You know, it sure is a good time to know how to prepare meals, isn't it? That of course depends on if you can procure the ingredients which is anything but a certainty these days

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My friend Bonnie is posting photos of all of the dishes she's made beginning with one piece of meat, sometimes up to four meals in the hopes of making her food supplies last longer. Aren't we all? Around here there is no hoarding going on, in part because we have no more storage space. Generally I do have some back ups for staples, however, after deciding to make a carrot cake on Tuesday, I discovered that I was short on sugar. Nancy arrived on Monday afternoon to ride out the storm here amongst her family because the thought of going it alone in Atlanta was just too much.

Carrot cake is one of her favorites, and because she has not had a proper birthday cake in forever, we were calling it that even though her birthday is in October. Extraordinary times call for the extra ordinary! Offering to go to Publix for sugar, I was convinced that would be an easy item to purchase, whereas she had her doubts. She won. Is everyone else baking too? She came home with a box of sugar for which I was grateful. The cake turned out to be just what the doctor ordered.
While I may not be as creative as Bonnie with stretching our food, I have been making comfort food, beef stew, macaroni and cheese with ham, that sort of thing. Bruce braved the senior hour at Publix, bringing home some Italian sausage and mushrooms in order for me to make one of my most favorite dishes, Dirty Risotto.
Leftovers for lunch soon!

We have been playing pickleball with Connie, and while I know it makes some nervous, we have bleach wipes for our hands and paddles when we finish playing. As well, we are way far apart and so far no one is sick or had contact with anyone sick; for now, it feels safe, something I can't even believe I am typing. There is a rule around here--no sacrificing our body for points because no one wants to get hurt, especially now.

Taking the trash out, I saw someone had left a little shelving unit beside the dumpster. Honey, do you think you can make something of this?
But of course he can! It was wobbly as all get out, probably from having sat on someones porch for ages, so after shoring it up with braces, cleaning and sanding like crazy, he followed that with several coats of paint. The gold we used in the bathroom was my choice.
For now I am making do with things from around the house for decorations and it is adding a little ray of sunshine by the front door. Hurray for making the best of things!

Unlike me, Nancy loves to clean and organize so who better to do that than she? Beginning with emptying the freezer,
she found a place for everything, not to mention finding things in there I'd forgotten I had.Before, I was cramming stuff in the freezer the best I could, but now, oh my gosh, it is heaven!
The vegetables are all in one place, turns out I have plenty of meat in stock and some different types of bread. Not to mention 12 mini Fat Boy ice cream sandwiches!

Matt and Tom are working from home, as are David, Bill, Jonathan, and Alissa, with Fallon being the only one working outside the home. She tells us that there are shortages of masks and other protective gear, however she is doing all that she can to stay safe. I'm wondering if this will start a new trend wherein they build shower rooms at the hospital so all workers can go home to their families clean?

The one thing I'm convinced of is that this event will change everything, and I mean everything. People are bound to be more cautious in the future and hopefully there will be recognition of the importance of every worker, from janitorial staff, to the truckers who bring us our food and goods. Nancy is at Publix as I type and she says the crowds are big, and the amount of goods not so big. Speaking of grocery shopping, let's hear it for all those who are stocking shelves like there is no tomorrow. (bad use of words) Will it change global travel in the future? We shall see. Investors, no doubt, will be more wary, while perhaps people will be grateful for their jobs? In Orlando the number of jobless is not to be believed! One benefit that I hope to see is giving our fellow humans a little more leeway, recognizing that from the top to the bottom, most people are doing the best that they can.

The number of people in Central Florida who have lost their jobs is staggering, in the hundreds of thousands. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demming has ordered everyone to stay home aside from grocery and prescription shopping beginning at 11PM, although I did read that Home Depot can stay open. What are we to make of all this?  Because this is a new virus strain, is anyone really an expert?  How could they know how long it lives on surfaces in all environments? Just asking.

And now we begin the happy segment of this post and that is with the appearance, three days ago, of Mallard ducklings!
If anything can bring a smile and lift ones spirits, it is ducklings. I've been watching and photographing them in all different types of lighting.
On this day there were exactly twelve, and I think they were almost brand new, although that is merely speculation on my part. Unlike Wood Ducks, Mallards seem to not be bothered at all by humans, letting me get a respectable distance away without bolting. It was just wonderful watching the ducklings begin to take shelter under their Mother's wings.
The whole lot kept snuggling,
and snuggling,
as her wings expanded to shelter them from predators.
Yup, all twelve under cover. Watching this happen, I cannot help but think of Psalm 57:1:

Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, 
For my soul takes refuge in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge
Until destruction passes by.

As long as the sun rises every morning, we, indeed still have hope that, "this too shall pass", however it sure seems as if it going to be painful for all.

your friend,
p.s. as a reminder, my thoughts at the time of writing.
p.p.s to date there are 23 deaths in Florida #CoronaVirusHysteria #MallardDucklings
CoronaVirusHysteria MallardDucklings

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