sell them? Today, I was finally able to access the tickets. My hands shook while downloading the Ticketmaster app and listing a ticket for sale. Perhaps it’s because I made a mistake on the first go around is why digital tickets make me anxious.

What are your thoughts about digital tickets? Do you like paper tickets better? Or are you savvy and fine with digital tickets?

State Farm Stadium in Glendale AZ
State Farm Stadium, home to the AZ Cardinals and where I got my COVID shots.

A moment of pure joy

We have babies! Quails that is.

I was so excited at the sight of baby quails in our backyard! It took me a couple days to get a decent video of them. They are bringing me joy as I watch the perfect miniatures of the mom and dad copy their every move. Mom jumps on a rock, the babies jump on a rock. I’m mesmerized watching them. Sheer joy.

Then there’s my favorite cardinal.

What are your favorite sights and sounds of Spring?

Watching the sunrise and birds

The past few days I’ve been treated to glorious sunrises, sunsets and a bounty of birds. I bought a bird feeder a few weeks ago and I’m delighted sitting at my desk glancing out the window. I got carried away and not only filled the bird feeder until it was overflowing, but I threw out cups of bird seed on the ground, too. That was for the quail who run through the fence. Yesterday we were visited by a huge roadrunner, a woodpecker and a bright red cardinal.

 

red cardinal on bird feeder

A brilliant red cardinal visited yesterday.

I was busy taking pictures of the cardinal when another visitor wooshed  onto the scene, forcing all the friendly birds to flee.

 

Hawk on fence

This giant landed on the fence before swooping through the yard to the rooftop.

The wildlife here at my new home can be intimidating. I’m terrified the cat will get out and everyone from realtors to friends have said cats last less than an hour outside. We even spotted bobcat tracks in our front yard after a rainy night.

Hawk on the roof

This was one of two hawks who scared away my birds.

My son works for a startup in San Francisco called Backerkit. I took this slogan off their website to explain what they do:

“We build software to help crowdfunding backers and creators connect, support each other, and get the most out of every campaign.”

My son said there’s a new product coming out that uses AI to identify birds. I’ll be first on the list when the product launches. So far, I’m going the old fashioned way with a bird book. Right now there are all these little boring brown birds in the yard, and I have no clue what they are.

Red sky sunrise

A wonder of a sunrise to start off a new month.