Day 59 – The Good News Issue

Day 59: ( Monday, May 11, 2020) This is a good news issue. I’m going to try to share a lot more good news. At least one story at the start of every day. It can’t all be good news, not in this time of Covid, but I can impart a lot of heartwarming stories. They are out there but the media doesn’t push them so much because, you know, being happy doesn’t sell papers or get clicks. I guess I’ll find out (if it gets response) by how you guys respond. What do you think?

Here’s today’s story. Click on the title:  Elders Around the World in Their 80s, 90s, and 100s Are Bouncing Back From Virus – and Sharing Advice

Just a couple of samples, but do read the story, it will calm you a bit, especially if you are older, like me. Didn’t say old. Said older. I asked my grandson. He said, “Nah, 70 isn’t old, in your 90s is old” and I said, “Whew thanks and by the way, I’m not 70, I’m 65.” “Oh.”

Married couple Guadalupe and José who live in Madrid, Spain, had just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary a few weeks earlier when they both became ill with the virus. Although they were both 88 years old—and José had had a stroke in 2012—they both survived the infection in the hospital and now are home together again.”

104-year-old Ada Zanusso of Biella, Italy is also the picture of recovery. Ada had developed a fever and shortness of breath and later was diagnosed positive with the virus. The centenarian has recovered well, with no loss of her lucidity and intelligence, according to her doctor.

Those are only a couple of the stories – click on the link above for the rest. Some over 100 years old. I don’t know why these stories wouldn’t sell papers. That’s sad in itself. Let me see what other good news I can find.

I’m really struggling with photos this week so you’re getting food and flowers, mostly. Mine though.

Sometimes, breakfast is healthy

Today is Monday, and I’m going to complete Part III of my PADI training this week; I was working on the chapter outline for the new and improved DogStar so we have a fast reference for stage II editing – but may have to type more in, the goddamn book I sent to the wonderful friend who offered to transcribe chapters 20+ for us – hasn’t arrived. From the effing USA to BC – more than a month. That’s really ridiculous. Even in The Time of Covid. Oh well. Keeps me off the streets. Not my favourite chore (typing) but I do type quickly and it’s non-thinking work, I can think about other stuff and listen to the radio while I’m doing it. So that’s good news.

I think there is despair out there. I feel it too. Some mornings, even with a good night’s sleep and no monkey chatter – I wake up on the edge of tears over it all. We owe it to ourselves to rise above it, to make ourselves understand that this will pass. With determination and common sense, many of us will not get sick and will then get a vaccine. Which the most brilliant minds in the world *will* create/discover. There is no limit to the ability of mankind – if we could just understand that and use it for the power of good – I think the world would be a different place. I like to think it will be after this. It always changes after these kinds of things, doesn’t it?

In any event, individuals control their own movements. If you are smart, you’ll keep sheltering in place if your city/town/state opens too soon (or province, as is, I believe, the case with Quebec).

Our friends gave us this Spuds McKenzie when DogStar was first published …

It’s been quite a good day. I’m about to head back to the TV room and/or bed with a book, sometime soon. I’ve been very up today. Not prone to any alarmist tendencies. Totally understanding this is going to take a while longer, but hopeful that it will be over soon, or at least in a reasonable amount of time. I wonder if it’s been such a good day because I started it with good news. I’m going to try to do that every day. And here’s my next project: How to make ice cream in a mason jar. I’ll keep you posted. Sweet dreams.

Day 60: That’s two short months, folks. And I expect two more to be honest. But that’s okay. Because I found more uplifting news this morning: click here to see how we are thanking our health care workers around the world. There are some fantastic photos, it’s worth clicking. We have a lot to thank these people for. Our lives, for one. They are angels, all of them. Banksy drew this on a Southampton Hospital wall so the UK National Health Service (NHS) can sell it (millions of dollars).


One dog walk done (mine, 7:30am), then a lesson with the trainer (9:00am) and now back at my desk. Between the two walks I did one PADI lesson, will do my second shortly. I think there are nine lessons in this section of part III, which is “Being a Diver III”. I’m learning stuff and being reminded of stuff I know. But hadn’t thought of in years. Decades, more accurately. Like fire coral and its hazards. Yes, you got it – like fire ants only underwater and stationary but easy to scrape against unintentionally.

Three lessons done, two were short. Rip currents, tides and surf. Interesting stuff. Did you know that when a wave breaks offshore – you can tell the depth at that point by the height of the wave? You can. I’ve only ever done boat entry and exit – the ‘great stride’. I wonder if they shore dive in La Paz. Wouldn’t surprise me (enter/exit from shore). That would make it a lot easier to do on your own (with a buddy, of course, but without a dive boat).

It’s actually the sun on the pewter bull head …

So, off to enter more DogStar into the computer. Sigh. I hate it but not as much as washing floors. Did i tell you we got a query on the house? They wanted to see it (agent in Mexico City who has shown it before). We regretfully declined – this is the outbreak week of the virus and if they’re serious, they’ll wait a week or two and we can do a walk through by facetime or zoom if the want. Plus, I haven’t had housecleaners here in over eight weeks and I need more notice (call last night for today).

I really am second-guessing myself today, though. But I think we have to wait a week or two yet. They’re from the city, with 25% of all of the cases in Mexico. It’s mostly the virus. But maybe I will clean up the house a bit more this afternoon to prepare for showing again. I told them if they waited a week and wore masks, we can do it. I’ll keep you posted. It appears there is demand.

Leftover pizza for dinner tonight. I made it last night but the crust needs a bit of refining.

Day 61: Starting this late today, it’s already 9:30. Watering done (manual activation on three stations is all that is), one dog walk done and not too much else! I chatted on FB messenger this morning for a long time with an early-rising friend – the one in NJ who thinks she had Covid-19 way back (March I think). We always have a lot to talk about – she’s a writer and broadcaster – always on the ball, lots of things going on. It was good to focus on things other than news! That’s good news in itself. Here’s some more:

The US is flattening the curve (now they have to squash it and that’s another story, but we’ll take good news where we can find it). Check out this story from Time Magazine. It has *not* however, had two weeks of continuous decline and should not be opening. This may set them back a bit, but at least we know it can be done with aggressive shelter in place orders.

And maybe next time, someone will have the balls to stand up to the feds. But for now, steady as she goes – and the American public may surprise me (ojala). Enough of them may say fuck you and stay sheltered in place anyway. You can’t order people to go out and mingle.

Anyhow, off to do my PADI lessons and type in Chapter 21 of DogStar. Those are my business goals for today. Hasta pronto.

LOLOL. Not quite, but getting there …

Day 62: I got my work done yesterday and today is another day. Lots of good news out there – we are closer to better and easier tests, some vaccine trials are going well and in the US, people like Bill Gates are devoting a lot of money and manpower into helping establish treatments, cures and vaccines. That’s heartening in itself to see that the public will step up when the federal government betrays its obligations. Case in point: After good results in Seattle, COVID-19 vaccine will face key trials this summer, Moderna CEO says.

Canada has already boosted funding (weeks ago) by $1.1 billion and committed funds and assistance to the worldwide excluding USA (who didn’t want to join) coalition to find a vaccine. Everyone is working on it (well, most everyone) and they are finding new relationships every day. Doctors in ERs are discovering (small) ways to treat the virus (shorten time of virus, help severity) with antibodies and other methods – and it is giving them hope. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time, all of that. Just get through today, friends – and tomorrow you will be one day closer to this being managed.

Isn’t it weird how it grows out of the cement?

And I totally understand that this is easy for me to say. Not so easy for some people to stay in a one-bedroom apartment with no balcony. Even with a balcony, actually. It must be much more trying but if you are reading this and need to chat for a while, send me a message. Unless I’m off the computer, I’ll get right back to you. It’s a very uncertain time and everyone needs someone to chat to when they are worried 🙂

Not that I’m never worried. But it comes and goes. So that’s what we need to do – prop others up when we’re feeling strong and turn to others when we need some encouragement. If we do that, we’ll get through this.

Another story worth reading from The Guardian: The impossible has already happened’: what coronavirus can teach us about hope

“Lots of things we were assured were impossible – housing the homeless, for example – have come to pass in some places. Ireland nationalised its hospitals, something “we were told would never happen and could never happen,” an Irish journalist commented. Canada came up with four months of basic income for those who lost their jobs. Germany did more than that. Portugal decided to treat immigrants and asylum seekers as full citizens during the pandemic.”

Almost 9am. One dog walk done, had a shower. That’s about all so far today though, but I did spend a little bit of time looking for good news to open with. And, I slept well last night. Even when I woke up and had to talk myself back to sleep, no monkey chatter. In fact, I remember feeling grateful. I think that’s from purposely looking for good news every day this week. And no, it’s not denial – I read the bad stuff too. But there is good stuff out there. Okay, PADI time. I may have actually finished part III yesterday, which means I can split the tests (there are 2 for each section) into today and tomorrow. And then … the dreaded typing. See you soon.

Bird in the garden (flower)

Well, I was wrong about the PADI again, no test until the whole of Part III is complete and that will easily be a week if not longer. But I did three subtopics in the 2nd subsection of Part III. You don’t need to know. I am enjoying the course. And I typed another whole chapter in and I may have to step it up a bit, nine chapters left but we want it stitched together and ready for the polishing by the end of the month. Mas o menos.

We have white bean and spinach Tuscan soup out of the freezer prepped for dinner – it’s very good and it was very easy. What else is happening? Oh yes, my friend who loses it sometimes (multiple personalities) who I have talked about before – decided to hitchhike to Texas to get away from her Native alcoholic boyfriend who was trying to kill her and who she thinks murdered someone. She went to the police and told them. And I forget what the story was there – but I don’t think they believed her. So she decided to take off before he came for her. She stopped outside Detroit (dual US/CAD citizen) at a place where some people gave her a job (a motel I think, but I’ll get more details). It’s insane to watch this on Facebook. She sent me a message at 5am this morning as she was crossing at Sault Ste. Marie in a ‘big rig’. I just looked at it and shook my head. But she maybe has found some truly Christian people who can help her (she’s very Christian and supposedly they are too). Fingers crossed for her and all kinds of white light to her. Her dad and stepmother are in Pennsylvania I think, and she’s still close to Canada so it’s not a bad place to stop and think. Oy.

Ok, time to start to get dinner set up (so hard, LOL). And maybe surf a little Pinterest and Instagram. Pinterest is really mindless and lovely. And some good recipes, party ideas, design ideas. Like flipping through a really good mgazine. Hasta manana.

This is our lavender last year – season coming up …

Day 63: Round up of today’s good news – Scotland has reported NO new ICU cases in the last 10 days and Ontario (Canada) has reported its lowest number of new cases since March. They may sound like small blessings, but remember where we were a month ago. The German transmission/reproduction rate remains below the critical threshold – despite seeing a rise in cases and locking down again. They are doing this right – if it doesn’t work, take it back and lock it down. And EU drug agencies are suggesting that a vaccine could be ready for distribution by this time next year.

Qatar Airways is giving away 100,000 roundtrip plane tickets for any of its network destinations as a way of giving healthcare professionals a “much-needed break” from their life-saving work (Jet Blue and American are giving away free trips too).  Crocs is giving away 10,000 pairs of shoes every day to health care workers, Mazda is giving free oil changes, Samsung is giving free phone repair and H&R Block is giving health care workers free tax return prep.

It’s all good, good news. Might seem like slow news, but slow is what we’ve got, and slow is what we’re going to have from here on out. Slow food. Slow travel. Slow living. And honestly? I’m looking forward to that.

Patti, a friend of ours, sent us a great link that I want to share with you. Excellent advice without hyperbole – it will make you feel better and helps you to be better informed: The Risks – know them and avoid them. Please do read. You’ll be glad you did.

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court overruled its Governor and opened wide up again and people are going out to bars and acting, in general, like fucking idiots. This is the rate of transmission / reproduction graph showing Wisconsin (circled) at barely below 1:1 on Thursday, May 14. We’ll look at it next Thursday (WI specifically) and see how they fare. It’s beyond me how people can value freedom above life. I remember the old US anti-communist saying from my childhood though, “Better dead than red”. If you are raised like that, having that kind of racist bullshit hammered into your head day in, day out, how can you grow up to be anything but a stooge for the rabid right? Oh, America. I love so many of you but the rest of you are ignorant racist pricks 🙁

Wow, 7am and I’ve done a lot, LOL. Damn dog (Rosie) got me up at 4am. I was sleeping by 8:30pm last night, mind. Still, this means at 8pm, I’ll be dead to the world tonight. Time to get ready for walk number one.

Ok, walk 1 and 2 (which is a lesson) done, he’s off on his walk with the other three or four dogs now. And one more story for you to lift your spirits. Yes, a pandemic is bad – but we are saving millions of lives (click here for story). Worth reading.

Day 64: Saturday. Afternoon. How did I get here so fast? Well, let me tell you. And I didn’t even get to PADI yesterday! I can’t believe how quickly the day goes. Yesterday, I spent the morning reading something for a friend and it got away from me and while I did do a chapter, we then got notes back on DogStar from one of the people we had reading the edited parts. Hardly any but that’s good 🙂

Now, it’s afternoon on Saturday and I do need to at least type in one chapter. So close to the end. Too bad that plan didn’t work to get a copy to mi amiga who offered to type it in. It’s still in transit somewhere – five weeks later – from the US to Canada. Ok. Later. Lots going on in my head but no time to take it to my fingers right now.

Okay, one chapter done. PADI tomorrow. It’s after 3pm and I’m tired. Two walks, water delivery (it’s dry out there), hopefully the last one – the rains are not quite here yet, they were just giving us a preview. Pond and pool filled, auto sprinklers enabled and disabled. I’d like a nap but it’s too late.

PJ has been doing well with this schedule of a lesson, then an hour of excercise with his pack – which changes every day but Maxi and Jock (the other bull terrier) are pretty consistent. Zeus (the blue heeler) is back and Ruthie is with us now. She is the sweetest mostly husky (I think), young rescue, adopted by D & D – and named after our dear late friend, Ruthie. They miss her a lot. I wish she was still here, too. But now we have her namesake and she’s cute. And she’s friends with PJ already. Makes me happy. If the pandemic ever ends, they can bring Ruthie over when they visit if they like. Maxi comes with his owners and PJ loves it.

Mexico is peaking, but I think we’ll keep peaking for a month. Again, we’re just not going anywhere. I think we will show the house starting in June though, as long as things settle down. Qualified clients, and they wear masks and gloves. No more than two plus agent and if it’s an outside buyer’s agent, then our agent too. And no dilly-dallying. Fast through the house. And touch nothing. It’s where we’re at. I think that should be fine.

Maxi and PJ, hope this isn’t a repeat but they are cute, aren’t they?

We’re talking about bringing our Friday guys back starting in June also, if things calm down and the lockdowns are lifted (as scheduled). We just really didn’t want Dany on a bus for an hour, if he lived closer – he could be here as all of his work is outside. Genaro is our inside guy and he can wear a mask and wash his hands thoroughly when he arrives. I think it will be fine. It’s now been nine weeks since they’ve been here (we’ve been paying them anyway, they want to come back but we won’t let them yet).

I think the house is going to sell. I pulled a five-card reading the other day (wish I’d taken a photo). Tarot cards. My challenges, as usual, the hanged man. Waiting is my challenge. The outcome was good but it indicated a sad letting go. So I interpret that as CW being sad (I’ll have a bit of sadness but it’s time). I’d been still thinking we’d go to La Paz and get home from there. I’m not so sure now. But the end result was joyous – just bittersweet maybe.

And the sad letting go – I hope that wasn’t La Paz. But we’ve been talking about how maybe the smart thing to do is just go back to Canada until there is a vaccine and get to La Paz for winters from there. That does involve selling the house. But we’ll get there. And when it looks like we might, we can revisit our plans. But I kind of think that’s what the cards were hinting at, even before CW brought it up. Anyway. That’s it for today. Dinner soon, then wind down, a little Dead to Me and off to bed. Tomorrow is, after all, another day. I may have time to write more tomorrow. It’s publishing day 🙂

Day 65: Sunday, May 17, 2020. Ok, as I was lying in bed, scrolling through my phone, we got a message from an agent who wants to show the place next weekend to a couple from Mexico City. I put him on to our agent and we’ll see how that goes. It did have me thinking, however. If it did sell, I’m not convinced going straight back to Canada would be the best thing – Rosie is almost 13 and it’s a 6.5 hour flight, by the time we’re done with check in and customs on the other end, easily 10 – 11 hours in a cage for both of them (PJ I’m not so worried about as long as we fly at night or adjust his med schedule).

I think it would be easier to drive to La Paz (two days plus overnight ferry) and get located there with our stuff and then start to ship stuff back and think about getting up there ourselves. If it happened next spring – I’d say yes, let’s go right back to Canada. But I think going halfway, resting even for a month and organizing from there, would be easier. We’ll see.

I want to put you on to my Good News Site – and I advise you to bookmark it and go visit every morning. Or at least a few times a week. Everyone should visit this site. They have Good News – constantly updated – and we all need it. Click here or click on the picture. There are a few sites like this one, but this is the best. Trust me it will make your days brighter and help you sleep better at night.

But no matter how much good news you read, I know that sometimes you just can’t get there. I hear you, I really do. Many mornings when I wake up and get to my computer, all I want to do is cry. We’re all lost right now. But, we have to remember, we can get back home from here. And this is how life goes. We’ve all been through horrible things. Different than this (unless you were in the middle of Ebola in Africa, how do I know?). But we are resilient.

We need to stand up tall and deal with this. Cry if you have to – get it out – and then straighten up your crown and get on with your day. It *will* pass eventually. No, it won’t be the same again but we will find a new normal. And it will be good.

Ok, I have to go. Here’s a song for you. Four years to the day since Guy Clark died. How could I not? In honour of Guy and his wife Susanna (who wrote this song and died a few years before him.)

Stay safe, stay informed, stay kind.


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