Year End

Goodbye, 2020. Go on, get outta here!!!

It’s hard to remember the trip the gardener and I took to Costa Rica 10 months ago. The monkeys were plentiful, which should have foretold the year ahead.

At least the monkeys in Costa Rica were very cute.

We all still need to be very very careful. Even if the vaccine works well for the majority of people, it takes weeks to work. You need about 3-4 weeks between the two doses, and then a week or so after the second dose before you can be reasonably sure you are not contagious. And they are going to be much slower about getting the vaccine to us than first predicted. That’s because human systems are involved, and human systems are very bureaucratic and plagued by human error and missteps. And laziness.

My 86-year-old mother lives in a garden home (duplex) by herself, but within a senior community in Kalamazoo. There is a current covid outbreak in the assisted living portion, and within the month of December half the infected residents have died!!! They were supposed to get the vaccine on December 21, then at the end of December, then January 7, and now the vaccine date has been postponed indefinitely due to “shortage.” I want you to know that this senior community is five miles from the Pfizer plant making the vaccine. I wrote letters to politicians about the situation, but it felt like dropping my iphone into the Grand Canyon.

On Christmas day, I watched an episode of Tiny Pretty Things on Netflix. My friend’s daughter plays Delia, and that is what drew me to the series. Four of my cats watched with me. (I’ve now finished the series). Then I wrote the first draft of a poem and painted a background page in my art journal. That was a good day.

I’m still plagued with a few symptoms from the Valley Fever and now the fall I took, but I am stuck at home anyway heh.

Are you living in a lockdown? Arizona is not locked down. In fact, I don’t even know what the rules are for restaurants and such because we have so few rules and haven’t heard much from Governor Doofus in awhile.

Please keep on staying safe for the new year. We all want to celebrate an end to 2020, but let’s not get carried away. It’s going to take 2021 a lot of effort to really get rid of 2020 altogether.

Hugs to everyone and make it the best January and 2021 you can for yourself and others.


Costa Rican sunset




Filed under #AmWriting, #amwriting, #writerlife, #writerslife, Cats and Other Animals, travel

90 responses to “Year End

  1. I too was in Costa Rica two summers ago. Lots of monkeys in the trees. 😊

  2. I trust you will stay well

  3. We are in a lockdown here and indoor dining is suspended until after January 5. Restaurant owners are up in arms as this is the time they make money to carry them through the slower winter months. You can’t eat without taking the mask off and that’s the problem. Front liners are getting the vaccine here. Sure wish I was a politician so I could get the vaccine. That seems to be the same as a front-line worker. We keep going forward because that’s the only way through it. Hugs to your mom. Hope she can stay safe.

    • Thank you for your sarcasm. You said what I’ve been thinking: why is congress, for instance, getting the vaccine while people in assisted living are ignored? I wouldn’t call politicians essential workers at this point. Thank you for the hugs for Mom. I sure hope so. One of the facilities staff got covid (lots of AL staff), and that concerns me because facilities takes care of mom’s duplex (it’s a rental).

  4. Amy

    One correction—even after the vaccine, we may still be contagious. They don’t know that yet for sure. We will be immune, but we may still be able to spread it to others. So we will still need to wear masks, etc., to keep others safe until they are sure we’re not contagious after the vaccine.

    That’s terrible about the AL place near your mom. I’m glad she’s ok. My mother’s place has had a staff test positive, but no one has died or even gotten sick. Keeping fingers crossed.

    • Your mom’s place is doing well then. I am appalled at what is going on with assisted living by my mom. Now it’s also jumped outside the 40 residents and 40 staff at AL: one nursing home resident now has it and one facilities staff (that concerns me personally for Mom’s sake). I will always remember when my father was at that nursing home and the flu was going around. A nurse whispered to him to get out as they were going to lock down the facility. He was really there because with his illness it was too hard for my mother to handle. They should have hired help to come in, but my parents never liked that idea because a caregiver stole from my grandparents and left my grandfather alone all night when the culprit took off with the stolen goods. But with the flu coming, Dad had to get out, so he went home (one block away to their garden home in the same community).
      I’ve heard that about the contagion factor. I’m trying not to think about that. Ugh. Maybe they figure if enough people get vaccinated we will have herd immunity so it won’t matter. But if we take out just all the people with shellfish and latex allergies we probably have a problem.

      • Amy

        We’ve been very fortunate with my mom’s place. Two nursing homes near us lost many, many residents back in the spring. They’ve all learned since then.

        We definitely need to have herd immunity for this to really work. That doesn’t mean 100%,maybe 70%, and even those with allergies can be monitored and treated if they have a reaction. We should know whether the vaccine stops contagion eventually, but right now we have to assume that it doesn’t. Hence masks and social distancing will continue for a long time.

  5. Your mother’s situation is scary. We’re not locked down, just careful. I just realized what a blessed year in spite of everything.

    • It is especially scary now because a facilities staff person has been diagnosed now. Ugh. But I feel so bad for all those “sitting ducks” in the group home sections. Just awful. Yes, we are not locked down, but are being very careful. XO

  6. Thank you for the best wishes, Luanne. I expect to be sheltering in place for quite some time to come. New Hampshire is under a mandatory mask order, but no lockdown as cases are surging. Please take good care.

  7. continue to stay safe, Luanne

  8. Glad to hear the valley fever symptoms are lessening! Let’s hope 2021 is better in sooooo many ways….

  9. I’ve finally got your blog showing up regularly—good! Here’s to a better year in 2021!

  10. What a world. Such cruel irony regarding those elders in memory care in Kalamazoo.
    I’m glad you’re feeling somewhat better. Hang in there.
    Yes, 2020 has been a bad, mad year — hoping for better in 2021.

    • Did you see that a 101 year old woman in Germany was the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine in Europe? How’s about the 90 somethings at FV? By the way, they were in Woodside, but not necessarily memory care. The names I have heard, in fact, were not in memory care, just regular assisted living.

  11. I’m so sorry about the situation at your mom’s place. It must be so scary for you (as well as making you angry). I don’t even know how many people had it at when my mom was in the nursing home. We think her roommate had it.
    I think things are going to get worse before we really see improvements.
    I don’t mind that Biden and Harris got it–we need them the President and VP, but the anti-mask GOP politicians jumping in to get the vaccine before essential workers? UGH.

    I hope you’re feeling better soon!

    • It sounds like they weren’t very transparent about what was going on at your mom’s nursing home. That is another thing making me mad about my mom’s place. She is so lucky at this point to be in her own place and able to take care of herself. But of course it’s very lonely.
      Yes, I agree about the getting worse. Very scary.
      About the politicians, I don’t think anybody in congress who isn’t over 75 should be getting the vaccine before the rest of us who are under 75. I’m sick of their special treatment. Of course, since there are so many elderly in congress, that could be quite a few ;).
      Keep on staying safe, Merril! xo

  12. We are in lockdown here, still the virus finds a way. My mom assisted living home has 15 cases and we watch, helpless, as the numbers rise. The virus, one doctor told us, is almost impossible to control once it gets in. We must remain vigilant.

    • Oh, I’m so sorry about your mom’s place. That sounds so scary. Are they keeping you in the loop about what they are doing? In some cases, I think the virus spreads because so many people don’t really have the ability to properly isolate and sanitize, etc. Some people live in households with lots of people, some people’s jobs are more risky than others, some people probably have risky-type people in their households, etc. But I am trying to stay vigilant!! And, yes, you too!!!

  13. Am praying that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.

  14. The AL situation is scary partly because you, as the outsider, are helpless to do anything about the situation. We are in a similar situation with my mother-in-law. She is fine as long a the virus doesn’t hit there. Luckily (so far) we don’t have major outbreaks on Vancouver Island. Let’s hope it stays that way. I hope your mother stays safe where she is.

    • What a relief that you are protected a bit by being on an island. Not foolproof, though, I know. Thank you re my mom. What a nightmare this all is. Hope you are enjoying Lincoln and the other critters (canine included).

      • They’re freezing their little buns off tonight! I refilled the hummingbird feeder with warmish water. The birds are all eating like crazy. But at leat there’s no shortage of food. Hope that by the time winter ends, so will the virus.

        • I so hope your wish comes true about the virus! And, yes keep those little guys fed, please :).

          • AND I refilled the feeders AGAIN this morning. Two of the five had blown down in the crazy, cold wind and rain and the birds are frantically eating. It’s just pouring icy rain sideways right now. New suet blocks are out there and the feeders are filled. Even the hummingbird feeder needed refilling. Those tiny guys were feeding until last light last night. Send us some of the warm Arizona air, please.

            • I cannot imagine being a little critter outside in that weather! It sounds so horrible. I wish I could send you some AZ air! Maybe filtered for the Valley Fever first LOL. Although now the gardener and I are questioning if I got the VF as we drove through a dust storm/ wildfire in Palm Springs. And that sure is not Arizona. Anyway, sending thoughts of good weather to you and your wildlife!

              • I know of a lady in California who had what you had (symptoms sound very similar) and it took her a long time to get over it. But she finally did, so hopefully you’ll be back at 100% soon too. The critters are getting a reprieve today. Some rare blue sky and decent temperatures (for us here). I refilled the feeders (almost every day now) and some of the birds didn’t want to go far away while I did that. Their days just now are spent at or near the feeders. It’s amazing how these tiny birds survive. I know I would die if I had to try to endure what they do.

  15. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother’s community. Devastating. I know you’re worried. I hope help arrives soon!
    And I hope you feel better in 2021 – sounds like you are being productive in spite of your iffy health. I always admire your commitment to projects with your writing. Onward to better days, my friend!

    • I sure hope so. I thought a reporter that interviewed me yesterday was going to do a story on it, but today she published an article that was just about the vaccine schedule in Michigan. I am being productive. I’ve painted 3 background pages in my art journal, and this is my first painting since maybe junior high! hahaha Can’t wait until we can start singing “Happy Days are Here Again!”

  16. I’ve just caught up, and read the post on the fall and baby bobcat sighting. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope the virus stays far from your door. Our state was also shorted vaccine, and rates of infection continue to go up as they are in many areas. We are lucky to be in a rural area on a farm, and there is plenty of space to get out and lots to do. Going out for supplies is a bit of a nightmare. So far we have been lucky.

    • Thank you so much, Lavinia. I talked to a reporter yesterday who said that most of the states were shorted. It’s so distressing. But congress people get the vaccine no matter their age or health situation while the elderly are left to die? Makes me so angry. Yes, a farm has got to be a great place to be right now. The supply thing is annoying me, but I don’t have to supply a farm which is a bit trickier I am sure. Please keep on staying safe!

  17. Hugs to you too, Luanne. 2020 was the worst year ever for most of us and we’ll be glad to move beyond it. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but as you mentioned, further away than many of us hope.

    • Well put. That light does seem awfully far off right now. But then this week between Christmas and New Year’s is always an icky week for me. Hang in there, Deborah!

  18. Happy New Year, Luanne. We all have to be patient. There is no way what is promised can be delivered. A wish for continued improvement in your Valley Fever. I’m glad your face is getting better too. 😁

  19. We came out of a lockdown on 2nd December and now have 4 tiers of restrictions, 4 being the highest. We’re currently in tier 3 so shops can be open but restaurants and bars can’t except for takeaway. The worry at the moment is this new fast-spreading strain. I think it’s going to be some time before we’re anywhere near normal.

    • Do you get takeaway, Andrea? That has been something that worries the gardener and me. We’ve only gotten about 4 times since the start of this whole thing. I’ve googled and googled the subject, but it seems as they purposefully are not researching it or not sharing info. Very sparse info. Anyway, I hear about the news in the UK and worry. The gardener told me that today the new cases was astronomical. Please please stay safe!

      • We’ve had regular takeaways since this began – usually they put the food on something on the step at the front door and we pay in advance – no tips for them I’m afraid. Strictly speaking anything that comes in should be quarantined, but at the same time, washing hands is still one of the best ways to combat it. I say this of course, when, as of midnight tonight, we’re moving into the highest tier.

  20. What a worry about your mom. So awful. The situation in Canada is not much better. Many, many deaths in long term care, poor infection control especially in the for-profit run facilities where vulnerability is monetized. Ontario is in lockdown 2.0 for 28 days. As Canada has no vaccine production facilities, it will be a long time before there is mass vaccination here. I’d be surprised if it happens before summer. Be staying home for a loooong time to come.

    • Oh, wow, I did not realize that about Canada’s lack of vaccine capabilities. So there is no schedule set up with phases like it is here by state? That worries me also for the gardener’s cousin. She’s disabled and lives alone and is going to go nuts this winter! The only benefit she has is that she lives in an apartment building connected to a mall so she can walk indoors. BUT she has to use the elevator as she lives up so high. And that seems risky.
      Yes, we are all going to be home for months yet, I think. Hang in there, Susanne! xo

  21. Glad to hear your symptoms are abating and you’re able to be productive. I hope your mom continues to be safe. My mom’s care home has done well so far. The local nursing home here has gotten slammed recently and really added to our death toll.

    We aren’t on lockdown, but we stay home pretty much most of the time. We are going to try venturing a ski day this week. St least it’s outdoors.

    Best wishes for your new year.

    • I pray that your mom’s place continues to do well! I worry for the emotional state of the people in group environments as well as their physical health.
      Skiing does sound fun! Please enjoy it and continue to stay safe!!! Happy New Year, Eilene.

  22. Sorry to hear about your mom’s facility, Luanne. Since my folks are in a facility too, we are on orange alert every day; so far, so good. You had a fall? Hopefully, nothing broken? I have just started watching Tiny Pretty Things! What did you think of the series? Sending love and praying.

    • Thank you, Carla! I wonder when I will get to see you again. So distressing. Praying for your folks, as well.
      Yes, I wrote about my fall last week. Flat on my face on the concrete. VERY swollen and bruised :/. Dumb shoe. It flew off!
      Well, I liked watching for my friend’s daughter in the show. That’s the only reason I watched it. But I do like seeing the dancing and it reminded me of my days as a dance mom. It is a bit addictive like any soap opera. To me that is what it is: a soap opera with great dancing. And too much sex. I don’t care for that aspect. The season ends with a shocker so then you want them to make season 2 hahaha. So far, no word on that.

      • I must have missed the post about your fall, but I will read it now. I enjoyed all the dancing in the show too, but I agree with you about the rest! Nice to see dancers getting some work, though!

        • Great minds think alike haha. I agree about the work. Of course, it was filmed pre-covid. I can’t help but wonder if that’s why they haven’t mentioned season two yet.

  23. Still such anxious days ahead for you, your family, and friends. I just spoke with my girlfriend in Texas who has basically been housebound since March, as she has several vulnerabilities. It’s a confronting time on many levels.

    • I can understand that. I have been very careful, too. Our holidays outdoor “party” has been one of the few times we have spent any amount of time with anyone. And I haven’t been inside a grocery store since March except to return something to Amazon at Whole Foods (quick in and out). How are things going by you? We hear bits and pieces on the news, but not much in awhile.

      • Our situation is nothing like yours. In my state of NSW there have been 54 deaths. Many of these have been in aged care.
        However, for the very first time there is a positive case in my area – Wollongong. The places that person has visited has been published, and as I don’t shop much, I feel I’m in the clear. But it goes to show no area can become complacent.

  24. We are in a state of semi-lockdown. Kinda. We have a curfew of 10 pm and a mask mandate. Alcohol cannot be served anywhere after 9 pm. I think our governor has done a pretty good job during all of this. It’s a difficult and contentious situation.
    So awful to hear about the residents where your mom is. Stories like that break my heart.
    I’ve been meaning to tell you I’ve started The Artist’s Way again. I’m working through the newer one that’s supposedly geared towards midlife. However, after starting I find it’s more geared toward after retirement. Which I will NEVER be able to do! 🤣😩 Oh well.
    Keep getting better! Happy 2021🙌🏼

    • I find it heartbreaking as well. It’s not so much my mother that I’m worried about (although of course I am). It’s that I feel so bad for those people sitting there “waiting” to get covid. The emotional toll must be horrific.
      Ah. Thank you for telling me about that book. My group has considered moving on to that one, but worried it might be too similar to the regular TAW. Hmm, retirement. What is that? I mean, I am partially retired, but will never be completely retired or what is sort of half retired. That’s what happens when you own a small business. I hope you blog a bit about TAW :).
      Thanks, Cheryl. Happy happy year that isn’t 2020 hahaha!!!!!

  25. Val

    Oh my god, I hope your mom stays safe. And you and the gardener.

    The whole of the UK is currently in lockdown but not all of us knows how long it’ll last as the different parts have their own governments. Here in Wales, some of our rules are different from England (and Scotland and N.Ireland).

    Vaccinations are being rolled out here gradually, with care home residents and staff and (I think) over 85’s getting it first. The earliest I’m likely to get offered it is Spring, but I think it’s more likely to be later. I’m quite happy about that as I’d like to see, first, if it seems to be working and not producing too many bad side effects as they have rushed its development so much.

    Personally I think, whether there is lockdown or not, we all have to be extra careful and choose to avoid travelling and seeing/meeting with people (except in emergency) until the vaccine is working properly. And – let’s all hope it does!

    Hugs. x

    • Spring for me, too, I think. We need to stay locked down whether we are supposed to or not, I guess. I’d also like to see first what’s going on with the vaccine, although when it’s my time, I plan to get the vaccine because I can’t live this way forever. I will have to watch for an allergic reaction as I have drug allergies and have gone into anaphylactic shock before form an antibiotic. Please take care of yourself, Val. Hugs back atcha!!! XOXO

  26. I can only hope things work out pretty well next year. May god bless you and your family.

  27. Happy New Year Luanne!

  28. Happy New Year Luanne! Virtual hugs, and, yes, tears, for all the seniors who died in your mom’s seniors’ area! Sniff… We can’t WAIT for the darn vaccine to get to us! We plan to get married after we and our families have all had the shots. Hopefully before next winter!! Meanwhile, hibernating a lot! We’re in lockdown – from Xmas til Jan. 11, which may or may not be extended depending on the number of new infections and hospitalizations. Here in Quebec it’s bad! We had over 900 new cases just in Montreal – in ONE DAY. We’ve been getting steadily over new 2500 cases a day in Quebec province. We’re the worst in Canada. I don’t know what the HELL people are doing. COVIDIOTS. The new variant is already here. Ay yi, I’m so paranoid now about going out anywhere. Well, for a walk is ok… except yesterday i went without John just around a couple of blocks, and as I came back and reached the sidewalk in front of our building I FELL on the ICE; thank goodness two Russian (I heard them blabbing) women, built like trucks (heh) helped me up again! None the worse for wear except bruises and shaken, not stirred! Happy New Year! Oh, I already said that. 😃

    • Oh gosh, Ellie, you’re getting as bad as me with the falling. At least you had the excuse of ice. I’m sorry you got hurt.
      Covid sounds terrible by you. It’s pretty bad here, too. Right now California, ARizona, and TEnnessee are the worst American states. AZ because we’re so close to California and stupid Californians traveled here for NYE yet!!!! Tennessee, I’ve heard, the men won’t wear masks (not all, but a lot). Anyway, most importantly, CONGRATS!!!! I hope things get better very fast and you can have a lovely wedding with your family present! xoxo

  29. Luanne, I’m glad your face and body are healing, and, yes, it helps that you can’t go anywhere anyway. I only hope that once Biden and Harris are in their rightful places, they can sort out the vaccine distribution. It breaks my heart that most people (including politicians) didn’t see any urgency about COVID-19 because it appeared to only be affecting the elderly. This is one of tRump’s many crimes against humanity. Stay safe and I hope your mom can too!

    • I sure hope you are right. I have such a low opinion of people operating in bureaucracy mode that I think we will still have problems with the vaccine. Did you see that Israel had vaccinated 12% by year’s end? They are WAY ahead of every other country. That is, in part I think, because they used a lot of foresight and planned ahead.

  30. I feel like we all exhaled as 2021 rolled into our lives, and that’s okay, needed, beneficial, even. But now it’s time to take another deep breath. I don’t expect to be vaccinated until late summer or early fall, unless the new administration figures out how to improve distribution (the community’s proximity to the Pfizer plant is startling). So here we are and here we will be and hopefully we will continue to adapt. Given all that, I do wish you a Happy New Year. 🙂

  31. We’re in a quasi-lockdown here, and I hope vaccine is distributed quickly and efficiently. It will be a few months before Rick and I will see it. Stay safe, Luanne.

  32. Yup, thought as an old lady that I’d be vaccinated long ago, had taken my delayed Christmas visit, and home again. Maybe Easter.

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