In 2017, I wrote a post on “Another week in Berkeley.” This seems like a good time to do it again: everyday life, during, but removed from the virus and suffering. We are living a very fortunate life, indeed. Photos may or may not correspond to text. Nearly all were taken during shelter in place days.
Thursday, 4/09 – 21 days since shelter in place began in the Bay area.
Jean in the studio
Awaken about 6:30. Fix coffee, get morning snack together (banana and grapes to have before meds), meds for each of us, water for Jean (500 ml with electrolytes), I drink my 500 ml in kitchen, back to bed, coffee, talk, watch the morning show (the ever-changing sky over Golden Gate to Mount Tam). Breakfast is the usual fruit bowl, today with mango, strawberries, Cara-cara oranges, blueberries, yogurt, and maple syrup. I also had toast and almond butter.
Worked in garden and Jean did business things. I “had lunch with David” – via Facetime. We talked. It’s good to see you! We ate. I took David for a tour of the garden. “You can see these tiny leaves just poking above the soil – these are lettuce, these are chard. Oh and look, here are two tiny cantaloupe leaves coming out of the soil.” Pretty exciting!
We went to the hardware store on San Pablo. I got a cultivation tool, seeds, fertilizer, potting soil, and was looking around and spotted some XL gloves, so bought a box of those too.
Jean worked in the studio. I spent time in the garden.
Fixed enchilada sauce for tomorrow night (roast peppers, garlic, onion, tomatoes).
Sourdough starter has been working for several days and today started sponge (or poolish) of whole wheat flour using a recipe from the Tassajara Bread Book. The Tassajara book was where I learned to bake bread in 1969.
Jean fixed a stellar vegetable and tofu stir-fry. Ginger and tamari made the difference. As always, we stayed at the table for awhile, cleaned up, read, watched a Seinfeld episode.
Awoke about 6:30. Meds and snack ritual, coffee, sunup on the Bay ♥
Chocolate chip cookies, sourdough bread
Breakfast – same as yesterday, with slight variations in the fruit. It’s difficult to keep a good supply of ripe fruit in these virus days. We currently have an abundance of cara-cara oranges and mangoes (WooHoo!), and a few days worth of strawberries, blueberries, pears, and bananas. I’ve been dehydrating fruit for several days (mangoes, pears, apples, strawberries) in case things get difficult. ♥
Started working on the bread – folding flour, salt, and oil into the levain, kneading, cutting into pieces that ultimately became a whole wheat batard, mini-baguette, pecan/currant/cinnamon round loaf, cheese round loaf, spread some of the dough out for cheese and some for the pecans, etc., then into bannetons or couches, proofing, slashing, egg wash, and baking on a stone. Bread! Crusty old whole wheat loaves. Good crust, good crumb, great tastes. Old-time hippie bread.
“Bread makes itself, with your kindness, your help, with imagination running through you, with dough under hand, you are bread-making itself, which is why bread-making is so fulfilling and rewarding.” Edward Espe Brown, Tassajara author
Dinner: cheese enchiladas, guacamole and chips, salad.
6:30, snacks, meds, coffee.
Same breakfast. I had limited goals for today as we’ve actually been busy and moving fast the past few days.
Exercise, brisk walk, come home, write, lunch, nap, take it easy. I’m doing stretching and strengthening exercises to deal with hip and shoulder pain from osteoarthritis. I’ve started doing some stretching exercises before I get out of bed, as the exercises are the best way to prevent pain. Alas, alas! I miss NSAIDS! Acetaminophen, even at max of 4 gm/day just doesn’t manage the pain well. Acetaminophen + exercise does okay job, and that’s the way it’s going to be. Icy-Hot helps as well.
Afternoon on The Bay
It’s a Schubert kind of day.
Jean in her studio.
Jean and I are very much in relation to one another – the Endless Summer continues, albeit quietly. We talk endlessly. I talk with David and with John every day. In touch with David O and Ron every few days, and with Charles B, Peter, Larry, and Jim Z about once/week. I think of Leslie every day. Wonderful to have these connections.
Two years ago in Udaipur we had a dinner on a patio on the lake in the center of town. One of the dishes was roasted new potatoes stuffed with nuts, paneer, spices. I’ve made some variation on this several times. Tonight I stuffed the potatoes with potato, mixed feta and goat cheese, roasted walnuts, lemon zest, and lemon thyme.
Kitchen and dining room at Orr Hot Springs – from the porch of our cabin.
Watched Dr. No. Pretty goofy and definitely not sexy, but hey…
Awoke about 6:20. Meds and snack ritual, coffee, no sunup on the Bay today: solid grey ♥
Van in the morning (“every line in that song is like a chapter”), now Chopin.
Buckwheat crepes with fruit (strawberries, mango, blueberries)
Stretching exercise, walk for 30 minutes.
Planning big trip to Berkeley Bowl tomorrow.
I talked with Jeff. His Mom has far advanced cancer. Jeff is taking care of her. Lucky Mrs. Wiseman!
Udaipur palace across lake from the hotel restaurant patio (our room had the same view)
Dinner roasted small chickens on bed of lemon and onions, roasted asparagus, carrot, potatoes from last night.
Watched the last 30 minutes of Dr. No.
Got ready for grocery shopping tomorrow. Fix part of breakfast (slice mango, prep orange, get strawberries ready).
Awake at 0530. Stretching exercises in bed. Fly through getting breakfast ready. Coffee with Jean. Eat. To Berkeley Bowl – gloves and mask. I was #3 in line. Waited for an hour. Huge shopping trip. Spent $280. Shopping is a big production, even at senior hours.
Unpacked groceries, giving quick wipe to boxed or canned goods
Aes Luz and other musicians in dining room at Orr
, washed produce, put stuff up. Tons of produce – some, like apples, mushrooms, kalamatas destined for dehydration.
Video conference with PT at Kaiser re hip and shoulder pain. I’ve been doing specific exercises for these for 6-8 weeks. Pain better and I’m stronger, but I want to decrease acetaminophen intake and felt that a refresher encounter was a good idea.
Walked up to Raxakoul Coffee and Cheese to buy 5# whole wheat flour, 5# all-purpose flour, 5# brown rice, and some cheese.
Jean is making borscht with beets from Monika. In a little while she’s getting on a Zoom birthday call with Marika, Amy, Janet, and Lori. Then to studio. I’m writing this…
One of the pools at Orr
Grateful that right before all this began, we spent three days at Orr Hot Springs, a beautiful two days at River Ranch in Carmel Valley, and a beautiful day in Bolinas. We had dinner with David and Charles and Hobe and Jennifer right before the shut-down.
Up at 0630. Snack, meds and water. It takes about 25 minutes to get everything done and back to bed. Early morning sky begins with the faintest blue/grey of the Bay into blue mist around the mountains, edging into transcendental pink and finally grey/blue skies. I gave Jean a 15 minute shoulder, neck, and head massage. ♥
The usual breakfast – bowl with mango, orange, strawberries, blueberries, pear with yogurt and maple syrup with toast and almond butter – the bread was whole wheat with pecans, cinnamon, and currants. I may be going too far with this California life. What a way to go.
I spent the whole morning deleting emails and responding to some. I’ve been dodging this task for weeks. But I got it done. Meanwhile, my partner had it even worse, dealing with credit card stuff.
Chicken sandwich for lunch; Jean had egg salad.
To garden. Planted blueberry bush that Nancy and Peter gave us. Straw around strawberries. Tied up sweet peas. Strangely, climbing sweet peas aren’t very quick climbers and have to be coaxed and tied up to strings. Jean was clearing underbrush, getting ready to plant some succulents.
We rearranged the outside studio downstairs. That area has long reminded me of some place in Cambodia or Thailand – two large work tables, poles for hanging fabric, chairs, and then the garden, vegetables, flowers, bamboo, Buddha image, cascades of fragrant white flowers. Really.
Generally speaking, I have the more energy in the mornings and Jean has more energy in the afternoons. I’m tired by about three. Jean kept on trucking, finishing 5:00-5:30. I have an afternoon and evening bowl.
CK in back garden
I’m listening to Murder Most Foul. Bob Dylan is back!
I heard from Hermanson today. We were in the Corps together. After Boot Camp and Infantry Training Regiment (ITR) he went to recon and I went to infantry – exactly where I wanted to be. He has had a very difficult last two months with pancreatic cancer, surgery, and pneumonia. Hermanson is a very, very tough man. There is a dangerous edge to him.
The ground olives we’ve been dehydrating for two days should be ready tonight. Though I rinsed them thoroughly, there is still much oil, hence slower
January – UC Berkeley campus, chorus at Sather Gate. No more of that!
Up at 0630. Fixed coffee, meds, snack. Pink and blue and gray skies, few clouds. Serious lounging. Jean gave me a 15 minute massage this morning.
Jean had oatmeal with fruit and I had fruit and yogurt and toast with almond butter for breakfast.
Started 1.5# mushrooms dehydrating.
Exercise. I’ve discovered that some stretching exercises are the only things that help with the hip and shoulder pain. I exercise before I get out of bed, after breakfast, and before dinner and a few abbreviated exercises in between.
Chancellor’s Garden before the shutdown
Our neighbor Monika again offered to shop for groceries for us. Thank you, Monika!
Made beef stew with caramelized onions and pinot.
Worked a little in the garden. Pruning by negotiation, LOL.
Mushrooms finished dehydrating in about 6 hours.
Lunch with David via Facetime.
Jean worked in garden, then to studio. She talks on the phone with friends throughout the day, so that’s a real nice thing.
I went for a 30 minute walk, showered, computer.
Stew for dinner. Read, watched a little of The Crown.
Thursday 4/16 – today begins week 5
0630, awake, snack, meds, coffee, lounging, massage. ♥
Same breakfast – so good!
A few days ago Monika told me East Bay Nursery is open. I went today and got Sungold and Early Girl tomatoes, jalapeno and serrano peppers, eggplant and some potting soil. We’re set. In the front garden we already had strawberries, blueberries, chives, lemon grass, lemon tree, lime tree, sage, thyme, oregano, and many flowers. Seeds planted include basil, cilantro, parsley, Thai basil, peas. In back garden there are strawberries, lettuce, chard, Sungold tomatoes, mint, and many flowers. There is also a kaffir lime tree and a miniature lemon tree.
How am I doing? Pretty good. I think I’m emotionally a little blunted, a little prone to irritation, but overall, okay. We’re happy together, getting along, loving. We’re surprisingly busy; we haven’t even gotten to deep cleaning the house.
Jean is in the studio more. She’s gotten a wonderful response to her covid mask. The deYoung Museum Textile Arts Council put the pattern and instructions up on their site, and a very nice store, Britex, has the pattern and cut materials for six masks for $10 (a community service). Nice affirmation.
Nap, nice afternoon, me in the garden or living room and Jean in the studio.
Dinner was blackened catfish tacos with all kinds of sides, garden salad, guacamole.
We are living a very fortunate life, indeed.
Well, I see trees of green and red roses too
I’ll watch them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
Well, I see skies of blue and I see clouds of white
And the brightness of day
I like the dark
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
The colors of the rainbow so pretty…
And here we are, at the end of another week in Berkeley, and a month into this covid 19 scene.