Monday, December 12, 2016

Season's Greetings

My first thought for titling this post was "The Year Grinds On" but, in an effort to be more positive, I reconsidered!  That, alone, should tell you the level of Christmas spirit I have!  We had a day and a half of rain, and I did manage to throw up a few decorations, with the understanding that when the rain stopped, so did the decorating!  It seemed a lot of time and effort for someone who wasn't even in the mood!  Anyway, it's done....and I've even managed to go through the decorations that were left in the garage, taking one load to the dump and another to the thrift shop.

Yes, I'm slowly but surely coming out of the fog of the election, but it isn't easy.  Like most liberals, I kept hoping and looking for positive signs, but things seem to be going from bad to worse.  Trump is just uninformed, uninterested, and doing business as usual, rather than governing.  Most of his appointments thus far have been people who actively want to dismantled the agency to which they've been appointed.  It would be laughable were it not so frightening.  Needless to say, I've been doing my usual calling and writing, as well as joining ANOTHER local grassroots group.  That doesn't help my anxiety level, but we can't just do nothing.  I'm also planning to attend the Women's March on Washington on January 21.  That will tell me whether I still have the stamina for that type of thing, because I think there are going to be many opportunities for protest over the next four years.

We are  also still recovering from Hurricane Matthew.  Things have progressed much more quickly for Bluffton as we suffered much less damage than Hilton Head.  It has totally changed the landscape in some areas, exposing some vistas that previously had been completely hidden.  Now that most of the debris has been removed from the roadside, you can also see the trees that were affected within the forest.  That will probably never be cleared.  There are also lots of FEMA (black, double tractor-trailor trucks) Disaster Relief trucks (something I never expected to see) around.  They spend the day transporting large debris to locations where it can be chipped, forming huge mountains of chips, which more trucks take someplace.  I've seen at least 3 of the processing areas, and there are probably more.  Just last week I saw alerts that there would be road/lane closures on the island due to dangerous tree maintenance.  So, their work is still ongoing and will probably be for a while.  From time to time, I've posted clips about the island on FB, so some of you have an idea of what's been happening.  This slide show is around the neighborhood, which fared much better. Even so, the golf course was closed for a few weeks and the final debris has just been removed from street-side.

Speaking of Rosie, she and I have started a new routine, in an effort to get out from under the 24 hour news cycle.  While the weather was still nice, we started taking our walks away from home.  Several days I took her to old town Bluffton.  She's great with people and very confident in the community (among her loyal fans), but easily frightened by strange noises, etc. I figure it's something we should do more often to get her more accustomed to things that are unfamiliar to her.  Our best outing was a morning at the beach....on a day when it was about 80 degrees.  She liked it, but as soon as we arrived, two men with a large (friendly) dog arrived and let him off leash.  He was very playful and wanted Rosie to run with him, but she was afraid.  I'm convinced it would have gone better had she not been intimidated by the larger dog, even though he was playful.  In any case, it was a lovely day on an almost deserted beach and we both enjoyed it.

What else has been happening?

  • I continue to experiment with my magic pot. This time I made yogurt from soy milk.  It turned out nice and creamy, and not too tart.  Had I wanted a Greek-type yogurt, I could have strained it.  It made twice as much as is shown in the picture and I will definitely make it again.  My next experiment is with cheesecake, though I'm afraid that might become addictive.  I've used the Instant Pot all summer and am very pleased with it....a vast improvement over the pressure cookers of old.
  • Had a very nice Thanksgiving dinner with friends with whom I've shared the holiday over the last few years.  The location was moved to their daughter's house due to hurricane damage to their own, but we were all thankful to be able to share the occasion together and in good health.  The day was so mild that we sat around the outside fire pit after dinner.
  • Went to a play, "Christmas Belles", with Elaine.  This was the fourth one we've been to by the theater company from Ridgeland.  They have all been humorous and something a little different from the norm.
  • Lunches with friends - Chris, Sharon, Melyssa's Progressive Group and Liberal Ladies of the Lowcountry.- all the people that keep me sane!
  • Treated myself to a new TV for the bedroom so I can stream in there - another ploy to get away from 24 hour news!!  Little did I know that you can't give away old tube TVs.  I just thought I'd call a thrift shop and they would pick it up as it works perfectly and has a great picture. Nope, they won't take them.  So, I offered it on about 4 sites for free.  One lady came over and took measurements, but it was too large for her space.  Finally, I implored the guys who do my yard to put it in the back of my car so I could take it to the recycle center.  I paid them, but they went above and beyond and installed my new TV, which was nice. Who knew one little thing like buying a TV would lead to that much hassle?!  In any case, for the last week I've been surfing Netflix and Amazon Prime, to find some enjoyable series - Goliath (Billy Bob Thornton, whom I didn't think I liked!), Bosch, and Marvel's Jessica Jones.  I'm sure I've only scratched the surface! 
  • We've also been having some wintry days, which is not unusual for this time of year but, since the election I've coined a new descriptive term for those days - "cold as the heart of middle America"!  Feel free to use it when appropriate!! 
That catches you up with my doings.  I hope this finds you doing well and enjoying the holidays.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  
I'll be thinking of you and sending love and good wishes for 2017!