Monday Musings: Short Takes

My brain has not been all that coherent lately. Everything seems to work in fits and starts, and I can’t maintain any sort of momentum. Sure, I could blame the pandemic and a few other things, but I don’t think any one of them is really what’s going on. Maybe it’s just a combination of it all? Anyway, today I am just going to drop a few short bits on a variety of things.

Easing Lockdown Restrictions: Things are starting to open up here in MA. Restaurants can do outdoor dining, with restrictions and guidelines for safe distancing. More retail establishments are allowed to open, again with guidelines for safe interactions. A plan has been outlined to allow schools to open up in the fall. Other retail and service locations are opening, as are many offices. It seems we are doing it right. So far. MA is still trending down on deaths and new COVID-19 cases. That’s good. But there has been such a surge in states around us lately that I am not sure how long this will last. I hope it keeps up, and that MA residents will be cautious about what and how they go about getting back to some semblance of normal.

Where Is The Rain? The weather forecasts have been hinting at rain for a day or so now, but so far, we haven’t seen it. We are under a thunderstorm watch right now (Sunday afternoon) and the sky is cloudy, but the radar doesn’t look promising. Tomorrow could bring the rain in, though. Right now, the forecast is for about half an inch of rain tomorrow. We need it badly. Everything is dry and parched, streams and ponds are down significantly from just a short while ago, and I know the farms around are really hoping for some wet weather. Let’s hope it gets here soon.

Looks Like A Bust On Chili Season This Summer: If you’ve read here for a while, you know one of our summer activities is as Chief Judge and Scorekeeper for International Chili Society sanctioned cook offs here in New England. Yeah, well, that’s not going to be a big thing this summer. What with all the restrictions (and rightly so, just to make my position clear) on crowds and such, most of our cook offs have been canceled, as have many across the country. The only one we have still (maybe) happening is in Wells, Maine at the end of August. And if things go south with the virus surges, that may not happen, either. The Worlds Championship, usually in the Fall, has been moved to April 2021. But it is also scheduled to be held in Myrtle Beach, SC, and they aren’t doing so well with containment right now. Lots of stuff up in the air.

Garden News: We have tomatoes! Small and still green, but at least one plant is going to give us some nice tomatoes this year. I managed to find some determinate Roma tomato seeds this year and I was very happy. Since I have to grow in containers, determinate are so much better since they tend not to sprawl as much as the usual vining type. And then, when the plants were out hardening off prior to planting, the pots got knocked over and the Roma stem broke. I knew there wasn’t time to start a new one (pooh on short growing seasons!), and that tomatoes can throw roots from buried lengths of stem, so I figured, why not? And stuck it in the container with the others. It rooted! It’s small and well behind the others, but I hope we can get at least a few tomatoes off it. That way, I will know if it’s worth trying again next year.

Yes, I Have Garden Plans For Next Year Already: A few things will be done differently. I am a good 2-3 weeks behind where I should be at this point. I mean, some of it was due to the fact that we were in the shelter in place phase of the pandemic response when much of the early stuff should have been happening, so that didn’t help. But I just didn’t get the stuff I could going as soon as I should have. Part of the overall lethargy I’ve been hit with, I suppose. Next year, I plan to do better with all of it.

A Comedy of Errors, Medically Speaking: So, back in November of last year, I went to my PCP’s office because my left knee was giving me a lot of pain. I have known my knees were not great for a number of years (I am old, remember, and stuff is wearing out!). I had a partial meniscectomy on the right one a few years back. I pretty much knew that the verdict would likely be that a visit to an orthopedic was in order. Our insurance had changed since that surgery, so I looked up the doctor and yes, he was in the insurance network. But- he is NOT in my PCP’s network and apparently, they have been unwilling to allow referrals out of network. With one delay or another, it took until now (and at least one rescheduling of my ortho appointment) to get the referral approved. And now, I find out that the ortho is not taking our insurance anymore. *headdesk* Had to cancel the appointment this week, and will need to find a new ortho. This really should not be this complicated, should it?

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print, as they used to say. Pretty much business as has been usual for the last few months. Hard to believe it’s almost July! I hope you are all staying safe and healthy, and enjoying your summer!


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