Where do I cancel?

Out & About

On Saturday, March 14, I drove to Visalia, California, a distance of 327 miles. It was a 10-hour round-trip. My purpose was to speak to the Visalia Succulent Club on Nature’s Geometry in Succulents.

Cover of "Nature's Geometry: Succulents" by Russel Ray

I got to go over The Grapevine, a 40-mile stretch of Interstate 5 over the Tehachapi Mountains from California’s San Joaquin Valley to Grapevine.

The Grapevine

It’s a monster of a road because there’s a lot of semi traffic doing 5-10 mph in the slow lane, and semi traffic doing 10-30 mph in the second lane. Traffic in the other lanes is cruising by at 55-65 mph, with some doing up to 90 mph in the fast lane. The weather can be atrocious because of the height of the mountains, raining at the top (4,000 feet) but clear on both sides, and even snow at some times of the year. Couple the weather with the wide range of speeds, and there always are various accidents.

The meeting was at 6:00 p.m., and since I got there at 10:15 a.m., I had a lot of time to explore. Visalia and its sister city of Exeter were quite beautiful with all the trees that were blooming.

Strawberry Tree (Arbutus sp.)

Flowering Maple (Albutilon sp.)

Redbud trees

Flowering trees

Exeter, with a population of 10,000, had a very cool little downtown area. There were murals on the exterior of 32 buildings. I didn’t find them all, but the following one, #15 and titled “Tracks of Time,” was my favorite.

Tracks of Time

In Exeter, I found a bookstore with lots of local history books, so I bought one, a hard-cover edition of a book that itself is difficult to find.

Visalia Electric Railroad

The bookstore also had a cat. I’m one of those who have to take time out of my busy schedule to pet a cat, so this little one got 15 minutes of love and attention from me. Look at the expression on his face as I told him that I had to go but would make him a Facebook star.

Exeter bookstore kitty

With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, when I got home at 4:00 Sunday morning, I decided to self-isolate, not because I think I might have caught something in the Central California Valley but rather because at my age (65 years and 8 days) and with my high blood pressure; skin cancer and seborrheic keratoses; BPH; and constant coughing, sneezing, and trouble breathing due to a deviated septum from a broken nose sometime in my early childhood (according to the otolaryngologist), I’m in the high-risk category. My constant coughing and sneezing also might cause concern to anyone within hearing distance. I have pills to help control the coughing and sneezing, but I never know how long before they take effect and when they might expire.

I’m keeping a journal of my days at home in self-isolation., trying to keep things in perspective.

Day 1—I have decided to self-isolate. Since I am retired, between watching television (although no sports), gardening (lots of weeds to pull and flora to plant), and taking care of Little Queen Olivia (who doesn’t seem to be real excited about me being home all day), self-isolation shouldn’t be too hard.

Day 2—After a day of drinking margaritas and watching the Hannibal series on Prime TV, I can definitely state that drinking margaritas all day does not make you poop. Thusly, I am out of margaritas, but I have 1,618 rolls of toilet paper.

Day 3—Little Queen Olivia is completely oblivious to the fact that I am home and willing to give belly rubs.
Little Queen Olivia

Day 4—Self-isolation isn’t so bad, but I do find it interesting that there are 8,471 grains of rice in one box and 8,552 grains in the other box.

Day 5—It’s been raining all this week, with 3½ inches these past two days, and it’s raining hard right now. Pulling weeds and planting flora is going very slowly. Ah well, that means I definitely still have things to do during the next nine days of my self isolation.

My self-isolation will end on March 28, and three days later my 90-day free trial of the year 2020 ends. Where do I cancel?

Hope everyone is doing well in these weird times we’re living in.

23 thoughts on “Where do I cancel?

  1. Skyscapes for the Soul

    I hope you enjoy the self isolation. Looking forward to hearing about it, I love your sense of humor. Having had a couple of months of almost everything cancel or postpone my main issue is going to be lack of books. I was down to two and all the libraries and charity stores are closed. Thankful that I have a kindle!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  2. acflory

    I’m glad you’re being so proactive, Russell! And your diary is very funny. We’re self-isolating already too. Thank god for gardens and pets. And MMOs. I’m actually playing less ESO at the moment because I’m so focused on Covid-19, but I’ve also made more friends in the game as people at risk try to talk sense into those who still think the virus is no big deal. The level of self-centredness is depressing.
    Stay healthy and stay sane. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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  3. Dan Antion

    Thanks for sharing those photos. I made that journey about 40 years ago on my way back to Seattle from a southbound vacation rolling down the coast. We have pretty scenery here in New England, and we had lots in Washington, but there’s something special about California.

    I hope the self-isolation is beneficial. Stay safe and enjoy what you can.

    Thanks, too for visiting my place again. WordPress seems to have disconnected us along the way. I’m trying to take care of that now.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  4. europasicewolf

    Best to play it safe. Stay safe and well! Lovely photos and the cats amused me! Clearly the abundance of belly rubs available didn’t impress😅 And your facebook star is absolutely deserving of the position😀

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I did not count grains of rice. However, I bought two packages of pre-cooked bacon. As I was unwrapping one, I noticed that it said “About 45 pieces” and in smaller print, “Contains 40 to 50 slices.” I knew it was because the bacon was cooked, and each slice cooks differently because of the amount of fat, so to get to one pound in each package would require somewhere between 40 and 50 slices. However, I also was cooking minute rice, so I wondered how many grains of rice are in a box. I did think about counting them, but then I remembered how I hated counting my 1000-piece puzzle to make sure all the pieces were there before I wasted my time putting it together, so I just made up some numbers for the rice.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
        1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

          I was really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really bored but they I started binge-watching television: Mr. Robot, Hannibal, The Expanse, Fortitude, Red Oaks, House of Cards, Madam Secretary, Designated Survivor, Marvel’s Runaways, Nostradamus Effect, Da Vinci’s Demons, Travelers, The Sinner, Stranger Things, Outlander, Medici, Into the Badlands, Hemlock Grove, Hell On Wheels, Criminal Minds, Atlantis, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., 13 Reasons Why, The Umbrella Academy….

          O.M.G. I might still be bored. I’m keeping track of everything I watch and when I watch it…..LOL

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
  5. Gypsy Bev

    Loved the beautiful pictures of springtime in your article before it switched to the virus. In Ohio, we are only permitted to go to the grocery or the doctor unless we have a necessary job. Our governor also said we can go to parks and lakes for fresh air and sunshine so I take advantage of that whenever I can. Take care of yourself. Vitamin C and D-3 couldn’t hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Pazlo

    There must be a warranty service center for the world, to fix it, don’t you think?
    There must be a warranty around here somewhere…

    Upside: homeboundedness sure has increased blog activity.

    Slainte,

    Paz

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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