Silver Linings

Every morning over breakfast, I read the news. I look at CNN, Yahoo and sfgate.com to see the latest. And as we all know, the news is fairly grim. It can be a real challenge not to let the news completely ruin your day. I have found that I purposely read articles about things that are unrelated to Coronavirus – or at the very least would be considered silver linings. So that’s what today’s post is going to be about… things that I am grateful for. And for those of you who were waiting for a real estate tour of Carmel, that will be the next post.

Time

I can’t ever remember having so much free time and it’s been great getting to do so many things that I enjoy. I’m not really cooking or baking down here at my mom’s so I’ve had plenty of time to do more jigsaw puzzles:

Also, the last couple of days have been beautiful so I’ve been taking long walks around town. It’s been wonderful to see so many people out and about – couples walking together, families out for bike rides, people enjoying the beach. And everyone is doing their part to stay one zebra length away from one another.

I downloaded my very first audio book from the library to keep me entertained while walking – Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I actually read this book when it was first published but it’s wonderful listening to Neil read it to me. For those of you not familiar with Neil Gaiman, he is an English fantasy writer and one of my favorite authors. He wrote The Sandman (one of the most amazing graphic novels ever), Coraline, Stardust, Good Omens (brilliantly hilarious adaptation available on Amazon Prime), American Gods, Fortunately The Milk and so many other great stories that I’ve lost track. Since I know you all have lots of time on your hands, check him out – you won’t be disappointed!

Even walking Juno in the morning has proven to be more enjoyable than usual. I don’t mind if he wants to sniff something for a long time since I’m no longer in a hurry. This has lead to me noticing more on our strolls – check out the banana slug I saw the other day:

I had never seen a banana slug in person until now. Maybe I’ll see a mountain lion before I head back to Oakland next week – sightings are rare but there are some in the area. I’ve always wondered that if I’m allergic to cats, would I also be allergic to lions? Mind you, if I did see a mountain lion, I wouldn’t try to pet it. I should also mention that I didn’t pet the banana slug either.

Pollution

I have been heartened by all the articles I’ve read about how clear the skies are in large cities since there are fewer cars on the road creating less exhaust, fewer planes taking off, etc. These pictures of Los Angeles are just incredible:

https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/clean-clear-air-Los-Angeles-photos-coronanvirus-15201254.php

I grew up in LA and can tell you that I was NEVER able to see Catalina Island from Griffith Park. Last week, there was an article about Venice, Italy and how the water has cleared up enough that you can actually see fish in the canals.

And on a related note, it seems that all the wildlife are also taking advantage of people staying at home. People who live in Yosemite report seeing 4X the number of bears right now. I even saw a video of two coyotes howling in the streets of San Francisco.

Who knows whether the global shutdown will have a long term impact on global warming but this can’t be a bad thing. Oh – and you shouldn’t pet coyotes either. They are dangerous.

Vindication

Being right makes me happy. I was reading an article the other day about the shortage of yeast and I did a little fist pump. For those of you who remember my first post, it was all about the shortage of yeast and the lengths I went to to procure some. When I was at Whole Foods in Monterey earlier this week, they were totally out of yeast and had almost no flour. So see – it’s not just me/ not just the Bay Area. The funniest part about this article was the comment that all up until recently, everyone was all about being gluten-free. Now everyone is baking bread. I’ve even seen a few articles about people sharing sourdough starter in San Francisco – or just leaving it on street poles in the Bernal Heights neighborhood. I think this is awesome. And for the record, I was never gluten-free. Gluten is good.

Proving my mom wrong also makes me happy. For example, she was very kind to get me a 1,000 piece Carmel-themed jigsaw puzzle featuring a hand-painted map of the town, as well as local businesses and local dogs (sadly Juno wasn’t included). I told her on Tuesday afternoon that I would have it finished by EOD yesterday. She said no way – we even made a bet that if I was right, she would buy dinner. If she was right, I’d buy dinner. Guess who was right????

Let me tell you, the reuben sandwich that I “won” last night for dinner was friggin delicious. I was equally happy when I was right about who the killer was in The Valhalla Murders. Side note: I liked the series a lot though the plot was somewhat similar to V for Vendetta.

I am not a Polyanna

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not exactly a “glass is half-full” kind of person. I think of myself as a realist with a side of snark. I know how lucky I am that I have my health, a beautiful place to stay, a can of yeast and a large supply of toilet paper at my disposal. Of course I am nervous about money and I’m hopeful that by the time my taxes are due in July, I’ll be back at work. Of course, I know that once I am back at work, I’ll miss having the time to bake bread, look for banana slugs and do jigsaw puzzles.

It’s overcast and drizzly here today so it’s a good day for a run – I’m going to head out shortly. But before I do, I will leave you with a link to Kevin Durant’s house which just hit the market. No, it’s not in Carmel – it’s in the Oakland Hills. And while I have never been a Warriors fan (let’s go Lakers!), I wouldn’t mind sheltering-in-place at Kevin’s house:

https://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Kevin-Durant-Oakland-Hills-mansion-for-sale-15200090.php

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