2020 vision revision

As of November 6th, there is a new mandate in Massachusetts requiring that masks be worn whenever people are out in public, even outdoors and when social distancing is possible. Previously, the state didn’t require masks for outdoor spaces where it was possible to keep 6 feet or more of distance. Up until the new requirement, whereas I wore a mask for any shopping or outdoor group events, I wasn’t wearing a mask while walking the dog. (I live in a pretty uncrowded area.)

In any case, with the new requirement, I’ve started wearing a mask while walking the dog. I have collected a few different styles of cloth masks, of varying degrees of comfort. The one I wore this morning is one that I like, style-wise, but I couldn’t get the nose-wire adjusted well enough. My glasses kept fogging up in the frosty morning air. After a number of unsuccessful adjustments as I headed down my street, I decided to just take off my glasses, and deal with a bit of blur. I put my glasses in my coat pocket, and we continued on our way. With my perfect 2020 hindsight, I realize now that this was a Bad Idea.

I didn’t really have too much trouble seeing. (It’s not like I need to read any road signs while walking the dog). However, further along in our walk, I saw another person and dog in the distance. I couldn’t make out who it was, so I decided to put my glasses back on. This was when I discovered that my glasses were not in my pocket.

Much to my dog’s disappointment, I turned us around to head back, so that we could retrace our steps, all the while hoping that I hadn’t dropped them in the busy street we’d crossed. I looked carefully on the ground as we walked, hoping to find them somewhere, uncrushed.

There were two major challenges to this endeavor. 1) Much of the ground looked like this:

And 2) I was not wearing my glasses, so I couldn’t see the ground very clearly.

I rushed us back home to get an old pair of glasses so that I could better stand a chance of seeing my glasses. And then we walked again, retracing our steps once more. And then all the way home again. And I saw a lot, I mean A LOT, of leaves.

What I did not see was my glasses.

On the bright side, my glasses were over a year old, and it was time to replace them. And I have some old glasses that are close enough to my current prescription. However I still didn’t like losing them. And I knew it was going to bug me endlessly. I was almost at the point of hoping to find them crushed somewhere, just to have the resolution of it.

When the time came for the dog’s afternoon walk, I bundled up again, put on an older pair of glasses, and a mask that doesn’t tend to causes fogginess. And we went back once again, retracing the path of the morning walk again. And on our way back home, I carefully stepped along the side of the road, pushing through the leaves with my feet. (And shuddering at the crunch any time I stepped on an acorn.) But then amazingly, miraculously, I saw an unexpected vision: my glasses peeking out from the leaves. They were remarkably unmarked from their ordeal.

ensnared by the sparkle

I woke up really early this morning, and my plan was to walk the dog early and then do some work before other humans were up. I didn’t manage to drag myself out of bed until about 6:30, and then by the time I’d had my tea and was bundled up to head out into the frosty air to walk the dog, it was already 7:30. Still pretty early. I figured I could be home and settle down to work shortly after 8:00.

The sun was still low in the sky when the dog and I headed out, and everything was covered with either frost, or beaded water drops. There was some serious sparkling going on.

It turns out that I had also just gotten a new phone yesterday, and set it up last night. The camera is pretty amazing.

I kept stopping to take pictures, so that quick walk became not-so-quick. And then when we got home, I went back outside to take more pictures. Because the sparkle kept going. And my new phone kept capturing it.

So, a couple of hours and a few hundred photos later, I hadn’t actually sat down to work. But while I’m sill behind in my work, my mood was much improved by focusing on the beauty. (Literally and figuratively.)

I shared a few photos on my Instagram, but these are some different ones. If you want to see more of this morning’s sparkle, you can visit there. :) Also, I note that this is far from the first time I’ve been ensnared by a sparkly morning.

Finding beauty in damage

While I still appreciate the beauty of a perfectly shaped leaf in the flush of its early autumnal glow, my eye is also drawn to the more mature beauties of late fall. The mottling of age, the delicate lace patterns of holes, the map-like lines traced by the beginnings of decay.

A few fallen leaves

The thing about deciding to post every day is that it means that every day, you are faced with the reality of posting something. Even when you are tired. In keeping with my grand tradition, I am sharing some photos. And seeing as it’s fall, the photos are of leaves.

I do love the fall, and seeing the spectacular show put on by the foliage. Even after they’ve fallen, a lot of leaves still catch my eye.

Shifting perspective: 4 photos

Getting up in the leaves. I love taking photos of light coming through leaves.
We have some Japanese maples in our yard that tend to turn a vibrant bright red in the fall.
This year an early snow may have led to most of the leaves turning brown, with only a few patches of bright red.
It amuses me that these are the same trees as in the bright leafy photos above, just from a different perspective. (The top 2 photos above were taken in the cluster of red in the lower left of this photo.)

Counting some more.

It’s two days after voting wrapped in the U.S. election, and the vote counting is continuing. This is a good thing, as every vote counts. The group organizing the Protect the Results event near me was meeting again this afternoon, so I headed back. But first I decided to add the Count to my sign.

With all the talk of counting, I’ve found myself getting some counting things stuck in my head. Like this song by Feist:

A Sesame Street version of Feist’s 1,2,3,4. All about counting.

And this song by Throwing Muses:

Counting Backwards, by Throwing Muses.

I was considering doing a full-blown ThThTh list (Themed Things Thursdays, that is), given that it’s Thursday, and my mind is making a list of things on a theme. But those things take a lot more time to put together than I have available for putting them together. So instead, I’ll list a few more things on the theme of counting that came to mind:

  1. Counting Crows: a band
  2. Everything Counts: a song by Depeche Mode.
  3. Counting one’s blessings: an expression about taking stock of the good things one has in one’s life
  4. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” A line from a poem by Elizabeth Barret Browning. (Sonnets from the Portuguese 43.)
  5. Counting your chickens before they hatch: an idiom meaning to plan on events coming to pass before being sure that they’ll happen. Very unwise to count chickens based on the number of eggs you have. Especially if you bought your eggs from the grocery store.
  6. Counting sheep: said to help put one to sleep when one is having trouble falling asleep. (This is supposed to be counting images of sheep in your head, versus having a bunch of sheep in your bedroom. Because probably sheep in your bedroom would keep you awake. And likely would also smell.)
  7. I also feel compelled to mention that the Count from Sesame Street has been getting some good meme love these last couple of days.

And now I should get to bed. Because if there’s one thing I can count on, it’s that morning will come, and I’ll need to get moving again.

Counting sheep: Said to help you fall asleep. Probably an occupational hazard for shepherds.

Having any counting things to add? Feel free to list them in the comments. :)

Count every vote.

As many people predicted, the results of the US presidential election are not yet determined. While this isn’t the definitive rejection of the current administration I’d hoped for, I am holding out hope for an electoral college win for Biden. But I won’t count my chickens until all the votes are counted.

Count every vote. (I painted my sign in the couple of minutes between a meeting and the time I was leaving for the event.)

I attended a “Protect the Results” event in a nearby town tonight. Many such events were planned around the country, but most were not activated. But still, every vote needs to be counted.

Count every vote.

Last night and this morning left me feeling tied up in knots with worry and a sense of impending doom. I’ve been trying to focus on the bits of good, like my little red town going for Biden. Plus I’ve been making sure to count my blessings, and feel thankful for the many good people I have in my life, plus my dog, my home, and the many things in my life that bring me joy. Too many to count right now.

Today was a bit of a blur.

I’m pretty well exhausted from the emotional rollercoaster of the last couple of days. In fact, I am in bed already, even though it’s barely after 9:00 p.m. I was almost asleep when I remembered that I hadn’t posted here.

And now I need to close up my laptop and get to sleep. (I won’t need to count sheep. Though I may well dream of counting ballots.)