Friday, July 31, 2020

Five on Friday: Artifact Excitement

You may or may not know that I am the Curator for a small local Museum. We have, of course, been closed since March and I really miss my visitors. Many of them were older folks who'd stop by and have a cup of tea or coffee and share their stories. I adore them.

While these past few months may have been lonely, they have also been extremely productive. I won't get into all the minutiae of Museum organizing and artifact accessioning that we've gotten done because as exciting as it is to us, I'm sure it's pretty boring to other people.  Scratch that, I know it is. (But trust me, it feels so good to be getting it all done!)

An opportunity for the Museum came up recently and I had a feeling it would be exciting to other people, too. So I shared a teaser pic on Instagram and on my personal Facebook page. It turns out I'm not the only one fascinated by medical artifacts from the former State Sanatorium for Tuberculosis! I was already giddy at the thought of what an excellent exhibit this will make when we can open again (not to mention timely with the epidemic theme!) but the enthusiasm from the public has absolutely thrilled me.

Since the process of getting the artifacts may take a little while and I don't know when I'll be able to reopen the Museum, I thought I'd share a sneak peek of some of the items for this week's post. (Note: I don't want to completely ruin the surprises though, so some are a little tamer than the others.)

1. Fluoroscope screen and light. These items had been set up as a small Museum of sorts already, so many of them were labeled. Which is lucky for me because I would have assumed these were for x-rays. They're actually for fluoroscopy, which is like an x-ray movie. A continues x-ray beam is passed through the body and projects the image on a screen. Both the light and screen? Mine now. (Or more accurately, our Museum's soon. But close enough!)

2. You know you're a former theater kid when you see this and think, "Man, we could have used that for Annie."

3. Not everything is creepy in its appeal. My husband and I both think the top sign would be fun to have. Maybe it's just us? That's why we're married I guess.

4.  Pneumotherapy appartus used to temporarily collapse the lung. I'll pass on the procedure, thanks, but I'll gladly take the apparatus.

5. Another non-creepy entry, but interesting nonetheless. At my first glance of this painting I thought, "Meh, large oil painting of some guy. I could live without it." But I did snap a picture of the nameplate and the artist's signature to look them up later.

It turns out the subject of the painting, Dr. Samuel Budd English, was a pioneer in Tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment while the artist, Lew E. Davis, is well-known in certain art circles.

This served as a little lesson to me to not be hasty in forming my opinions and to stay curious. Magical things can happen.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Five on Friday: Five Non-Scientific Reasons to Wear a Mask

Apparently some people want to debate whether or not it's a good idea to cover your mouth and nose to protect yourself and others while a pandemic is ravishing the globe and killing people by the hundreds of thousands.

Since science clearly isn't working to convince them, I would like to present some very good non-scientific reasons to wear a mask:

1. You don't have to worry about having food stuck in your teeth.

Do I have anything stuck in my teeth? Doesn't matter, you can't see them!

2.  It's lovely noticing how much a person's entire face smiles when their hidden mouth does.

3.  Masks are another fun way to accessorize!

4. Talking out loud to one's self in public is a little easier to disguise when nobody can see your mouth moving.

5. You can stealthily stick your tongue out if you encounter someone doing something stupid (for example, running their mouth about how it's their right to not wear a mask in public)

Friday, July 17, 2020

Five on Friday: Adaptation

The current times and season have necessitated some creative adaptation. Here are a few recent examples from my life:

1. First it was toilet paper and hand sanitizer that was impossible to find. Then flour, yeast and dry beans. Things seemed to get back to normal but then every once in awhile I want to buy something and it's wiped out (baking powder, graham crackers). I guess there was a good run on those grahams for awhile because the supermarket was prompted to hang this sign:

Some of these options don't sound all that appealing . . .

2. Then we found some! But after a long day of fun, I just was not in the mood to start a campfire solely for the purpose of making s'mores. "But Mom! You promised!"

Et voila:

Bonus: My hair didn't stink like a campfire afterwards

3. Heat wave + beach closures + social distancing = even more appreciation for living where we do

4. No more big garden + still wanting to grow some food=container gardening on the deck

Same joy, less work

5. Summer time + thunderstorm + power outage = glow stick party

Friday, July 10, 2020

Five on Friday: Vespa Playlist

"My husband says I post and talk about Giacomo the Vespa too much . . . "

Just because the one and only souvenir I purchased on our recent vacation was for my Vespa and not, for example, for my friend watching my dog for the week . . . doesn't mean I'm obsessed. It means Sandwich is a funny name for a town and belongs on Giacomo's top box sticker collection.

So, what if I am a little bit obsessed? It's his fault anyway and I could have worse habits. Perhaps I shall just embrace my fixation on my vehicle and write my second Vespa post in less than a month.  I mentioned in my previous post that I am undecided on if I feel comfortable listening to music under my helmet so for now I just spend my ride thinking. Sometimes I think about the playlist I would listen to if I did listen to music on my rides. So far it looks like this:

1. Macklemore's Downtown: Maybe twice because it's so fun . . . once at the beginning and then again at the end? That could work.

2. Coffee Break Italian: Okay so technically this is a podcast (that teaches Italian) and I don't know if you can add a podcast to a playlist. Maybe if I download some episodes I can then put them on the playlist? Or maybe I should just listen to the music playlist sometimes and the podcast other times. Generally it's difficult for me to find time to listen to podcasts so when I'm alone riding would really be the perfect time. Better yet would be if I could just, like, take a pill and know how to speak the language. Has that been invented yet?
3. Bo Diddley's Road Runner: while as a family we're partial to the other Roadrunner song by the Modern Lovers, Bo Diddley's version has a steady background chorus of "Beep! Beep!" and I do love beeping at small animals while I ride.

4. Selected favorites from Putumayo's Italian CafĂ© but replacing their version of  Tu vuo' fa l'Americano with the version from The Talented Mr. Ripley (a movie that really I don't like, actually, as the plot makes me anxious and uncomfortable but oh, that scenery and costuming! And so many vintage Vespas! Drool.)

5. ZoomZoom Zoom: Wrong language but still sounds pretty and naturally zoom, zoom, zoom is fun to sing when driving a Vespa. I realized recently why hand grip accelerating is so satisfying and sort of nostalgic . . . because when I was a kid at the height of Evil Knievel mania, having one of those motorcycle noise-making grips on your bike to rev up was just the ultimate in coolness.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Five on Friday: A Somewhat Seventies Summer

With no camp and other unexpected limitations on fun this summer, we're making our own fun in a somewhat Seventies summer. (I'd say completely Seventies except I'm not whipping up red Kool-Aid or popping Valium. Then again, if I've learned anything  from my kids' grade school, it is to never underestimate the "Power of Yet.")

But in other ways, this summer's definitely got a seventies vibe thus far:

1. Hammocks and lounge chairs (it's one of those retro plastic kinds you can send your foot right through and have to send the ends all the way into the middle and then back out in order to move adjust the angle. So seventies!)  

2. Ice Pops and skateboards, sometimes at the same time. Because why not?

3. Kids and neighbor kids hopping on bikes and disappearing for an hour or two at a time

4. Drinking straight out of the garden hose, or at least when it's not hooked up to the Slip n' Slide.

5. Sparklers!

Friday, June 26, 2020

Five on Friday: A Little R & R (& R & R & R)

When you're on vacation and still trying to maintain social distancing, you don't go out galavanting to all the sites and activities like you normally do. You just travel to a different house and quarantine there instead of at home.

Lucky for us, the other house that we were able to go to is on a private beach. So this year's vacation has been all about staying put, enjoying the beautiful surroundings and each other as well as getting some always needed r & r (and r  & r & r since this is Five on Friday after all). They are:

1. Rest

2. Relaxation

3. Reading (and actually writing, too, in the mornings I've been getting some writing done. But that starts with the wrong letter to include on this list.)

Started & finished The Grapes of Wrath. I, too, am always tar'd and took lots of cat naps between chapters. Sometimes mid-chapter.

4. Revelations: the more you look, the more you find! Hermit crabs, Horseshoe crabs, Spider crabs. Oh my!

5. Rainbow Rocks! This beach isn't one for finding shells but you can make some really beautiful rainbows out of rocks and I've done that pretty much every day now. This one is my favorite.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Five on Friday: Riding Reflections

My husband says I post and talk about Giacomo the Vespa too much. First of all . . . I disagree.

Second of all, I’d like everyone to know about a conversation we repeated about once a year every year for probably eight years straight:

Him: Do you think you’d ever still want a Vespa someday?
Me: Meh, I don’t know, I think that ship has sailed.

Then he bought me one for Christmas.

Furthermore, he has no idea how many posts I think up that I never even share! Dreaming up potential posts is just one of the things I do when I'm riding. Since I'm undecided on if I'd feel comfortable or not listening to quiet music under my helmet, for now I just spend my ride thinking, enjoying the scenery, making observations and, of course, cracking myself up. Here are some recent reflections:

1. "Aw man, back roads are the best! I love their lower speed limits, terrific scenery and frequent lack of any other vehicles." (thirty seconds later . . . )

"DUDE. Back roads are the worst! Has this hill always been this steep? A curve in the road should never be this insanely sharp, my god."

2. When I see this sign (or others like it) when I'm driving in the car, I think, "Oh that's just a suggested speed limit." But while on Giacomo, I say, "Oh, yes, that is a very prudent speed limit for this incredibly curvy and steep hill! I hope the car behind me doesn't think that's just a suggestion because it is absolutely not."

3. There’s this sort of special wave that motorcyclists do when they pass one another. I haven't passed any other Vespa riders but I see plenty of motorcyclists. They are usually men and for the most part, they give me the wave. Sometimes I initiate, sometimes they do. Last week one gave me a very enthusiastic, over the head, ROCK ON salute, which made me super happy.

There are also the guys who absolutely see me and turn their heads away from me, obviously entirely too tough to wave to a rider of a pink Vespa. To them I subtly give a different hand salute that only utilizes one finger.
4. I love to sound my completely non-intimidating beep at every squirrel, chipmunk and deer that I see in or near  the road. I don't really need to, they generally run away as I get closer but it's one of the things I do to entertain myself.

5. On a ride last Friday I thought to myself: "Dogs really don’t like Vespas. They always bark at me like my dog does to the vacuum cleaner. What would I do if one of those barking dogs ever charged at me while I was driving past? Probably just beep a lot."

Then on a ride the next day: I sort of hit a dog*

(*I was traveling at a low speed as I was turning a corner in my neighborhood when I saw a dog break free from his owner. I started beeping like crazy but he didn't care. He ran towards me and his owner ran after him, placing them both directly in front of me so I came to a complete stop. He kept coming at me and I'm not sure if he actually made contact with my front tire or not. It was surprisingly not at all scary but I made a note to self to no longer wonder about things that could go wrong while I'm driving lest I bring them to fruition)

Friday, June 12, 2020

Five on Friday: I'm Fine With a Car Parade Graduation

I know there are some people who are upset that graduations this year are not what they had anticipated. I truly am sorry for them, disappointment stinks.  Personally, though, I am fine with a "Car Parade" High School Graduation for my son. Here are five reasons:

1. I’m not much for pomp anyway. I didn’t walk in my college graduation. I got married in a Las Vegas wedding chapel.

2. We just sat through a High School Graduation one year ago and we have three more ahead of us.

3. Small town High School Graduation speeches aren’t known to be all that titillating. Watching videos of the speeches mean we can skip through the boring parts! 
Also, there are sometimes unexpected bonuses in virtual Graduations.

4. I keep saying this about lots of situations that have been changed for my kids: it’s not only my kid that’s missing out on the 4th Grade Farewell, 8th  Grade overnight trip, Middle or High School Graduation or anything else. It’s not because my child is sick or unable to participate for any personal catastrophic reason. I find solace in that. They’re really becoming uniquely connected to a major historic event and throughout their lives they’ll have a camaraderie with other people their age who went through this, too.

5. Inventive adaptation! People love to claim that they’re not creative or artistic but look at all they’ve dreamed up in the past three months! So many wonderful new ways to stay connected and celebrate milestones. I know I am going to remember this Graduation more than any of the others.