Oh deer

This pretty girl recently visited both my apple trees, looking for fresh fruit.

Oregon entered into another two-week shut down from November 18 through December 2. Our Governor, Kate Brown, has collaborated with the other West Coast Governors including Jay Inslee of Washington, and Gavin Newsome of California to agree on coordinated guidance for how to deal with the pandemic. It’s a good idea because there is typically a lot of travel and overlap of jobs and families along the coast. All three state Governors decided to ask the citizens of the west coast states to limit their travel and to voluntarily self-quarantine if they do have to travel. Gov. Brown put in a caveat for people like me, who live right on the border. There is a little market in my town, but my closest grocery store is in another state. In this case I do not need to quarantine myself after a grocery trip.

In a critique that says these gestures regarding Thanksgiving holiday plans are far from enough, local paper the Portland Mercury ran an opinion piece with this awesome snarky headline: The Governors of Oregon, Washington, and California Strongly Urge You Not to Kill Your Family. As Dr. Fauci recently said, yes, this is hard, we are all sick of it, but please hang in there just a few more months. Do not go hang out at Grandma’s for Thanksgiving, even though that sucks.

Two of my pet deer are here for their daily investigation of the ground beneath the apple tree.

I have been challenging myself to stay home as long as possible. It’s been 15 days so far. I’m actually doing fine, and I’m coming up with clever ways to use all the canned food and dry goods I already have. I mean, seriously, my cupboards are full and HOW long exactly has that can of diced tomatoes been taking up space? Why do I have three cans of coconut milk – does anyone need three cans of coconut milk? Why do I have two unopened containers of quinoa, six unopened boxes of pasta (made from seaweed, lentil, and tomato!), a bag of pearl barley, sushi nori (those sheets of seaweed for wrapping up sushi rolls), and potatoes going soft? I am just one person. There is nothing wrong with having extra stuff in my cupboards like flour and dried beans and vegetable stock…but if that stuff has been sitting there for a full year, then I need to do something with it.

Luckily I tend to crave the vegetables that last a long time: potatoes, onions, beets, cauliflower, squash, carrots. I have been drawing on these things to supplement what’s in the cabinets because my really perishable stuff ran out 10 days ago. I caramelized the last onion yesterday. I have two potatoes and one carrot left and that’s it. Oh, but I have apples! The remaining apples on the tree are still fresh and crunchy if I can get them. This requires plucking them out of the grass before the deer get them, or somehow getting them out of the very tall tree. Jumping around trying to shake them down or hit them down with other apples is not effective but it does provide exercise!

This girl gave up on the red apple tree and is heading for the green apple tree. She’s welcome to them. The green apples are always marred with worms.
Looks like she’s been chasing parked cars, poor thing. But LOOK at those eyelashes!
Here’s a cropped section of the image above. These eyelashes must be two inches long. Wowzer.

The good news is that not one, not two, not three, but many potential vaccines are looking promising. Research results are coming in from around the world, from the U.S., Japan, Thailand, and England. Even Russia’s Sputnik vaccine is looking good despite their rush to register it. Fauci has predicted that U.S. healthcare workers will be getting the vaccine by the end of December. I hope healthcare workers around the world will also be getting a vaccine soon, but of course less powerful countries will be left behind. Thankfully, equitable distribution is a topic of discussion at the G20.

Still, our last million new cases came in a single week. A million. In a week. Good reason to stay home.

Caring about others is exhausting. Worrying is exhausting. Checking on on others and helping, when you’re an introvert like me, is exhausting. Being alone for 15 days straight can be hard on the brain, and thank goodness for Racecar and my chucks that I talk to a lot of the time. I saw a therapist for about two years who always ended her sessions by asking me what I was going to do for self care. In other words, I had just spent an hour getting deeply in touch with difficult emotions, and now my job was to go make myself feel better. She was so consistent that she trained me to ask myself that question. I would begin thinking of my self-care before we even got to the end. I learned to pay better attention to what makes me happy, in case I needed it later.

I’ve got a few ideas for how to find joy in my day today. Please tell me where you will find your joy today.

One of the things that makes me feel good is hard physical labor, outside. Can you spot the potential in this photo? Oh yes. Ten bazillion sopping wet Maple leaves that will kill the grass if they aren’t removed. Yay for me.

20 thoughts on “Oh deer

      1. Ha ha ha!! I just assumed you were using your phone. Sometimes I see crazy spellings and I think “there’s someone trying to write while using a cellphone…” Yes, it was readable. I went to look at your blog. Must be hard to have a travel company during a pandemic. Yikes.

      2. haha, yes, much easier now once I’m back in front of the computer 🙂

        Luckily we do not run a travel company, just blogging as a hobby and writing about the places that we have visited. We only suffer from a increasing wanderlust when stuck in Sweden 🙂

  1. My joy today was seeing my humming birds that come to visit! Yes, I too have a pantry with lots to use up- these months since the panademic, we have eaten alot of different things- found in the pantry! I would use coconut milk in soup. Miss you Cousin!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Cousin! Humming birds: a great trick for feeling better. Thanks for suggesting a use for coconut milk. I used one can of coconut milk instead of water to make quinoa, ha ha. Took care of two items at once, and it was delicious and creamy, if I’m allowed to describe quinoa as creamy.

    1. Thank you, Jolandi. The deer rarely mind me, but they don’t like the camera, and can spot it from a distance. On this one occasion, I tried to use my body language to soothe them into relaxing this time, and kept a low enough profile that this Blacktail doe came right up close to me. Since you like physical labour, maybe we can share. I’ll head over to your place and help, then when we’re done, you can head over here and rake leaves with me.

  2. First – nice photos!!
    Second – your comments about the food in your cupboard remind me of what happens every time there is even a hint of snow in the East: a run on the stores! I’m always saying: people! Do we not all have plenty of canned / boxed goods in our cabinets?
    Good for you! 15 days is quite a long time … not necessarily from a food perspective, but an isolation perspective. I often ask my patient’s where they find their peace or contentment.
    Keep on, my friend! Proud of you!

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