Face First

Before I tell you this, please let me be responsible and say that how we celebrated this year would only work in a climate like Phoenix.

My family made an outdoor socially distanced Hanukkah and Christmas celebration in our backyard. All four kids (two plus two) were here. We sat apart, didn’t share food, and were careful with gift giving. We enjoyed seeing them and the three dogs a lot. But it was very stressful for the gardener and me because we are more careful than the kids, and every movement seemed fraught with potential danger (at least it felt that way).

During the festivities, when the gardener was in the house, I tripped on a pavement seam and fell. Yup. Smack on the concrete. First my knee hit. Then my cheekbone hit. Full body force. My arms didn’t even go out to catch me! I think I”m fine, but pretty swollen and bruised. After falling I looked up into four worried faces that were exactly six feet away from me in every direction. They wanted to come help me, but didn’t want to bring me covid!

On another note, something very cool and terrifying happened a few days before the party.

I was in the kitchen and caught a movement outside through my periphery vision. I glanced out the glass door to the patio. Our grill is outside the door and to the left of it is the wall that goes around our yard. I saw an animal jump from the grill to the top of the wall and pause for a second before jumping down the other side. Much of the animal was obscured by oleander tree foliage and blossoms. What I saw was a spotted cat butt and chubby legs. The animal was too small to be a bobcat, but too out of proportion to be a housecat. It was a baby bobcat!!! Then I knew what the outline was that I had seen a couple of nights before. I was on the couch watching TV and outside the window a cat walked by. I could only see the silhouette, but the cat looked out of proportion for a stray cat or a bobcat. I had kind repressed that sighting because it didn’t make sense. But after I saw the baby butt on my wall, I knew what it was.

So very very cool. But also terrifying that a bobcat is inside my yard proper, right next to my house and the door where we go out to the patio and the grill.

Leaving you with a photo of the delicious gluten free baked goods made by my daughter.





Filed under Arizona, Memoir, Nonfiction, Writing

57 responses to “Face First

  1. Hurrah for a successful “party,” bummer for the fall, wow for the baby bobcat butt, and love the gluten-free goodies! And the New Year is just around the corner!

    • And I cannot wait for the New Year! But I think it will be awhile before things get better. So hopeful about the vaccine!!!
      I haven’t seen the baby bobcat again so maybe his mother got a little control over him ;).
      Enjoy Doll God, Joy. Thank you so much!

  2. Those treats look amazing! A bobcat in the yard, yikes! Hope the bruises heal soon. We would like to do an outdoor gathering here but the forecast for Christmas is -12 celcius. Brr.

    • Oh, I think that was probably too cold! My double-masked mother went to a gathering in my niece’s garage in Michigan, and I imagine that was pretty cold! I hope you had a nice Christmas anyway.

  3. Amy

    Oh, Luanne—you certainly will remember 2020! I’m so sorry about your fall. And I can totally relate to your anxiety being with your kids. I felt the same over Thanksgiving when we had them all here—masks on except when eating, windows wide open, and six feet apart at all times. And we were tested beforehand. Yet I never relaxed until they all left. Such bizarre times.

    Take care of your injuries, and stay safe!

    • Amy, you all did a good job, but as I wrote elsewhere, with the new variant of covid, how do we stay safe? We need some guidance about this!

  4. Oh don’t disappear that picture. It will be a treasure in year’s to come – so very Covid that loved ones had to stand and look! Risk vs benefit.

    • [Sticks tongue out] I already disappeared it! Haha, I couldn’t stand to look at it one more minute. So VERY covid. What a stupid thing we are going through! xo

  5. In our area numbers are increasing so it’s scary to be around anyone, masked or not. I’m glad you didn’t break anything. It’s also a bad time to be ill in any way. Have a happy healing holiday season.

    • It’s bad here now, too, and I’m worried about the hospitals and in LA they are even running low on oxygen! Where are these big hospital ships we didn’t need last spring?! Hope your Christmas was peaceful, but safe.

  6. Ooooh, your poor cheekbone! I hope the swelling has gone down by now. I understand your sense of ‘fraught.’ We did outdoor gatherings until partway through Nov. (MN weather sent us indoors). But there was always a sense of anxiety (Are we doing this right? Enough?) Now if we see a son indoors, masked, 15 mins, are we in trouble? Ok so far.

    Take care and happy holidays!

    • Thank you, Ellen. The swelling is much better, although the black eye is a little jarring. Every time my husband looks at me, he startles haha. Yes, the anxiety!!!!! And now with the new variant on the horizon, how much more do we have to do to be safe??? So glad you are ok so far and hope it continues that way! Happy New Year!!!!

  7. I’m happy you were able to spend time with your family, Luanne. Sorry about the spill…sounds like something that would happen to me. I’m glad you weren’t seriously hurt. Wishing you and your family peace and joy this holiday season.

    • LOL, is that something that happens to people whose necks turn red?! Seriously, I am wondering about myself. First the Valley Fever and now the fall. I hope there is no third thing! Thank you, Jill. I hope your Christmas was peaceful and a little magical, although I imagine it was just you and D? Happy New Year!

  8. Bobcat butt made me giggle, but I gasped when I saw your poor face. Oh my dear, I do hope that nothing more of this nature happens. 2020? Enough already!

    • Right?! That is what I am thinking. Valley Fever. The fall. Praying nothing else happens!!! That bobcat butt was really cute by the way. Happy New Year, Maggie!

  9. I’m happy you were able to have a socially distant get-together with your family, but that fall–ouch! I hope you’re feeling better. And a bobcat! I assume if there’s a baby, then there’s a momma, too. That is cool and scary.

    • I think that adult one that came by a couple weeks before was the mama. And having a baby “at home” was probably why she was out when she shouldn’t have been–looking for food. But the baby is big enough to be on its own now, I am guessing.
      Hope your holidays have been decent so far and that your new year is fantabulous, Merril!

  10. Luanne! You sure do things in a big way! Good grief! Please be more careful. You’re making me overuse exclamation marks. There is altogether too much excitement around your house lately. Calm down, take it easy, take care of yourself, and have a more peaceful Christmas. Who needs a virus when you can have all this danger just staying at home? Take care of yourself.

    • I know!!!! Valley Fever!!!! The Fall!!!! Good grief!!!!! Those exclamation marks really show how I feel lately. Love this: “Who needs a virus when you can have all this danger just staying at home?” I am starting to feel that it is very dangerous for me to be home! Watch, a meteorite will fall on my house!
      Happy New Year, Anneli, and please stay safe.

  11. Good gracious! May your face heal fast!
    Lots of excitement at your place, from docially distanced soirees to baby bobcats. Now I have to go look them up!
    Wishing you a peaceful winter solstice —>🌌

  12. I’m glad you are okay. I think you need to make up a story about that cheek. Maybe you could build the Bobcat into it. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  13. P.S. Your book came. Thank you.

  14. You have had quite a year, so face planting will hopefully finish it off with a bang that won’t happen again. I’m glad you were able to have time with the family, and a happy festive season to you and your family.

    • Face planting. hahahaha Yes, that’s what it was. Thank you so much! I hope your New Year is splendidly wonderful, very safe, and makes 2020 a dim memory!

  15. Oh, your poor cheek! I hope it’s healing well and not too painful.
    Do baby bobcats usually wander around without their mamas?

    • Here’s the thing: the mama has been around here. But I think the baby is actually a big kid and learning to be on his/her own, maybe. But what a cute hind end that little one had. All chubby fur with spots.
      My cheek is not too bad, but the black eye is startling.
      Thank you for purchasing Doll God. I hope you enjoy it!

  16. Ouch, Luanne! This is not the crowning glory to your year 2020. Hope you heal up fast. I get you about the bobcat- cool to have around but maybe not in the yard. The goodies look incredible. Is she a professional baker?

    Enjoy the rest of your holidays and stay safe.

    • Oh, my daughter will have to hear that you asked if she’s a professional baker! She is not, but she is very good. She not only bakes well in a general sense, but she can take any (baking) recipe and turn it into a gluten free one and it turns out. Pretty amazing.
      Thank you, Eilene. I am so looking forward to something going back to normal. You stay safe, as well! Happy New year!

  17. Oh my goodness, Luanne!!! I’ve done a face plant like yours in my front yard and it’s scary and hurts. Pride and body very bruised. Mine was mild compared to yours. The bobcat situation has me more concerned. If you are out there cooking, it could end badly. Sounds like some adjustments need to take place on those pavers as well. I hope you heal soon. I’m sure it’s nice to see so much family at this time of year. It will be just my daughter and I this year. We may stay in PJ’s all day. 😉 Frozen lasagna is our dinner so no cooking. Please have fun without the scary part. Happy Everything, Luanne.

    • Oh, I’m sorry that you had the fall happen, too! I hope yours was on grass or something similar, and not concrete like mine :/. I haven’t seen any more bobcats since then. I am hoping that the little one will learn to be afraid of humans and stay away. I think the adult was out a few weeks ago looking for food for the baby. Maybe this will be it for awhile.
      How did Christmas in PJs go? Let’s hope for a wonderful New Year, a year to wipe away the bad memories of 2020. Happy Everything, Back Atcha, Marlene!!! xoxo

  18. Sorry, you fell. The baked goods look yummy!!!! Would love to see the kitty bobcat, too!! How exciting. Merry Merry Christmas.

    • You would NOT like to see the “kitty bobcat”!!! She would eat you in two bites! Happy New Year to you and your family, even the human one.

  19. Keep safe – not just from Covid

    • I know–keep safe from my yard, right?! Thinking of you all in the UK with the lockdowns and the new virus variant. Take care, Derrick. Happy New Year to you and J.

  20. Oh Luanne! I am so sorry about the fall. I fell hiking 2 years ago and it really messed up my shoulder (hence the surgery this past May). I hope you got checked out by a doctor, if you needed to. Glad you had a good holidays celebration together.

    • Oh no! You really banged yourself up with that fall. I actually did not go to a doctor. I’m so afraid of getting covid on the valley fever, that I doctored myself. I figured if I broke something it would keep for a day or two until it bothered me. But I guess I was just really banged up.
      Hope your Christmas was loverly. And that you have a Happy New Year. That EVERYONE has a Happy New Year! XOXOXO (and to the kitties, too)

  21. Val

    I’m so sorry you fell – that looks like it’s painful. Have you some arnica or witch-hazel you can use on it?

    I had to look up bobcat – it’s a type of lynx? There was an escaped one in the UK some years back (from a zoo – I hate zoos), but they’re not native to the UK. Are they very dangerous? (I presume so as they’re wild.)

    I hope to email you, sorry it’s not happened yet! Do try to have a good new year and whatever remains of Christmas/holidays. x

    • So interesting that you brought up witch hazel. I love it, and I did use it! But i have never heard of arnica. I’ll have to watch for it.
      Bobcats are dangerous to small wild animals and to cats and small dogs. Between the bobcats and the coyotes we have around here, cats do not survive outside. Perry was lucky to hang on until we could get him trapped. He’s the only cat I’ve seen outside here in ten years!
      Please, let’s all have a wonderful New Year and let things get better and better. Until then, stay safe, Val. I worried about you when I heard about the new covid variant and the lockdowns. XOXO

  22. I completely empathize with your ‘paranoia,’ Luanne! I’m like you, with preexisting conditions (mild MS, plus past serious bout of double pneumonia) so I’m reeeeally scared! My fiancé is nervous too! Who the hell wants this Covid crapola! xoxoxo
    P.S. – could the spotted cat have been attracted to the grill due to lingering odours from past BBQ feasts? Just a thought. (Maybe others said the same before me, but I’m too lazy/strapped for time to read them all!)

    • Oh, that’s an interesting thought about the grill. Maybe! You are the only person who thought of that!
      Oh, please stay safe. Now with that new variant headed our way, we need to know how to stay even safer, especially if it’s really 70% more contagious. Good grief. Can this please be over soon?!
      Happy New Year, said with more feeling than usual!!!! XOXO

  23. Oh, that fall … that had to hurt so much! I hope you’re feeling much better now. And, yes, having a baby bobcat cruise through your yard is both cool and scary. As Merril noted, where there’s a baby, there’s likely to be a mama nearby. Those cookies look delicious! Sit tight, Luanne, 2020 is almost over 🙂 (I am so glad you were able to see your family. Even in Florida right now, it’s a bit too chilly to eat outside.)

    • What we did was meet outside after breakfast, then snack during the day (separate plates), and then when it was time for a latish dinner, they too their food with them, and we ate alone inside.
      How was your Christmas, Marie? Were they kitties happy to have you concentrate on them haha?
      So today is december 27. Four more days of this horrible year. I know things won’t automatically be better when it turns 2021, but at least it will feel that we are on the way to better times! Maybe we should dust off that old song “Happy Days Are Here Again.”

  24. Merry Christmas, Luanne. I hope your cheek is better, and I hope the baby bobcat found his way back home.

    • Jennie, my cheek is getting better. I have not seen the baby again, so hopefully he/she has learned how to be afraid and not come around here again. Although I’m not sure if anything is cuter than a young bobcat.
      I hope your Christmas was beautiful. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  25. Merry Christmas! But I am very sorry you fell 😨
    A baby bobcat is cute but dangerous, please be careful!
    Those cookies are delicious 😋
    Big hugs!

    • Hi Sid! I hope your Christmas was good. Are you staying safe? I heard they are starting the vaccine on the doctors and nurses in Italy.
      The cookies were so good :). I need to tell my daughter no more, though, or I will just get fatter and fatter stuck here in the house haha.
      Happy New Year to you!!!