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Isolation

This is a mural I saw here in Portland the other day, isolation - how fitting.
The mural has been there since way before this situation.



What's new since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out are these messages on the freeways.







And I found this is the mail today, President Trump's Coronavirus Guidelines For America. Trust me, some people need to be reminded of the guidelines on a daily basis. Some need to carry the guidelines in their purse or glue it to their cell phone.



This might be interesting for the people that don't live in the US that read my blog, I know countries differ on how the coronavirus is handled. In Sweden for example there are not as many restrictions as here in Oregon as of now at least. Norway and Finland, from what I have read are more similar to here. So here in Oregon....no schools are open, libraries at least in Portland are closed, no bars and restaurants are open, some restaurants have even closed their take out because guess what....they can not guarantee that their staff is not sick (makes sense), no spas or nail places are open (do your own hair and nails), malls are closed which means that most stores are closed, concerts and sporting events are postponed. So basically everything that is considered NON essential is closed.
Traveling to for example the coast from Portland is strongly discouraged. No group gatherings allowed. People are advised to keep a distance (unless sharing household).
So what's open? Grocery stores are open. Some of them you can walk right into and others like Costco, Market of Choice and Trader Joe's you have to stand in line to get into (depending on the hour and the amount of people in the store) and when you stand in line you have to stay 6 feet apart from each other (there are markers on the ground) and an employee of the store stands at the front door explaining to people about how to practice social distancing. Pharmacies and pet stores are open, gas stations and post offices as well. So basically the essential places.
There is plenty of food in the grocery stores, there are some items missing in all (or most) of stores. I've noticed the lack of toilet paper (of course and I did NOT stock up in case you wonder), Lysol and Clorox wipes, rice and pasta, loose grain in those scoop it yourself bins, peanut butter and chicken.
Another item that I noticed was completely gone in a Fred Meyer and almost gone in a Trader Joe's last week was tonic water, because it contains quinine. So I grabbed one of the last six packs at Trader Joe's because I actually like sipping on tonic water once on a while. As long as there is food and I can eat I will be OK for now I feel.
Downtown Portland has a lot of homeless people and right now that area is a petri dish. The homeless have taken over downtown. I know that life is much more difficult when you are homeless, basic hygiene and social distancing is probably not easy but when I am downtown and see what's going on there I am like.....WTF. How did this happen?
Here is what I DON'T think is cool. Mass stocking up on toilet paper, hand sanitizers and wipes to sell later for profit. You might think you are some kind of an entrepreneur doing that but no you're not.
All those 'trying to get attention' lame dummies that lick toilet seats, deodorants (on store shelves), cough on food in stores ON PURPOSE for their dumb social media channels. And the people that subscribe to these shitty social media channels and give them attention. And all the other asses that cough and sneeze on food and people on purpose. Poor examples of the human race. Those idiots deserve to get really sick.
And that was a little recap of what the situation looks like over here as we are approaching the end of March 2020.

Coffee At Home

So since a while now.....like almost two weeks when they first started talking about social distancing and all of that I have been making my coffee at home.
It's not as good as a vanilla latte at one of my favorite coffee shops but good enough! And some days I have no coffee at all which works too....I can do that without feeling irritated or like I am lacking something. I do not need caffeine to wake up.
I still go and get a vanilla latte at a cafe once or twice a week, today I got one with Oatly milk and it was delicious. I can watch the barista throughout the whole process. I would not get take out right now though. I have no way of knowing whether the people handling my food are sick or not and how they are acting while cooking, like coughing or sneezing. So no thanks to take out. I will handle my own food as much as possible, at least for now.
So here I have a Gevalia cappuccino. Gevalia is a coffee brand from Sweden.



And a Starbucks vanilla latte.



But certain things I can't live without....otherwise I do get cranky and one of those things is a daily dessert. Strawberry rhubarb pie with vanilla bean ice cream and whipped cream. Yes please.




Forest Park

It IS still legal to be outside so today I spent a few hours in Forest Park. 70 miles of trails smack in the middle of Portland with tall green trees and large ferns that look like they belong in Jurassic Park.
So nice. More people out hiking today then last week, I went to Forest Park then too.
I spent a few hours cleaning this evening and now I will keep on eye on a movie or a documentary and one eye on my laptop reading. Goodnight!



Ivanhoe

It is 1 26 AM and I just finished crying a little while watching the end of Ivanhoe.
I grew up watching this movie, it is a tradition to show it in Sweden on New Year's Day. A tradition since 1988 (!). I have not watched this movie in many years since I haven't been in Sweden for a New Year's day in a long time. Instead my friend Marie that lives there sent it to me and that is why I went to the post office the other day, to pick it up.
I watched it tonight. If you've never watched this movie, do it (if you can get a hold of it), I highly recommend it. Well, I like it a lot at least. The story takes place in England in 1194.
"You're about to see a story of bold knights and beautiful maidens. A story of love and hatred and prejudice. Though our story is old, the love, the hatred and the prejudice are ever now."



"It was told by all that Ivanhoe and fair Rowena lived long and happily together. Yet one can't help but wonder if fond memories of Rebecca did not reoccur to Ivanhoe's mind until the very end of his days."
The Ivanhoe I grew up watching is the third version of the movie filmed in 1982. Previous versions came out in 1913 and 1952. I would like to watch the 1952 version as well, when Elizabeth Taylor played Rebecca. The Ivanhoe films are based on a novel with the same name written by Walter Scott.
And soon it is going to be 2 AM, I can hear a train sound it's horn somewhere out there in the dark. I won't be able to sleep for a while because I will be thinking about the love triangle between Ivanhoe, Rebecca and Lady Rowena. It is a sad story in many ways. But I can watch it over and over again.






Cherry Blossoms

Hi! I am alive! We are a couple of days into the Stay At Home or Shelter In Place executive order here in Oregon. It was recommended prior to last Monday. Now it's a law and you can get in trouble if you violate it, it's a misdemeanor (Class C) and you could get a fine (a fine is never fun, less spending money) or do some time (could be fun maybe?). I am not sure how this will work with Portland's rather large homeless population that has basically taken over downtown.
A lot of places are closed down but I go to the grocery store and outside for long walks every day. I need food. The stores are recommending keeping a six foot distance from others and I also visited the post office and they have marked six feet separations on the ground with tape. As long as the stores have food I will be OK. I am down to four rolls of toilet paper but I have baby wipes, I have not stocked up on toilet paper and I have also not seen any in the stores. I guess I could always rinse off in the shower, cleaner and fresher like that anyways. I have been thinking about a more in depth blog about my COVID-19 thoughts from everything that I have gathered about the virus so far. Maybe tomorrow. I need to think about it some more and read the latest news tomorrow.
SO.....how are YOU? I hope well. :-)
The other day I went to see the beautiful cherry blossoms here in Portland, they are kind of all over. I have a huge one not too far from where I live that I pass everyday, it is so pretty.
These pics are from downtown by the waterfront at the Japanese American Historical Plaza.







And the one by my house. Thank You cherry blossom trees for being so beautiful! ❤️



Oatly

Finally! Today I found a coffee shop that offers Oatly, a vegan oat drink product from (guess where.....?!) Sweden! No more cow milk in my latte at the coffee shops that serve Oatly.
How did it taste? Really good! So if you order coffee somewhere and usually drink it with cow's milk I suggest that you try Oatly.
I have tried almond, soy, oat (other than Oatly) and macadamia milk in my lattes before.....Oatly is definitely the best for me. They have a special barista edition for that foamable foam. I am excited over this!
You can find places that sell or serve Oatly in your area if you search for Oatfinder.




Cooking With Tati

I am a chef in the five star dining category. (Not quite). Let me take you on an extraordinary culinary experience in my kitchen - cooking with Tati!
I LOVE pierogis! My fave filling is kraut, then potato but potato & cheese will work too.
I found these, Kasia's at Costco and I was very happy when I did because I haven't been able to find any quality pierogis around here, until now. I always fry up some chopped red onion to serve with my pierogis.
Of course you can make them from scratch as well, I used to with my Mom but I don't really have patience for that now. Maybe one day.





Quinoa....there are many ways to serve this nutritious grain. I mix my quinoa with vegetables. Like white onion, red pepper and garlic fried up and then simmering with the quinoa in a vegetable broth.





Who doesn't like potatoes? I love to have my potatoes with this brown gravy (or sauce) that you can find at IKEA, best gravy ever!



That banana or two you have laying on the counter top.....you can slice it and fry it up with brown sugar and olive oil. So yummy!



See.....easy and delicious!

Hi Monday

Hi Monday.....it's kind of cold outside.
I am sitting here reading about COVID-19 and wondering what the truth about this whole thing really is? I went to Costco the other day and I have never seen so many people in there before.....stocking up on supplies. I just wanted to look at a few things, glad I did not stand in line.
So if this virus is not that dangerous like they say (the government officials) and basically not worse than the regular flu how come there are travel restrictions? And how come a school a few miles away from where I live is closed down until Thursday for all the surfaces to get disinfected, if the virus, again is kind of like the “regular” flu?
People in the US don't go to the doctor unless it's something serious due to the cost of a doctor's visits. Most people think it is an expense and rightfully so because it is. Perhaps it is time to finally address and change the health care situation in this country because it's obviously severely flawed.
Insurance, co pays and bla bla bla bullshit capitalism. Healthcare for all. If other countries can make it work so can the US. Figure it out. All those elected officials should put their minds together and come up with something that actually works. I can think of several solutions to get things moving in the right direction but I am not getting paid to solve the problems of this country.
Also people should learn how to cough and sneeze in public. I have known this since childhood and I am not interested in random people’s droplets on me.
And it is definitely time for people all over the world to think about and RETHINK their eating habits and how they relate to animals and how animals are handled and treated before human consumption of them.
So gross and wrong to consume endangered species, kill animals for their horns, tusks, scales and fins because you have some wrongful idea that you can benefit from consuming those parts (nobody gives a fuck about your erection problems and eating rhino horn won't address the issue anyways), torturing animals for endless meat consumption.
Newsflash - it is possible to survive without chomping down on chicken, hamburger, sausage and steak every day. Humans = scum of the earth.
One of the best things I have read in a while came from Andrew Muir, CEO of Wilderness Foundation Africa, "If we do not eat wildlife they will not harm us," he said.


Play Some Bingo

This evening I decided to venture out and play some bingo. There was a little troll at the table I was sitting at. Reminded me of the first time I played bingo in Portland (with Mandy) back in October 2015 when I was traveling through from Alaska to Las Vegas....and now I live here.



It's warming up here. I have daffodils in the backyard and buds on a tree that is also in my yard. Cold at night though still. And now you have gotten the local weather and botany report.
It is bedtime for me now. Goodnight.

My Office

I volunteer at a cultural center and this is my office on Mondays. It is quiet and very professional. Not that exciting but fun in it's own way. And I get all the free coffee that I want, two cups is enough for me.
And since I got up at 8 15 in the MORNING to make it in to the office by 9 AM I am feeling tired now and it's not even 11 PM. So I think I will go to bed in a bit.