This week I had a brief bout of optimism and decided things would be much better as the summer went on, given doctors' thoughts that the coronavirus would mimic the habit of the flu virus to virtually disappear in warm weather. And Lord knows Texas has warm weather in the summer. I started thinking maybe I could visit New Mexico in July and Arizona in August, maybe even taking in Texas before fall came around.
All that changed when scientists began reporting increasing numbers of infection and death over an increasing number of states, numbers that looked like they coincided with the premature (in my mind) reopening of activity in those states.
I do not believe there will be many governors who try to reestablish lock-downs if the numbers seem to get out of hand, and even if they try they'll have to figure out how they plan to enforce them. There are already a stunning number of idiots who believe the virus hasn't really happened at all, or that it has happened but it's a weapon of Democrats and will disappear after the election, or some other nonsense, and are unfortunately acting on their beliefs - i.e. refusing to follow simple health guidelines that protect them and the rest of us.
Those being my beliefs, I not only can't assume - I can barely even maintain a flicker of hope - that I'll be able to get back on the road at all this year. This reassessment of my situation has made this a depressing week for me, and I've been having a great deal of trouble finding impetus to get much done. But I also believe that it's all only temporary and that if I'm careful, I too will be able to live through this mess. In this case my optimistic hopefulness didn't serve me any better than the subsequent depression, and I'll be much better once I can get my feet back under me for living on an even, and more realistic, keel.
I'm still having a battle with ants and still hating it, so this week the pest control guy came by to give me an estimate. He pointed out that the tree I'm parked under - a crepe myrtle - is notorious for encouraging ants. He pointed out at least 6 ant beds under this one as well as a healthy trail of ants climbing the tree. He figures what's happening is the ants are climbing the tree, falling on the roof, and getting in through the skylights (which explains why they sometimes seem to drop from the sky - they are). He said he didn't think I had a colony living in the RV, which was a relief, but that he'd be glad to come in and do the usual spray under cabinets and around what would be baseboards if this were a house with baseboards. The company's usual cost is $125 for ant service.
He also suggested I move over a space under the next tree, which is an oak. It too had some ants on it, but he thought my problems would greatly diminish with a move away from the crepe myrtle. He said his company is often having to suggest to clients with recurring ant problems that they cut back crepe myrtle branches at least 3' away from their houses. In this case, I'm barely 3' away from the whole tree, let alone its branches, so that's not an option. The oak has some branches that hang down too low for me to park the RV under, but Anna said she and David could help me with that problem. After I give the oak a chance, I'll see how much of an ant problem I still have before calling in the bug service.
|this is 4 fans, plus the water dish, |
taking up the limited floor space
So I spent quite a while trying to clean up the mess and finally took the bed and bedspread outside and laid them on the carefully pruned boxwood hedge around this parking area.
After all that, Dexter was still pacing up and down and I finally decided he may be having other digestive problems as well, and took both the dogs for a walk. Sure enough, he relieved himself several times in fairly liquid form, and I sure was hoping that forecast for rain materialized because I had trouble cleaning up people's lawns (it didn't). Fortunately, after all that he was fine. I'm assuming he ate something I didn't see him eat - he can be so fast about it, but I'm usually able to see him even when I'm not fast enough to stop him. Whatever it was, it was gone from his system. But I'm still trying to clean up the mess, because it did rain on Saturday and again today, so the bed and the cover and the spread keep getting wet and needing to dry out. At some point the neighbors are going to complain that I'm bringing down the tone of the neighborhood.
The next day, we had an appointment for Dext's annual shots. Vet visits are so different now than before because vets don't want to be in small enclosed rooms with the pet owners. But the vet told me afterwards that he'd been well-behaved, which was a relief because he isn't always where shots are concerned.
She woke us all up very early another morning by yowling at the door. She's never done this before and it upset the dogs for being so unusual. She made it very clear what she wanted: to go outside. It's the first time since I got her that she's made any move towards the out-of-doors besides just greeting us at the door when we get back from a walk. Yet there she was, standing down on the bottom step, yowling away in that special way only cats can pull off. Well, it got me out of bed. That's 2 mornings this week I was rousted by agitated animals. Of course, I explained to Lily she had a snowball's chance of getting outside, but she kept registering agitation. I have no idea what was outside.
She wasn't a problem. I just thought she should have her own category, since the others did. Well, no more of a problem than usual. When I got back from taking Dext into Banfield for his vet appointment, I found a note on the windshield saying I should crack a window for Gracie (by name) and that this nameless person had discovered my door was unlocked and come inside the RV and given Gracie some water. God Bless! the note said.
Dext and I were gone for a half hour, almost to the minute, and the outdoor temp was in the 80s, not the upper 90s. So my first reaction was slight exasperation with this well-meaning but officious person. But later it hit me - she (it was certainly a she who put the little hearts on this note) entered my home without my permission or even knowledge and with no real excuse. If she'd actually been observing my actions, she'd know I wasn't gone but for a few minutes before she did all this - not exactly an instance of animal abuse - so instead she was probably just passing by and saw Gracie sitting in the front seat waiting for us to come back.
I really wish I had a chance now to talk to this woman. How many people walking down a sidewalk and seeing a dog in the window of a house would even go up to the door, let alone see if the door was unlocked - let alone actually walk into someone's home uninvited. That's called trespass and can be prosecuted criminally. Just because many people use an RV for weekend recreation didn't give this woman a license to go inside it. So I've come to see that this was emphatically not the actions of a reasonable person, however well-meaning she may have been. Honestly, I feel invaded. No I don't lock the door when I leave - it's never been a problem before. This woman's lucky it was Gracie inside and not Dexter, who takes a pretty serious view of his role as protector of the home.
Weekly Cleanliness Trip
I needed water as well as a tank dump, so I went back to the RV park in Caddo Mills that I went to a month or so ago.
I drove past a company called Signazon, and with a name like that I looked it up. They do custom banners of all kinds for anyone who wants them. For instance, they've got a whole category of banners for less than $25 that you can customize to welcome home a returning service member. Nice idea, actually.
I had no idea JC Penney's is headquartered right here in Plano. I heard it on the radio.
I also heard a reporter on the BBC Newshour talking about the president's claim he's taking that hydroxychloroquine. With her British accent the reporter was saying how surprising she thought that was, given that he's "fond of his bonnet" and that hair loss is a common side effect. Which makes me think he isn't really taking it, because his doctor would undoubtedly have told him of this side effect.
I saw several fields of corn at varying stages of growth - some about 4' high. It's so easy for me to forget that nature's keeping on keeping on, and our nation's farmers are obviously trying to keep on with it. Seems brave of them.
For part of today's drive I was on Farm-to-Market Road 36. I'd forgotten about these roads, but this gave me a good refresher course: they're built to carry goods from farms to markets (duh) so they run past lots of fields. This means they're full of 90° turns as they go around people's property lines. One after the other after the other. Did a good job of keeping my speed down, but I don't mind it. They're clearly a continuing part of the history of our state.
As I drove through the small town (1,300 folks) of Caddo Mills, I wondered about the name and found the city's website. They say the Caddo Indians used to camp near the banks of nearby Caddo Creek around the 1850s; some years later, European settlers established a gristmill in the area. The town says it was named for the gristmill (though there was only one mill apparently, not mills plural). I think the town should revise its website to say it was also named for the Indians, or at least for the creek, and not exclusively for the singular mill, but history's a tricky thing.
I came across the highway turnoff to the town of Fate, so of course I had to look it up to be sure it really was a town. It is. But even the town can't seem to agree where the name came from. Everybody seems to agree it was named for either William Lafayette "Fate" Brown, originally from Mississippi, or for George Washington Lafayette "Fate" Peyton, originally from Tennessee. Despite the obvious name similarities, they don't appear to be any relation to each other, but both were early settlers in the area. I can see how 2 men can be named Lafayette back then, but how can it be possible for both of them to be nicknamed "Fate?" Anyway, they were, and the town was named for one or the other of them, and I guess not many people today really care which one. (I'm guessing "Fate" is a play on Lafayette, but in both cases it was a middle (or 3rd) name so seems odd to be a source of a nickname.)
What's odd about Fate, though, besides its name, is that the 2010 National Census identified it as the fastest growing city in Texas over the previous decade (from 602 in 2000 to 6,357 in 2010) and there's thought it could exceed 20,000 by 2021. That's definitely a population boom. But other than it being 30 minutes from Dallas, I can't figure out what's propelling the growth. Odd.
I passed a billboard that said: "Remember when everyone had a waterbed? Times change. Jesus doesn't."
I've got an appointment on Wednesday to get the parts I ordered installed in the RV - the new kitchen faucet and the TV antenna and the trim around the cab. I hope those things'll make it seem more like the little guy I originally set out with - though dirtier. I need to wash it sometime.
I really will dredge up more momentum this week and get to work on my 2 unfinished blog posts. I know I keep saying that, and I'm not promising, but I really do want to get them off my to-do list.
I saw in the paper that a peach orchard is reopening its market as of yesterday. It's about 30 miles from here, so I thought I'd head that way on Tuesday on my weekly cleanliness trip. The article said they'd gone to a great deal of trouble to figure out how to keep both them and their customers safe while still selling their peaches - they're not opening their indoors market, for instance, just their outdoors one - and I do love peaches, so I'm hoping it'll work out.
And I hope everyone's keeping safe and healthy. These are scary times in some ways, but I do believe everything'll come out okay in the end. (And if you've seen The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, you know the next line is, "And if it's not okay, it's not yet the end.") Hope on, hope ever.