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Everything posted by Marianne

  1. First gardener mowed down my sage and basil. I only ever grew snapdragons and zinnias as a kid helping my grandmother out in her garden and helping harvest the figs before the birds got them. My grandmother had an amazing garden, roses climbing up the side of the house. Lilac trees you could play hide and seek in. I did not inherit her green thumb but have never mistaken a plant for a weed. We've had our best luck with trees, lilacs and Japanese maples we planted over 20 years ago - and I've grown 8-10-foot tall sunflowers, but between a bad back after a series of accidents and frustration with deer, rabbits and squirrels, this will be my first attempt at gardening in some time. My husband transplanted these from a seedlings in a neighbor's garden. We have another in the side yard. I can't seem to find any photos of the lilacs. Hmmm, surprised but I'll have to upload some. Tons of these and our other Japanese maples. This one was in two calendars a couple years back.
  2. +1 Great shots and what a wonderful idea!
  3. So jealous. The guys that cut our grass decided to help out and cut my wisteria back. It had taken 5 years to bloom and was amazing. My husband and I had even built a trellis for it using bent wood branches that had fallen in our yard. The guys cut it back in the fall without asking me - that was 4 years ago and it hasn't bloomed since. Wisteria is my absolute favorite.
  4. There was a coyote at the end of my street as I was walking around twilight, so now I'm taking my two walks a day in the late morning and mid-afternoon. We live on a main road within walking distance to town, but we have a huge herd of deer that regularly run through our yard, sometimes to scary and startling effect, and various rabbits (though fewer bunnies since a bobcat was seen two doors down last summer). One surviving pair of rabbits and their offspring lived under a large bush in our yard last year. I was going to turn the compost pile today but it was pouring, so I just printed out a new recipe for orange cranberry bread. We were going to make Swedish meatballs (using cranberries instead of lingonberries, since they don't sell the latter near us) but hubs decided to make regular spaghetti & meatballs instead, so I'm about to bake some bread. The cinnamon coffee cake I made last week was delish and we had no trouble eating all 15 servings before it went stale. I have not gotten on a scale since this started and luckily my sweatpants fit fine. I Should take some pix as I bake but I don't need to wash my hands many extra times (before touching camera with sticky fingers for each stage, again to go back to the food so 2 x ? ) My hands look 20 years older than I do despite liberal amounts of hand cream. Trying different hand creams to see which works best is another leisure activity LOL. So far no recommendations.
  5. Sold one fine art print and having a few micro sales (some Covid-19 related), but April is extremely slow. A family friend's brother-in-law died of Covid-19 here in NY, in his 50's, last week, putting financial losses in perspective, but it's all really bad. How we went from a handful of cases to more than any country just in our state in a month's time is truly frightening, and I fear that the numbers will grow outside our area as well. Reading about rural areas in Georgia, for example, where 2 hospitals will need to care for cases from surrounding 16 counties is appalling. Those poor people, how can they even get to a hospital in time, and how overburdened will the system be. We will have to see our healthcare system revamped when this is over. Though I wouldn't trust our government to run things any better .... I'll stop there, I could go on, but I'm not going to change any minds, and I know most of you would agree with my views, so no point in it. Hope you are all well. A group in our town started a gofundme to help local restaurants send meals to hospitals in Westchester County and the Bronx, as well as to first responders in our area (our fire and ambulance are all volunteers). Being able to help them out in some small way was a good feeling, when they are risking their lives. Whether it is neighbors smiling and chatting from a safe distance when we are out walking, or groups getting together like this, it all gives me faith that we are in this together, and somehow we will pull through. Trying to think of things to shoot at home, got a bunch of seeds starting but it'll be some time before they bloom. At least I'll know what they are for keywording (if the deer and bunnies don't get them first). 😎🍅🥕🌸🌻
  6. Took this photo a few weeks ago while out on a hike - the park is next door to the New York headquarters of a pharmaceutical company working on a cocktail therapy they hope may cure the virus and/or act as a vaccine. They hope to start clinical trials this summer. Meanwhile, they have started clinical trials of one of their rheumatoid arthritis drugs (Kevzara, not hydroxychloroquine) in New York, with other clinical trials being run in Italy by Sanofi. I sure hope something works. It's so scary that our state has more cases than any country, and so scary for the entire world. Truly something unprecedented, at least in most people's lifetimes (loved hearing about the 90+ Italian man born during the Spanish flu who survived a bout of Covid-19). This image and some illustrations that I developed with a slightly political bent, have all been licensed, though not through Alamy as yet. It's good to know that they are being used. .
  7. Massed Pipes & Drums during the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Scotland Crowds watch as United States Navy hovercraft lands on Hole in the Wall beach in Niantic, Connecticut during OpSail 2012 opening day celebrations, commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 US President Bill Clinton reaches out to shake hands amidst a smiling crowd after the Memorial Day Parade in his hometown (and mine) Chappaqua New York. I doubt we'll be having the parade this year with over 18,000 cases in Westchester County where I live as of April 10.
  8. We're #InThisTogether - our entire planet - offering a price break when the world's economy is tanking seems like a reasonable move, 40% of something is better than 100% of nothing at this point. When I think of healthcare workers risking their lives, with over 100,000 cases already here in New York, not to mention those suffering and fighting this pandemic in the rest of my country and the rest of the world, I feel lucky to be alive.
  9. LOL. I am suffering from insomnia and clearly not expressing myself as clearly and precisely as I should be 😎 it only takes an hour to install...
  10. My niece in Spain sent along more photos of her week-old daughter. I love being Tia Marianne.
  11. Did you all hear about the 101-year-old Italian man, who was born during the Spanish flu epidemic? After being hospitalized he recovered from Covid-19. A bright spot in all this.
  12. I bought one online for the upstairs bathroom and it arrived just before my husband got sick, so we haven't installed it yet as I'm currently living downstairs, using the half-bath and only venturing upstairs to bring him food and use the only shower. But he is on the mend (after a televisit with the doctor, our MD has concluded it's bronchitis). His surgery is meanwhile delayed indefinitely, but at least we have enough toilet paper to get us through until he gets better, and with improvement each day, hopefully that will be fairly soon. Out of an abundance of caution, I haven't been to a shop since he got sick, and the few items I managed to order from Amazon pantry (no lysol spray or wipes, TP or even peanut butter) won't be here for at least 3 weeks, knowing we have the bidet is a positive. (It's a seat you attach and they say it takes about an hour, so you don't need a plumber). Just FYI. 😎
  13. After a friend up in Waverley, Rhode Island who was up at her house for needed repairs has a state cop and and National Guardsman show up at her house (neither wearing masks), simply because her car has NY license plates, I received a very nice letter from the year-round resident head of our beach association at our summer house in Connecticut, just 20 minutes south of the Rhode Island border, expressing support for all residents (summer and year-round) discussing how they were trying to work out how things will work this summer so we can all enjoy the beauty of our surroundings and stay safe. My siblings and I were supposed to be up there opening the house for the season this weekend, but have delayed that indefinitely at this point, but with all the New York bashing going on in certain parts of the US (you'd think we invented this horror - it would be nice to see some sympathy towards fellow citizens - something that all we human need for each other right now. I was beyond angry and miserable to be an American yesterday and the letter really gave me hope in my fellow citizens. I also found a great recipe for cinnamon coffee cake and I have everything I need in my increasingly bare pantry. Hope my sharing it here makes your day! Sour Cream Cinnamon Coffee Cake Being on this forum gives me faith in my fellow humans and my fellow Americans. You are all the best. #InThisTogether
  14. There are Puffins in Maine too Betty, a little closer to home. Amazing birds, haven't seen them myself. Love those photos. Here is one of mine - a place close to my heart - a beach near my family's summer place. Canada geese in it too - in keeping with the bird theme.
  15. I have a new great niece, born in Spain, mother and baby are doing well. My husband has been sick all week with a fever and cough, had to postpone his surgery ....but the good news, he finally got a visit via Zoom with our GP and she thinks he has bronchitis and not the dreaded virus. We have enough food for the next couple of weeks, and I got creative tonight with quinoa, vegan cheese, spinach and a bunch of spices. Which I made along with chicken sausage. We also have an entire shelf in our freezer full of blueberries. I'm thinking about making some sort of cobbler this weekend. The sun was shining and I took a nice walk around my neighborhood. I like this thread Betty! Thanks! I'll find the nature one too.
  16. I'm not sure how anyone can make financial predictions at this point with so much worldwide uncertainty - but the fact that they are all set up remotely is reassuring - and I can attest that an email I sent last week was answered promptly. I have no idea if adding new photos is the best use of my time right now, especially if the worst happens and I don't have much time left, but doing my normal day to day activity of taking photos, processing, keywording and uploading is reassuring. It's normal life in the face of all this uncertainty.
  17. Thanks! Some guy in Tennessee was arrested for buying up thousands of containers of hand sanitizer and scalping it on Amazon or ebay - I forget which. He's been buying them for a few months anticipating the need. We New Yorkers aren't as bad as our reputation might have you believe, although our stores are empty, and there are always some rotten apples - then again, fear is palpable - if the pandemic is as bad as the worst case scenario, we will have over 15,000 fewer ventilators than needed (this is from a New York State policy paper - which talks about how to decide who gets a ventilator, so right from the source - of course estimates are just educated guesses) but it says best case we will still be down by over a thousand and that's with all the stockpiles they've got in case of emergency - our doctor's office sent out an email telling people to wear masks when they show up - LOL we don't have any - I was looking for some to use for sanding some furniture a month ago and they were already gone. My husband needs surgery which he was scheduled for next week and it was just postponed indefinitely which could have consequences - with over 20 million people our state, still the hardest hit, is facing shortages and we have nowhere near enough hospital beds unless we get the Federal help the governor has asked for to retrofit dormitories and possibly the Jacob Javits convention center for hospital use. Our governor is doing all he can, but the suburban county where I live has more cases every day. I've been trying to be positive but the reality is very scary. Some good and promising news on Covid-19: Two potential treatments being developed by Regeneron, a biotech company here in Westchester, NY close to where I live. I was reading about their arthritis drug which may help keep people's lungs from getting as inflamed when they have a severe immune reaction and this could reduce the need for ventilators. They are working on speeded up double blind clinical trials right now in partnership with a French company (with global office including one in New Jersey). and they hope to have clinical trials outside the US soon too, especially in Italy. And there's a Swiss (I think) company that also makes a similar drug. So if it works this could be good news for a lot of sick people around the world. A similar drug (one that targets the same receptor) worked in a small clinical trial in China. And more promising it looks like they have also come up with a antiviral cocktail that could work both for those already sick and possibly prophylactically - but those clinical trials aren't expected to start until the summer unfortunately, which could be too late for us here in NY, though they are prepared to make hundreds of thousands of doses if the clinical trials prove successful. I'd certainly volunteer for one if I got sick. I don't have a link because it opened in my Apple News app but you can google : "Regeneron’s CEO Says We Could Have a Covid-19 Treatment ‘Quickly’ and you'll find several articles about both of the treatments. Stay healthy everyone!
  18. I was taking a couple pix of the massively duck taped hand sanitizer (they've been disappearing from offices so I'm guessing that's why they've got it locked down) and then noticed the sign about disinfecting the parking pay stations. We got out for a walk over the weekend. Ran into some friends and their daughter now home from college for the rest of the year. Pretty sparse even with fine weather and miles of hiking trails. Notice no Senior benefits on weekends. so I just bought another 3-year pass last spring. Hope I get to use the whole thing. Face-timed with my grandson today - playing peek-a-boo with an 18-month old can certainly brighten your day. This is a very historic and important worldwide event and must be recorded from the intense to the mundane. Sadly this is history, and could cause as much death and economic disaster worldwide as a war, not to mention threats here in the US to democracy as we try to move forward with the most important elections of our lives. I never even thought about the need to disinfect the pay station - yikes how do I disinfect my card after it goes through the system? Treat it like money and disinfect my hands - with homemade disinfectant - it's been sold out everywhere in NY for a month.
  19. I don't think we can contain it but every bit we slow it down could save a few more lives. I think a plan for testing and making sure people have food and can afford to stay in is the most important thing at this point, Hoping saner and more compassionate voices in our government are heard. But we all need to take responsibility for our own actions and do the best we can. Hoping I live to vote in November. What a scary world we find ourselves in. My one consolation is that my husband (healthy and under 60), daughter, grandson, siblings and most of my nieces and nephews are likely to fare well. Concerned for half my friends, many cousins and bro & sister-in-laws.
  20. The idea is to slow it down so hospitals aren't overrun with not enough ICUs to care for the critically ill. If it gets too bad too fast, they will have to do wartime triage and sadly make decisions about who gets limited resources, which means being unable to save those who might otherwise be able to live through it with the right medical help. If 80% get the virus over the course of a year, rather than within the space of a couple of months, the death toll is lower.
  21. Glad your elderly mom is on the mend. Here in the US it appears that our government is close to a bill that will make tests free. I'm grateful for people like Nancy Pelosi, who, despite her advanced age, (79) is urging both houses of Congress to stay until they can agree on a bill to help saying, “We are the captains of the ship. We are the last to leave.” Let's hope most of the men in Congress are as brave as she is, it seems like many are, and hopefully they will put their differences aside and get us some help. Here in NY our Governor is being proactive and trying to do as much as he can, though there are certainly shortages, including a severe shortage of tests. Hospitals, doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals don't want to hide the numbers, but since there are nowhere near enough tests, they are saving them for those who become ill and are at high risk, since it is more important that someone at risk of death get an accurate diagnosis, than someone who is ill but not in serious distress. Though it would seem like anyone sick enough to be hospitalized should be tested, with severe shortages it's currently not possible. It's irresponsible to say anyone should be tested even if they have no symptoms, when there aren't even enough tests for those who are quite sick. Sure, it seems unfair that someone who is ill but not in severe distress can't get a test and may have to be quarantined just to be safe, but we are all being told to self-isolate anyway. Ultimately, the decisions being made on how best to use scarce resources should be left up to health care workers. Not one story I've read or heard about testing or not testing had anything to do with whether the person had insurance or the ability to pay for the test. The worst fault here is not our healthcare system (I'm a fan of the European system, but that's beside the point). The more serious issue is that we had a few month's warning and did nothing to come up with a test, testing guidelines, or a plan for the inevitable epidemic. In fact, the epidemic response team set up by President Obama was dismantled. All the money and insurance in the world won't get you a hospital bed or a ventilator if there isn't a a bed left. And that's really the biggest threat. There should be a protocol for testing health care workers, cops, firefighters, food industry workers, and others for whom it is essential that they do their job and be around other people. This is where the lack of preparedness has really gotten us down. Grocery store shelves are already empty. The national guard is delivering food to quarantined people in New Rochelle, a town about 20 miles from here hit the hardest in NY so far. it's going to be a lot harder when one town becomes hundreds. I guess empty shelves show people are trying to prepare, though of course some are hoarding too. I have seen our country pull together many times. After Hurricane Sandy, we had carpenters from Mississippi putting up light poles and utility workers from Massachusetts stringing up the lights on our street here in NY. This is different since it will affect so many more people, but I have faith that people will still pull together. And some will hoard and make things worse. It's human nature. The United States is not just our government, we the people are stronger when we stand together and most of us actually care about our friends and neighbors. Just like most other people around the world.
  22. Thanks Betty et ai, . Hot flashes have been a thing of the past for years, Betty, I'm over 60. My migraines originally stopped at age 48. Not sure why I then started getting vestibular migraines (pain and horrible vertigo lasting up to two weeks), in the past few years, but the most recent seem to be a result of medicine I've been given for Sjogren's Syndrome, to help with the dry mouth that was hurting so badly it kept me up at night. I've stopped that medicine, but the replacement seems to be having the same effect. Meanwhile, as you recommended Betty, I have been calling around to pharmacies for the anti-seizure stuff that I actually take for Fibromyalgia. I've never had seizures, but if I run out and stop it abruptly, I could. We need to manufacture more here - medicine, face masks, etc. NY is making their own hand sanitizer with prison labor. What a world huh? My husband made us hand sanitizer with Aloe Vera and alcohol. One batch should last us. Just got off the phone with a friend who may have just recovered from coronavirus. She takes the subway daily. Her whole family was sick, fever, chest pain, etc. One of her 20-something daughters ended up hospitalized due to her asthma with the fever, etc. Her tests for flu and pneumonia came back negative. Although she had all the symptoms, the NYC hospital she was in would not test here for Covid-19 since she hadn't been to China, S Korea or Italy - traveling on the subway in a city of millions of people wasn't enough. They said once her fever went down she probably wouldn't be contagious and could go back to work. Craziness. It would really have behooved them to test her to see if there is continuing community transmission, since the guy sho started the Westchester epidemic may well have gotten it traveling on the subway or who knows how but he got it . They are clearly underreporting and don't have enough tests. But how do we contain it if even people who are hospitalized and test negative for flu and pneumonia don't get tested? They said maybe she could wear a mask but they didn't give her one and there haven't been any available for weeks. The best thing would be to manufacture masks so we could help sick friends if needed and even so people could go out and be less likely to spread it. I worry for people like you Betty, Ed and Alan who live alone. With proper masks you could be cared for at home if you get sick. If my friends had it, it was like a bad flu (but it wasn't the flu) and her 50-something husband and other daughter who both have asthma made it through without hospitalization. It would sure be helpful to know if they had it, if we are going to learn more about transmission and survival. And more testing could mean the survival rate is higher than we think.
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