Tele-Med Encounter

I was so bored today I mowed the lawn.   And then cut palm fronds.   And then chemically treated -Roundup- the driveway for weeds. 

But today we had some excitement/entertainment.   My neighbor Barbara had a large oak tree die up near the county road.   She called the power company to see if they’d take it down and they declined – not their problem.   She then asked the County and they agree to check it out.   They were there the next day with 5 trucks – including a cherry picker, a pickup clam device and 3 dump trucks to carry away the debris.   It took them better part of an hour to get it down and carried away and for us it was like being at a sporting event.  

Big test coming up.   I had a regular doctor’s appointment coming up on the 28th but hadn’t heard anything confirming the appointment  (they usually do).   I thought maybe the office was closed or something and called to confirm that it was still on.   The office confirmed that the appointment was still on but not at the office – rather a tele kind of event.  Aka – a Facetime meeting.   I went into a swift mental dive with the prospect of a scheduled event with the iPad and some non-family type on the other end.   The nurse sensed my panic and said she’d walk me thru it.  And she did.   They sent me an email which I had to read on the iPad, something I don’t regularly do.   The email had a link to select and (I guess) that connects me to the doc on the other end.   

It worked.   No technical problems at all.   I’m getting better with the iPad.  My problem is with the sensitivity of the touch screen and my random twitches – each of which causes the iPad to do something different.   I have a Sudoko program which requires a fair amount of screen touching and that’s helping me refine my touch.  Ditto trying to stop and start downloaded TV shows; ditto trying to use google maps to navigate on a trip.  I love what it can do but frustrated with my clumsy fingers.   Hopefully it will get better or I’ll have to run my fingers through a pencil sharpener.

Redefining “Essential”

The project du jour is freezing carrots.   Carrots are not normally a strong crop for me but this year, for whatever reason, all the seeds I planted and the plants I thinned and replanted survived.   So we ended up with hundreds of carrots.   We use the most by shredding and making carrot salad but almost any other way you can deal with them is on our radar.   One of our favorites is to add shredded carrots to pasta sauce.  Sounds weird but very tasty.   And this is the kind of project that works well in isolation – nothing better to do.

The project after the carrots is making our own hand sanitizer liquid.   There was an article in the paper describing a method using aloe verde gel, isopropyl alcohol, and a few drops of essential oil or lemon juice.  We have aloe plants growing all over the place with a couple really large ones in the garden.   The ratio of aloe gel to alcohol is 1:4 with about 6 drops of lemon juice just in case you want to try it.   

I’m gaining some level of confidence with the iPad and can now play sudoku or watch TV shows and movies that Tom has loaded.   Before long I’ll be downloading new stuff myself.  Right now I’m gaining confidence in my ability to use Google Maps to navigate.   What I didn’t ever understand was that the “contact” application on my Mac was used in other applications such as google maps so I was quite sloppy in filling in the contact info.  Because of that, I was unable to find addresses that were in the contact app – just incorrectly installed.    I spent an hour or so yesterday going thru the Contacts to clean them up and get rid of contacts that no longer had any relevance.   I’m going to try it out today letting the machine navigate us to Publix in Daytona.  Of course we have a closer Publix but we’re in no rush and this lets me get some time messing with the maps app.   And more time out and about.   So this trip could be considered a
“double” essential – one to get food and one to get some experience with the iPad.   And Nancy’s friend Esther bought her some quilting material the other day so we have to go by her house and pick it up.   This will really give the navigator an essential test.

Blueberries are “essential”

I didn’t check the list of “essentials”(as in essential to get out of the house and drive somewhere) but I’m pretty sure blueberries would be on the list.  I figured if some over zealous cop pulled me over to find out why we were driving, anybody would classify a blueberry run as essential.  I ran out in Feb so we’ve been without ever since.   The blueberry farmer called today and said my order for 20 pounds was ready to go.  The farm is in Crescent City, about 20 miles north of us and we were ready for a “road trip”.   A friend of Nancy’s has a personal lending library in the town of Welaka – near Crescent City – and I had a large collection of books that I had no real need for so we took them up to her.  Also one of Nancy’s bridge buddies who we usually provide with greens lives within a few miles so I picked a load of kale, chard, and collards for her.   All in all it was a few hour trip just when we were going totally stir crazy.   

We’re not supposed to drive unless it’s for something “essential”.  It’s not obvious what’s essential – as an example the beaches are all closed except for “essentials”.   Walking on the beach, swimming in the surf, or surf fishing are classified as essential.   You just can’t put down a blanket or towel and lay on the beach.  Luckily for Nancy, Hobby Lobby and Michaels got under the wire because they sell material to make face masks.  

We actually ended up with 23 pounds of blueberries – he had over picked and I decided to just get the overage.   Last year we bought 20 pounds and I ran out a month or so early so an extra 3 pounds should cover the shortage next year.  The issue to be solved was how to get them into the already stuffed freezer.   We package them in one pint zip lock bags and we deplete them at a rate of about 2 pints per month – 90% in my morning cereal and a few in the smoothies.  Between freezing tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, and greens the freezers are fairly full.  We have 2 six cubic foot freezers plus the one in the fridge and at this point I’m not sure we could get another blueberry in but we did.   Here’s an interesting piece of trivia – the blueberries took up 2 cubic feet in one of the freezers.