Lockdown in name only – day 93 of xx.

looking for the light

Sucking up some rays before I go into solitary tomorrow. Don’t even get to go out to the exercise yard.  I can honestly say that I have never been sent to my room for 120 hours. A new Adventure in Living as the UHaul trailers used to say. AFGO as the young people would say. Stay tuned. It will be boring.

I have promised myself any Kindle book that I want to read. Any audiobook that I want to hear. Any movie I want to see.

life and coronavirus #184

This coronavirus thing isn’t a sprint. Don’t even think it is a marathon. More like an ultra-marathon. And, I am gradually adjusting my mindset to the new normal. This 5-day sentence in solitary will either help me make the adjustment or drive me right out my window.

I haven’t made any plans except to take out the trash and take in the mail tomorrow morning. Then catch a ride to the dentist with a friend. See the dentist. Hope that everything is OK. Walk home. Stopping for a picnic lunch along the way. Water my garden boxes, and turn myself in to the authorities. I could skip the last step and avoid imprisonment. But that would be cheating.


Grateful for digital photography.

Mālama pono

Lockdown in name only – day 92 of xx.

A Cardoon.

Yet another image from Sunday’s Walk in the Park. This is a cardoon. Which sounds like the evil lord in a 1950’s Saturday movie serial. It is a monster thistle plant. Relative of the artichoke. But, one eats the stems of the cardoon. They are huge. And quite wonderful to look at, eating them might not be so great. Bees like them.

Reading the Washington Post this morning in dead tree format. I put it on the table to go get more coffee and when I returned the tops of page 8 and page 12 were visible.

click on it if you like

This describes the current state of affairs.

Trip to the dentist is moved up to July 2. Day after tomorrow. I think this is a good move. New cases are down in this area right now. BUT, tomorrow more things will be more open. And, in other states that is when the wheels fell off.

Then I get 5 days in solitary. In my room. Not even allowed to go to the trash room. (Note to self – empty trash on Thursday Morning!) Much less outside. If I had false teeth I could just drop them off at curbside for service.


Wow, just saw a bunch of swifts swooping around. Grateful for my windows. It was about 5 years ago that I selected The Old Bat Cave for my “forever home”.

According to CNN, nearly 60,000 lbs. of chicken nuggets are being recalled because they may contain rubber. I wonder: How did anyone notice?
Mālama pono

Lockdown in name only – day 91 of xx.

Angels Trumpet – But deadly

No new pictures today. But, some nice ones from yesterday’s walk in the park.

Totally tired today. So, I was happy to enjoy doing nothing. And, trying to learn to accept the “new normal”.  I stopped reading the travel-related emails that arrive. Travel isn’t happening. So, why am I torturing myself trying to figure out where I can go. I can go nowhere. So I can just deal with it.

Allium gone to seed.

This amused me. Seems that Remington Arms Company is preparing to file for bankruptcy again. And the Navajo Nation is expected to buy whatever is left.  There seems to be some sort of cosmic justice in this.

Bumblebee and monarda

Still hoping for a miracle and I am allowed to go to my dentist next week without 5 days in solitary.  But, as long as Arlington County remains relatively Covid-free I intend to go.


Grateful for fluffy white clouds and bright blue sky out my window.

No old travel pix today. I was lazing around Bermuda. Just ocean, sunrises, and sunsets.

Mālama pono

Lockdown in name only – day 90 of xx.

Magnolia and Bee

Just for today. Pretend this is just a normal day. A good day for a walk in the park. A good day to make pictures.


Chipmunks are much cuter when they are in someone else’s garden.

Salvia and honey bees

See, a nice normal Sunday morning stroll in the park.


Grateful for a new normal day.

June 28, 2019. My Lap Around the Planet was coming to an end. I was retreating to Greenbanks in Bermuda to rest up after my travels.

But, first one last breakfast in bed at Hazlitt’s

I liked all of my hotels. Hazzlitt’s is a strange hotel. But fun. You get breakfast delivered to your chambers. They have no kitchen. But, you get great coffee and fine baked goods. A “continental breakfast” worthy of the name.

Greenbank – they left the key out for me!

Soon I am in Bermuda. There is no one to greet me – but the key is in my door.
Greenbank – My Bermuda Home.

And my lounge chair is ready.

Mālama pono

Lockdown in name only – day 89 of xx.

looking for the light

Sometimes all you need are a few flowers to lighten the day.

life and coronavirus #183

Now this is a serious mystery. This “tombstone” recently appeared on the grounds. Who was Misty? Someone’s favorite goldfish? A budgie? Maybe it is a game. Stay tuned. Someone will know. Someone knows everything around here. You just have to find the right someone.

We have been locked up for a seriously long time. And, I see no end in sight. Even if we could go anywhere without being hit with 5 to 14 days of quarantine, where would I go? I feel like I am living in Ogallala, Nebraska in 1862 before the Union Pacific came through. Stuck in one place. With no hope of escape. I have jackrabbits in my boots. I don’t stay in one place well. Not even close.


Grateful for my little kitchen. As the Asylum food has gotten worse I have rediscovered “The Joy of Cooking”. Actually I gave my 1957 version of that midcentury standby to a friend from work. And, at this instant, I am really thankful for my little dishwasher.

June 27, 2019, was my last full day in London and actually then end of the Round the World trip. Next stop Bermuda for some downtime.

Faraday Museum at The Royal Institution of GB

Time for yet another tiny obscure museum.

Your guess is as good as mine!

I don’t purchase much, but I adore window shopping. And this was a killer window.

Mālama pono


Lockdown in name only – day 88 of xx.

looking for the light

Stopping to admire the other garden boxes while watering mine this morning.  Most people grow flowers. Some tomatoes. I grow weeds and one huge rosemary plant. But, I like my weeds.

life and coronavirus #181

The area around The Asylum seems to be taking the mask business seriously. Which is good when you are an old person.

life and coronavirus #182

Today, The Asylum attempted to amuse the inmates with public dunking of staff members. It did amuse me because I spent 4 hours taking and post-processing pictures.

Hey Carlton, are you still paying attention to me? Well, just thought you would like to know that your old enemy Advanced Towing is being sued by the VA Attorney General. (Just one of Carlton’s adventures with Advanced Towing – and he was dead guilty that time.)


Grateful for an email from a very old and lost Park Service friend today. From wayback in the last Millenium. Sometimes, technology is our friend.

June 26, 2019.  I explored to obscure but fantastic museums.

The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret

The OR restored to its 1822 state.

And the Grant Zoology Museum.


Great place London. Wish I were there. Or lots of places other than here.

Mālama pono

Lockdown in name only – day 87 of xx.

looking for the light

This morning’s “hike” was for distance not speed. I did 3 miles in 70 minutes. Hey cut me some slack. I am an old woman.

life and coronavirus #180

First thing I discovered on my adventure was that the street, sidewalk, and bus stop were gone. That is when I decided to head to the bike path for a while. Didn’t encounter any bikers or runners or walkers. Just some squirrels. Then I wandered slowly back to The Asylum.

After reading the newspapers and doing the laundry – this being my assigned laundry day – it was lunchtime.

This meal was going to take about 5 minutes to eat.

Well, this nice modest healthy lunch just wasn’t going to cut it. Had to make an production out of it. So. I gathered up my lunch, the Kindle, and some water and headed for The Asylum’s unused Dog Run.

So, I went out to our unused dog run and had a picnic.

I was visited by a bee, a spider, an ant, and a couple of catbirds. Shared my ½ sandwich with the birds. Read my book and killed an hour. By then – naptime!


Grateful that we seem to be going in the right direction. Just for today.

June 25, 2019 – I went to see the Prime Meridian. Seemed like the right thing to do on a trip around the planet.

77 degrees from home.

I had a sinsus infection, I was tired, I needed to find a laundry. And, I was loving every minute of the trip.

Mālama pono

Lockdown in name only – day 86 of xx.

looking for the light

The sun has started shifting to the right of the Washington Monument. Again this year, the shades will be down when the fireworks go off. He who must not be named had once again co-opted July 4th. There are other fireworks. There will be other years. Maybe not for me. But, for someone.

Sort of a nice gentle new normal day for me. More and more ways of communicating. The Asylum is managing to put a lot to the normal meeting on inhouse TV and YouTube. They are making more use of Zoom. Zoom is a little difficult for our residents. But, they are getting the hang of it.

life and coronavirus #179

This meeting used to attract a hundred or so residents. (They served cookies and coffee.) We had an audience of 4 live and 4 zoom today. And no cookies. It will be shown on in-house TV. I was 25% of the audience.

life and coronavirus #178

Last night’s dinner. Tomatoes, asparagus, salmon, sparkling water, and Gearharts dark chocolate. At this rate, I’ll fit into those shorts by the time I am 80!


Grateful that I can still talk to Carlton. Funny, I always envision him as 78ish. If he was still alive he would be 85. And, he doesn’t very often answer me. But, sometimes he does. “Avoid beginnings, Wreckage of the future. You did What???”

June 24, 2019 – Returned to London from Scotland. It was 25° warmer. A good thing in my world.

I scored a standing room ticket. Well, actually the concierge at the hotel did. Made for a long day.

Mālama pono

Lockdown in name only – day 85 of xx.

looking for the light

Foggy morning today. We are supposed to get the Saharan dust cloud late this week. Which will make for hazy days but superior sunrises. Sunsets too. But, I live on the morning side of the building.

I stuck with my personal reclamation project today. Zoom yoga. Good walk around the big block twice. Last Tuesday I covered 1.45 miles at a pace of 27 minutes/mile. Today it was 2.55 miles at a pace of 22 minutes/mile. I thought that I walked faster and better outside The Asylum. And the data supports that theory. Hoping for 3 miles in an hour. That will get me to my dentist or my doctor.

I am pretty sure that I am not serious about this. And, if I am I am sure that they are back ordered like crazy if they are available at all in the US. And, I did promise Carlton not to buy anything with wheels. But, it is something to think about if The Asylum and/or common sense forbids public transit and Uber.

life and coronavirus #176

I don’t need a scale. These O’Neill shorts will tell the tale.


Grateful for coffee. Something so wonderful. Zero calories. And nice happy healthy antioxidants.

June 23, 2019 was my last day in Edinburg. I was trying to get over a cold so I sort of took it easy.

What is it with the Brits and their cold pancakes?

The English, the Bermudians, the Aussies, the Scots: they all eat cold pancakes.  I can pass on all pancakes. Even when I fit in my shorts!

Mālama pono

Lockdown in name only – day 84 of xx.

looking for the light

For most of last week, my little fan provided all the conditioning that the air needed in the Old Bat Cave. But, today, the A/C is back on the job.

life and coronavirus #175

Getting ready to walk right out that front gate for the 3rd morning in a row. This morning I walked two miles. Which is twice around what I call the big block. I didn’t walk at “going to miss the bus” pace. But, I didn’t go at old lady speed either. When I walk around and around the building I walk slower. Older even.

As I was finishing up this walk I decided that I haven’t been taking very good care of the old equipment. Haven’t checked my blood pressure in over three months. I haven’t weighed myself since last year. And, I have been eating everything in sight. So, when I got back to The Asylum, I went right to the scale and read the news. Well, it wasn’t news. I know I am at MAX weight before I must purchase new clothes. 10 stone. Sounds better than 141 pounds. Need to drop a stone. Then I checked my BP. Fortunately, it is what passes for good for me 120/75.

When lunch arrived it was turkey and swiss on a croissant. Oversized fake Sysco croissants have no place in my fat world. (I would make an exception for a real croissant.) I know that my elderly body will be happier if it has less weight to haul around. I know how to do this. Goodness knows I have done it many times before. Eat half as much and exercise twice as much.


Grateful to be on the green side of the grass!

June 22, 2019 went on a trip from Edinburgh to Stirling Castle.

Cemetery at the Church of the Holy Rude. Don’t think the name should be taken seriously.

Mālama pono

Lockdown in name only – day 83 of xx.

looking for the light

The residents have been doing whatever they want this weekend. As soon as they read that they could get in the car, drive somewhere, and get out of the car, they did. Nevermind all those words about what you should and should not do after you got out of the car.

I went for my one-mile hike around the block. And, I didn’t go anywhere. I might ask permission to walk to the farmers market and purchase something. That would be 4.5 miles round trip.

life and coronavirus #173 – People seem to be going to the gym.

I am still planning on going to the dentist on July 7 and getting quarantined for 5 days. But, on the off chance, they decide that I can go to the dentist – I need to be in condition to walk. (If I am going to get quarantined I’ll take Uber or the bus.) And that is a 6-mile round trip. Normally not a problem to walk 6 miles. But, I have had a lot of downtime. Have to kick up my walking from the bare minimum to something approaching 5 miles a day before I feel confident enough to head off to the dentist.

We had several nice steamtable Father’s Day lunch offerings. I decided to pass and made a shrimp, tomato, and avocado salad.

life and coronavirus #174

Still haven’t found a Monarch Butterfly – but I found a big fat bee in my garden box this afternoon.

very well pollinated bumblebee.

Grateful that the Wifi has been pretty damn reliable during this lockdown.

June 21, 2019 – Edinburgh Scotland.

Royal Highland Show

This was some sort of horse beauty contest. But you had to have 4 identical horses. Guessing this is left over from the carriage days.

Mālama pono

Stalag 2020 – day 82 of xx.

looking for the light

Made it out from behind bars for a little “hike” this morning. Just about one mile around the block. Four laps around the building is a mile. But, if I do it fast enough that is about all the cardio that I must get in every day.

As soon as the weather gets out of this thunderstorm cycle, I will go on a more proper “hike.” I must make sure that I can get all the way back home on foot because taking Uber gets 5 days punitive quarantine. I shudder to think what they would do to me if I rode a bus!

So, some signs of the times.

life and coronavirus #171

For the last 15 years at least most all of the summer lifeguards in our area have come from Eastern Europe. College-age kids were recruited, got some special work visa, flown over here, stuffed into cheap apartments, given bicycles, run through a quickie lifeguard training session, and deployed on their bikes to area pools. We have lots of pools. And, unless it is in your own backyard it must have a lifeguard. Now, pools are starting to open, but no kids from Eastern Europe. This is a sign of the new normal. I wonder if they give you a bike?

life and coronavirus #172

I only saw one “Closed/Closing” sign. But, I am sure more are coming. More new normal.


Grateful for  a socially distance and masked IRL visit with my Asylum Sisters this morning. The 7 of us who used to huddle around a single table spread out over three tables.

June 20, 2019 – Trained from London to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Mālama pono