Category Archives: Health

Pandemic Blogging Q’s

Dr. Tanya has some new blogging about bloggers who blog questions for us…

1. How has the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic affected your blogging? Are you posting more or less than you used to?

I think I’m posting about the same amount, which is once or twice per day. Sometimes I go nuts and make a third post! This is a big cut from a year or so ago when I posted more frequently, but has nothing to do with the virus. I’ve just been making an overall effort to read more books and work on my own backlog of writing ideas.

2. What is the tone of your posts these days, happy, sad, serious, worried?

In general, online and offline, in Blogland and in chats, I’m more serious, less funny, more sensitive, and sadder and crabbier. I haven’t been sleeping well and am greatly negatively affected by having my M-F daily routine of going to the office upended. I don’t do well just drifting through the day aimlessly without feeling useful and productive. Setting cleaning and writing targets doesn’t help, since I have those goals regardless. I don’t need advice, thx.

3. Have you written any posts specifically about the crisis and its effect on your life? If so, please share a link?

I began a series I thought might be amusing about staying home. It wasn’t fun. First, a bunch of other people were saying similar things, so it was boring. Second, right after I began, they closed the beach parking lots, so I couldn’t go walking there and take nice pics, etc. Third, it started to make me more depressed. I decided to abandon the idea.

4. What kinds of posts do you like to read these days? 

My favorite type of posts haven’t changed: good poetry, interesting flash fiction, slices of life that are relatable or quirky or funny. I also enjoy some photo and recipe posts.

The posts I dislike remain the same: links to news articles, copypasta of other people’s writing with little to no original comment, bloggers telling me how I should feel about whatever thing ~ in particular, during this pandemic, I refuse to read posts that insist we should be grateful and thankful when the person posting is not in isolation all alone. Try that for a month and get back to me with the motivational poster bloggery.

~*~

Images are not mine.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Monday Peeve 30

Monday Peeve cat

Today’s peevery is dedicated to my friend Stan the retired lieutenant man!

Smiles and positive posts are all well and good, but sometimes I need to vent a bit. How about you? That’s what The Monday Peeve is all about, a chance to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week, so then we can go merrily on our way once again (hah). I’ll pick a topic that’s on my mind, but you can vent about whatever you please, here in comments or on your own blog. Grab the photo, use the #TMP tag, and link back to me (or not ~ I dgaf), and Bob’s yer uncle. I do reserve the right to delete any links that offend my delicate sensibilities. So far, none have, but it could happen! I have feelings!

*

What is up with the bombardment of COVID emails from every damn place I’ve ever done business with? I’m glad my bank and doctor and dentist and pet vet have all hurried to institute social distancing, etc. measures, but do I need to hear from the electric company too? These places are all just lying in wait to spam everyone with crap to remind us of their existence, not that we’re likely to forget when we pay them every month. I mean, duh. I dgaf what the phone company is doing. It’s not like the olden days when the guy made a service call. When was the last time a freaking telephone repairman needed to come in the house? And Toyota? Yeah, I was really worried how I was gonna run out and buy a new car in the middle of all {waves arms wildly} THIS!

Just quit it! I have enough on my mind without getting emails from you annoying companies! If I have a question, you’ll hear from me! 😛

~*~

Image originally from Pixabay.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Talk On The Street…

Street view

Well the talk on the street
Says you might go solo
A good friend of mine
Saw you leavin’ by the back door
I need to know (I need to know)
I need to know (I need to know)
If you think you’re gonna leave
Then you better say so

– Tom Petty / “I Need To Know”

Solitaire is my game these days (coming up, in fact, on Day S) as I isolate from the world in my apartment. My street view has been updated since the last Fandango challenge when I lived in Costa Mesa. I moved in December to a shiny new place with all good vibes and no bad memories. The pretty waterfall masks the noise of the usually very busy street, but of course lately it’s been much quieter. Still, there is traffic throughout the day and night… even now, Sunday morning.

I like it a lot here. Moving (though always a pain) was a great idea for me. BC, we had a gym and a sauna, which were really nice. There are also tennis courts and jacuzzis, plus it’s a better area to walk around in. If I want to drive over to Huntington Beach to walk there, that’s a short hop. The beach is still relatively close as well. Of course, now everything is closed, including the State beach parking lots.

I’m super glad I didn’t end up having to do this isolation thing in my old dump of an apartment. That would have been even more depressing. Again, it’s not being alone most of the time that bothers me (I like to be alone); it’s first not having the routine of an office to go to every day to feel useful and productive and second not being able to visit family occasionally… those missing pieces of my life are huge. As far as friends, shopping, restaurants, etc. ~ that all I’ve been dealing with okay. Work and family are the big deals.

~*~

Image is my own.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Infinity March Share

Surely this is the kazillionth Monday this month? Melanie is a trooper for coming up with yet another set of questions for us!

Pancakes, waffles or French Toast as your breakfast favorite?

Toughie! I adore French Toast with butter and maple syrup, but also blueberry pancakes with butter and blueberry syrup. Look at this French Toast I had at Mother’s with my friend Jenny back when things were normal…

(Why does my silly phone want me to type President after French?)

French Toast

Do you think a person’s name influences the person they become?

Absolutely! Look at all the horrible men named Michael I dated. Barf! 🤮

Just kidding. I know there are a lot of nice Michaels I haven’t dated.

Would things get better or worse if humans focused on what was going well rather than what’s going wrong?

Things will do as they will.

Is math(s) something that humans created or something we discovered? Is looking at reality mathematically an accurate representation of how things work?

It depends what kind of math. The lower math (addition, etc.) we discovered. It’s true whether we exist or not and it does represent “reality,” I guess. I mean, I can only know human reality. I think though they’ve taught some animals simple math. But then there’s higher math…

Matter and energy

What are you grateful for right now?   I realize it’s difficult to be very positive right now, unless one is being positive that things are pretty awful.   Let’s spread the joy in gratitude!! 

It’s a terrible time and I am aware that many people are suffering greatly. I’ve been depressed off and on for various reasons, though I am doing okay as far as physical health (besides the usual). So far. I’m constantly worried about my loved ones and myself too. This morning I got lucky and found everything on my list at my regular grocery store, after not being allowed to place an online order over the weekend. So, I am grateful for that.

Stay safe and well, my peeps. 🌷

~*~

Images from Pexels and Spreadshirts and me.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Make Me A Sandwich

Yummy veggie sandwich

This is the yummy veggie sandwich I used to get at our office building café BC. How I miss it… and my office! I’m one of those odd people who like working in an office every day. And I liked going to school way back when too. 📚

At first, I was gonna riff on the whole “sand witch” thing, but a billion people got there first. I hate when that happens. Which it always does. Instead, I will reminisce about the time that I actually got out of bed to make a guy a sandwich and he complained later that I hadn’t baked him a lasagna. True story for the #paulacanpickem file.

Anyway. The veggie sandwich isn’t my very favorite sandwich; it’s just my favorite that I used to get while working. My favorite is probably a grilled cheese and tomato. I’ve experimented with various breads and different cheeses, and I have to say that I always return to rye bread and American cheese. I also like my grilled cheese very well done, almost burnt, not golden like they serve it in restaurants.

Grilled cheese sandwich

Another favorite sandwich is loxonabagel. Yes, all one word like that. Most of the time, I have this deliciousness open-faced, but it still counts as a sandwich.

Lox and bagel

Please note how it’s perfectly fine and even recommended (by yours truly) to dot the cream cheese with capers, but I’d rather not have onions on my loxonabagel sandwich. And please no tomato! Save that for grilled cheese. Keep your sandwich fixings in their lanes.

Yes, I know there is tomato in this photo. I am just saying. The only way to know your loxonabagel is better sans tomato is to have one with tomato, amirite? 🤣

Moving on. Some people call a hamburger a sandwich… are you one of them?

Cheeseburger CD holder

I think it’s acceptable! The point is to have a thing between two other separate things. I’m defining it that way to eliminate stuff like pie, which is #notasandwich, but to include sandwich cookies, which we will discuss in depth soon. You didn’t think I was going to end this post without talking about cookies, did you? 😱😱😱

Anyway. Here we have a bun (hun), which is two separate bread pieces, and it creates a convenient way to hold the things inside, which we then can nom while continuing to lose at cards, just as the Earl of Sandwich envisioned. Of course, we must not nom on the pictured cheezberder because it is a CD holder and that would be gross.

Five years ago, when we were living like normal humans, relatively speaking, my eldest took me to a wonderful high tea in Northern California. We had the most scrumptious little cucumber sandwiches and other delights and pastries, and of course many pots of lovely tea. 💖

High tea

Before I bring the dessert cart, please allow me to pay tribute to one of the best combos ever invented: the peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

Peanut butter and jelly

My favorite combo is Jif smooth PB with blackberry or strawberry jam (not jelly) on whole wheat. What’s yours?

Okay, onto the sandwich cookie! Oreo has a baZillion flavors out now, some totes ridonkulous, but I must admit that besides the Double Stuf original flavor, I thought the cookie dough was pretty tasty.

Cookie dough Oreos

Up in Northern California (again ~ they have yummo food!), my daughter treated me to this divine hazelnut pastry at an Italian bakery.

Hazelnut sandwich pastry

So so good!

In my fantasy of living a normal life again, whenever that may happen, if it even ever does… I’ll walk into a restaurant without worrying about the last time everything was soaked in bleach, order a sandwich at the counter without fretting over how close people are standing to me, and calmly eat my lunch in a booth with my mind on my blog or a book or work or family or friends or whatever thing other than the you know what!

~*~

Images all mine.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Empty

Dying rose in the dark

These empty faceless days

Pass in a nameless haze;

A smorgasbord of news bites

Leaves our minds eaten away.

Should we be grateful or afraid?

Tomorrow promises the same;

Isolated from routines,

We adapt to this new distance–

Please stay six feet away.

Flower children, pressed inside

Our individual pages:

We remain solitary,

Confined, safe, waiting

To be allowed to play

Once again. To hold hands,

To hug and dance!

Will it ever be the same?

I wonder what

The history books will say

About us.

~*~

Image credited to Pixabay.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

A Bunch Of Nonsense

To distract myself from myself, I’m going to answer these super intrusive questions about myself from Melanie

1. Tell us how you met your partner. Please be specific in telling your tale.

I don’t have a “partner.” I’ve been divorced since 2011 and all my attempts at dating were documented disasters. Right now, it might be nice to have someone to be cooped up with though. Or maybe not.

2. What is your most romantic experience, again with details?

I have a post in drafts called Skyloft. It’s about the best first date I ever had ~ my last first date. I had a couple more first meetings since, but they don’t count as first dates. This man was also a disaster, like the others, but worse because I’d finally begun to trust again, and after him everything was impossibly shattered. The date itself was incredible. It was the hottest day of the year, and I was sick, had been sick for a month, which made the whole experience surreal. I felt I was in a painting, with all the colors and sounds and tastes and smells so exquisitely bright. When he touched me, I felt transported to another plane. Nothing was the same again… it still isn’t. He kissed me at the beach, with the turquoise waves crashing in, just like a dream. I will never forget this, no matter what he did later.

3. What is the most extravagant purchase you’ve ever made, and why did you buy it?

I have not bought anything extravagant for a really long time. I’m super careful. I’ve spent money, sometimes a lot, but on stuff that’s necessary, such as a car (a sensible one). I simply can’t think of anything. Oh! I know. My daughter went to Costa Rica several years ago and brought me some very cool artwork. I spent $400 to have it framed. But I love it. ❤️

4. What is your favorite swear word or expression, and when are you most likely to use it?

I’m an equal opportunity swearer. I try to give all the bad words a good workout daily, but I must admit that since I haven’t been driving they’ve been sitting in a sad heap on the sofa watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island and munching potato chips. 😢

5. What is your favorite kind of pie? With or without ice cream?

Ooh pie! I had the best pie up in Northern California ~ key lime with whipped cream and a thick graham cracker crust. That is my fave, followed closely by lemon cream and then cherry. No ice cream necessary.

6. While we’re on the subject, what is your favorite ice cream, and where did you last eat it?

Cookie dough! I don’t remember when or where I ate it last. I don’t eat ice cream often because I’m always freezing. 🥶

7. Who is your most unique friend and why? (May be someone from the past.)

My daughters are both brilliant and hilarious and totally unique. I love them to bits! My besties! 💖💖 (Why? Because I raised them! Duh.)

8. What is your most irritating habit?

Yelling at my cat to quit yelling. 🐱

9. Who was your favorite teacher and why?

I loved many of my philosophy and writing professors at CSUN.

10. Do you like being alone and if so, what would you probably be doing?

I enjoy choosing to be alone; I don’t enjoy this forced isolation and not being allowed to go to work. It’s super depressing. When alone, I read, write, play phone games, chat with peeps online, etc.

11. What is the most outlandish thing you’ve ever done?

Probably picked up hitchhikers and taken rides from strange men back in Illinois. Nothing bad ever happened even though this is a terribly stupid thing to do.

12. What superstition do you always follow?

I count things a lot, which isn’t really a superstition, but more an OCD, except not that much since I don’t do it consistently. I just feel things will work out better when there’s the right number of ’em.

13. What famous person or animal have you met? Tell us about the meeting.

Not really. I’ve seen various celebs in the Los Angeles area, but haven’t hung out with any. I don’t think celebs or royals are better than anyone else, and people ought to quit making such a fuss over them. 😛

~*~

Image credit to Bitmoji.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ62: Homebound

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks…

What activities have you cut from your life since this pandemic started that you DON’T really miss?

Unlike some, I don’t see a silver lining in this thing for me personally although yay less pollution right now, so that’s great. I miss everything I was doing because I had my life the way I liked… work, family, pets, friends, hobbies, etc. Still have pets around. Everything else is online or not at all and geez I get tired of staring at screens.

However! There is one thing I’m not doing or hardly at all and I do not miss it because I hate it. Can you guess?

Traffic jam at sunset

God, I despise driving. It’s just the worst and I don’t miss it one bit. Wish I could resume a normal life without it, but I live in Southern California, so lol.

It was making me more depressed to keep documenting my days of nothingness, so I stopped. I’ve been working on Ghosted 👻 and playing games.

~*~

Images from Fandango and me.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

I Think It’s Tuesday #PoiMe

Pointless meandering

Warning: this is not gonna be one of those smell the flowers in the pandemic posts, but there are plenty of those around, so if you would rather read something cheery, move along now.

I’ve been doing my side work from home as usual but not my main work. It would be complicated to set up. The days blend in a haze of sleeping late, sweatpants, coffee, news, news, and more news. 😢

It’s depressing to live this way and never see any of my favorite humans. I don’t know when I’ll be able to visit my daughter up North again. Or even see my family in Los Angeles. Everything seems terrifying. But I’ve been staying indoors mostly and not even going for walks. I don’t like getting the mail because I never know if someone will stand too close. Today was okay. No one was at the mailboxes when I was.

The worst thing is reading these constant bits of news and feeling more horrified. But I need to know what’s happening! I live near a busy street and traffic never stops whooshing by… where are they all going? Why aren’t they staying home like they’re supposed to? Aren’t they hearing the same stuff I am? 😡

I’ve been cleaning a lot. I have nothing else to do but keep checking the mishmash of news. I read a book. Probably will read another. Been chatting with friends. I was gonna bake banana bread, but no one else is around to help me eat it, so I didn’t. No need to turn into a chubby hermit. Got bored with the phone games. I’m finally working on Ghosted. 👻 Luckily, I really like it.

I am grumpy and sad. I don’t find the beauty in this. Maybe if I had a partner? Then we could be having luscious sex and engaging in wonderful deep conversations and playing chess and watching lovely old movies and making lasagna and planning our escape from this mad mad world, but instead I just keep checking the cat boxes to make sure no poop needs to be removed.

It’s not that I mind being alone. I like to be alone. It’s the forced aspect of it. And it’s the constant uncertainty in every direction. Health, family, finances, job, future. What’s going to happen? Even if things tentatively begin to improve, will we be re-whomped with this, or a new version, next winter?

Sorry, I can’t put up some Hallmark card type of post. This really sucks. 🙁

~*~

Image originally from Pixabay.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Bingo Update 5

Book bingo challenge

See my previous update here.

For the anthology box, I read When Love Rises by Michelle Stradford. I enjoyed it and gave it a 4-star review. Not 5, since I couldn’t connect that well with some of the poetry at the beginning. Here is my full review on Goodreads, Amazon, etc.:

I especially connected with the later poems in this book where I felt her true soul was laid bare. That painful, powerful imagery resonated with me. Throughout, her poetry contains wonderful metaphors and striking language. A joy to absorb.

I love poetry. I’m trying to get in the mindset to write more myself, but it’s so hard to focus because of the thing.

Next, I read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, a book I meant to read last year. This book really grabbed me, which is odd because it focuses on topics I normally shun. First, it has a huge emphasis on the mother-child bond, in a kaleidoscope of viewpoints. Second, the story is told from the eyes of teenagers a huge chunk of the time. These days I generally dgaf about the angst of teenagers. You think it’s bad now, kids? Just wait. Third, there’s the familiar trope of boring suburbia, the bad that lurks beneath, and the MPDG who twirls in and shakes everything up.

And yet… the story held me immediately. I needed something exactly like this right now, something so different from what’s happening in the news. Remember when we as a nation were riveted by a stain on a dress? That was the most important thing going on. I find it hard to focus on trivia, but I don’t feel like watching a movie either. I haven’t turned on my TV in days except to exercise to a video (I get the news online).

So anyway. That’s when LFE took place, in the Time of the Blue Dress, around 1997, in a wealthy Ohio suburb. I was riveted by the story; I really wanted to discover what the various characters would do. Their actions seemed surprising at times and yet also inevitable, which I admire in writing. It’s a fine line. You don’t want to be predictable, and yet you want your readers to say… oh, of course. They would have done such a thing. I can totally see it now. And there were so many layers upon layers to each character and the part they played in this drama, that the finished “cake” felt fully earned.

I gave LFE 5 stars despite the fact that Ms. Ng had POV breaks within scenes and lengthy, meandering backstories with POV breaks in those too. That just goes to show you that the story and characters are everything; rules are still important, but they can be broken. I’m not sure why Ms. Ng broke them, but with her credentials you know she knows them. They weren’t mistakes. One critic suggested it’s a cliche to have someone die on an icy road or of a brain tumor. I didn’t cringe when reading them, but I can understand someone not liking those sections.

I can see that same critic’s point about the trope of the MPDG breezing into the small town and turning it upside down while discovering all is not what it seems. I guess there’s also the trope of the naive country bumpkin stumbling into the big city and encountering cynics and meanies. But everything has been done. The key is to bring your own voice and spin. That critic doesn’t believe that Ms. Ng added anything new, but LFE struck me as fresh and engaging.

To each their own! 🙂

~*~

Image from Kriti & Ariel.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.