Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Adventure Fly

This little blue-green fly was very focused on one of the ragwort plants in the garden. It buzzed from flower to flower, probing each blossom. I didn't realize houseflies paid any attention to flowers or drank their nectar, but that's what it seemed to be doing.

Not much to report from yesterday. I read, I watered plants, I stripped aphids off the lupines. Ho-hum.

Blog pal Beth made this digital scrapbook page for Olga, which she called "Olga's Adventure." I don't know a thing about digital scrapbooking, but I guess it's basically embellishing or collaging photos using graphic elements from online kits. You'll recognize the photo as one taken by dog-walker Francisco a couple of weeks ago. The page is very cute, but as I told Beth, I think Olga might eat many of those small animals if she came across them in real life. (Maybe not the deer.)

Anyway, Beth, Olga and I both thank you for your kindness.

I read an interesting lockdown-inspired article in The New York Times yesterday about how challenging it can be to spend all day with your partner and still communicate well. When your every waking moment is spent together, at the end of the day, it can be hard to find things to talk about -- after all, you've shared all that day's experiences and there are no tales to tell. I haven't felt that way with Dave, but I have noticed that we spend a lot of time with our faces planted in our respective computer screens. Dave often uses noise-cancelling headphones, too, which gives him an added layer of isolation. (It can be very frustrating when I'm trying to get his attention, waving my arms frantically from across the room.)

The article recommends intentionally creating new experiences together, and fortunately we get that with the garden and with the shows we watch in the evenings -- and of course I have my dog walks with Olga and my little forays to run errands in the outside world. They do give me some stories of my own. Probably not very exciting ones, but hey -- beggars can't be choosers.


  1. It is interesting being somewhat locked down with your partner. There is still family, news and weather to talk about. In spite of great concerns, it seems domestic violence had dropped here as couples have become a little kinder to each other. In normal circumstances we would have had a few blazing rows at least since the beginning of COVID but aside from a few snappy words, we are doing ok.

    Does Dave not generally go out at all?

  2. Even though I like the scrapbook image of Olga, it is disappointing that Beth didn't include a couple of squirrels! Also:-
    STEVE (returning home) I am back Dave!
    DAVE Well tell me how it was.
    STEVE I saw twelve red buses, one hundred and forty two cars, sixteen taxis, four delivery trucks, one ambulance with lights flashing and on the sidewalks I counted three thousand and sixty two pieces of flattened chewing gum.
    DAVE Sidewalks? Don't you mean pavements? After all we are in England now.
    STEVE Yeah - pavements. Sorry Dave.

    1. I had the same thought about squirrels! Haha.

  3. Count your blessings
    Headphones and all......you have someone to share with....

  4. I understand how you feel about living constantly with your partner. But get used to it because that is what retirement is like! My husband and I retired at the end of 2015, so it is going on four and a half years that we have been together more or less full time. Solution: give each other space apart (he has his garden, I prefer writing and reading) and then do things together - we walk 6-8 km (sometimes longer) every day and we watch TV programs together, especially the news. Until coronavirus hit, we travelled to different locations every few weeks, usually for 3 or 4 days each time. Yes, it is all about making memories together. And yes, I agree with John Going Gently - it is great having someone to share with!

  5. Mike is much more introverted than I am & I have to laugh that on the weekends (because I'm still working during the week) he retreats to the office to have his usual daily requirement of alone time. Ha!

    Love the Olga page - she looks so angelic :)

  6. ...but the good thing is that it seems like you and Dave are not at each other's throats, and are experiencing the lockdown together, and that's a good thing. Sometimes the simplest things in life are the absolute best.

  7. You've got some good things to keep you busy when you have to stay home.

  8. It's a good thing that Roger and I have been preparing for this "sheltering in place" mode for the past 15 years. We know how to spend long hours of quiet time together. There is an added stress of Trumpian proportions with this pandemic and political insanity. We're working on staying somewhat sane.

  9. Age helps a lot with the isolation, Steve. When you're both in your 80's it's not hard. Though we do get a little stir crazy from time to time.

  10. I have to agree with another reader, count your blessings. You have someone to share your time with. It's good that each of you has a way to some personal space, and that you can enjoy other things together. Olga is also a blessing. She enjoys sharing walks with you.
    That's a beautiful page that Beth made for you. She's very good at making those pages. Your blog is your daily journal, so to speak. I know mine is. We chit chat here with friends. I think it's wonderful that we have them. You enjoy your day, hugs, Edna B.

  11. I love the digital scrapbook image. That's such a pretty photo of Olga and with the added "adventure" it makes it look like a book cover. Being single, I don't have that problem to deal with. However, I'm thankful that I can telephone or zoom with friends often so that I am able to tell my stories and listen to theirs.

  12. Jim and I spend entirely too much time with our faces pointed at our screens. It's one way to while away the day. At present, walking outside is not doable, too hot. Lordy I miss entertainment shopping, a trip to West Elm would be just the thing.

  13. We, too, haven't had the problems many people have mentioned in lockdown. But, like you, we're buried often in our own stuff. We have our own offices at opposite sides of our apartment, too. But somehow we always find things to talk about when we're together. I'm so grateful for that.

  14. Hmm. Noise canceling headset. Hard to gain attention If you are located a bit of a distance away, you might consider getting a nerf shooting device. Just a little soft pop of something to acquire Dave's attention... Sorry, Dave. Only kidding. Maybe.

    It would certainly give you something to talk about. :)

  15. We've both been retired for years, so we are used to being together, but this "togetherness" is different. Before, we ate out a great deal, spent time with stepdaughter/son-in-law (and their three dogs) each Saturday evening when they came over for dinner and TV, and other activities that cut through the monotony. Now, he is usually in the living room either watching CNN or reading, and I am on the computer in the hearth room (extension of the kitchen) on my computer or reading. So we are alone-together. We eat together and spend the evening watching TV. I am stressed but glad that so far we are healthy.

    I really worry about those is abusive or strained relationship who are confined together.

  16. I love the picture Beth included in Olga's Adventure page.
    Our lives are hardly any different from before the pandemic. I feel badly for those who aren't used to being together so much, or for those in bad relationships.

  17. It is also hard sometimes being alone, so difficult at times for everyone.

  18. Andrew: No, Dave stays in the house and the garden, because he takes medication that depresses his immune system.

    YP: With the exception of Dave correcting me on "pavements," which he would never do, that's basically what our conversations are like.

    John: Well, absolutely. I'm not complaining too much!

    David: It's definitely a balance of "me" time and making joint memories.

    Bug: Ha! We don't have an office, sadly. LOL

    Michael: No, we're fine. We're both really good at giving each other our own space, which is the important thing.

    Jennifer: Ha! Beth actually said she could add squirrels on the next one!

    Red: Yeah, it's important to have activities!

    Robin: Practice makes perfect!

    Catalyst: Well, that's good to know -- a helpful hint for the future!

    Edna: Oh, I certainly am fortunate in many ways. I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining too much!

    Sharon: Yeah, thank goodness for Zoom! I don't think we could be doing this now without video conferencing.

    Allison: Yeah, can you imagine what this would be like without the Internet? Talk about isolation.

    Mitchell: Well, it's good that you've got your own spaces and your own tasks.

    Mary: Ha! That's a GOOD idea!

    BethB: Exactly. It's different when we can go out and do things together. But we really ARE fine -- I'm not complaining at all, just noting that this is a challenge for some couples that the article addressed. The authorities were worried about the effects of the lockdown on domestic violence, and I think cases DID go up.

    Jenny-O: That's a rare luxury, to say your life hasn't changed much! Many people would love to be in that position!

    E: Yeah, it's a challenging time for literally every person, in one way or another.