Indio, California: As I was finishing my column last evening, the wind picked up. That is a polite way to say the wind began to howl. Howl. We brought in every awning on the casita and motorhome. Our bus rocked so much in the wind, and the noise was most not-sleep-inducing. Is this a good time to mention all the hundreds of aftershocks since the 4.9 earthquake Friday night? Most have been in the 2.4-ish range, so not detectable to us (only 18 miles away), but when they reach the high 3’s and low 4’s, we can definitely feel the “earth move under my feet” and look at each other for a few seconds to see if the shaking has registered, or if one of us has bumped a table, or we just need to refill our wine glasses.
After listening to THE BIG ONE last year, my biggest fear (no, not that I would have an awning screen implant itself into my cheek during a pandemic) is that California or Oregon would have THE BIG ONE during this virus disaster. THE BIG ONE is gonna happen. Please, not now. I do encourage you all to listen to this podcast. Even if you do not live in earthquake-prone areas, the information can help you prepare of any natural disaster, so you can ready your household for a quick escape... or a long quarantine. We all need to be prepared.
Speaking of planning... we were out of fresh fruits and veg (save one tomato). Passover begins Wednesday and we will be
celebrating observing dining alone. So odd to not spend the time with Lisa, Lenny, and the grandkids.
I went to the Ralph’s around the corner dressed for battle. Disposable gloves. Glasses. A mask I fashioned myownself from a red hanky, a coffee filter, two rubber bands and a stapler. You think that Tesla guy is an engineer? He’s an amateur... but I bet he doesn’t have to do his own grocery shopping. I wore pants with pockets, and only brought a credit card, my phone, and a shopping list. (I keep hand sanitizer in the car.) I haven’t been stopped by the police since 1981, so didn’t even bring my new driving license. Risky and Law Breaking! With my MacGyver mask, I looked like a bank robber anyway... but having her face covered sure saves a Goddess from lipstick (messy) or earrings (could get tangled in the
rubber bands ear-straps... not to mention it hides any bruising I may have on my cheek from my run-in with the flapping screen the other day! Win Win.
Since I am familiar with Ralph’s layout, gathering the goods was quick. My favorite clerk, Willy, saw me and ushered me to the front of his check-out line. The store was very well stocked, except for anything containing bleach, soap, toilet paper... and matzo! Ralph’s had cocktail-sized matzo crackers and matzo meal for Passover. What is Passover without matzo? We will find out, because I am not leaving The Bubble until the holiday is spent. No kids to hide it for anyway. (Insert crying face here.)
Every item was washed-down and sanitized upon returning back to our campsite. That procedure seemed to take longer than the shopping.
We had sandwiches for lunch, using the sourdough loaf baked yesterday. Not bad!
Here is an update on my Victory Garden:
More progress! We will have a Caesar Salad by May?
This afternoon I made a lasagna. Not sure that a lasagna is much different than pizza - ingredient-wise - but the pizza was not so great last night and I was craving lasagna. Spicy Italian turkey sausage and a jar of Rao’s Marinara sauce = dinner! Enough sauce left over (in the freezer) for an easy dinner down the road (maybe literally down the road?).
Appetizers this evening were bread & butter pickles, Kalamata olives, Tillamook cheddar on crackers (actually basically the same thing as lasagna, right?), cherry tomatoes, and rosemary almonds. Plus, a perfect martini in a perfectly frozen glass. Please ignore the red paper napkin. I am in a cocktail napkin situation. Over the past few months, as I have been laundering/ironing our linen cocktail napkins (purchased in Taiwan circa 1985), the napkins have been shredding in the laundry. Pieces of JUNK! They have only lasted 35-36 years of daily use! I was down to three and finally discarded them, and will be using paper cocktail napkins until the crisis is over. I bought the red paper napkins for when the kids last visited in February for Valentine’s Day. Time to use them up!
While I’m on the appetizer subject, a Reader recently asked about the cute little appetizer plates I use so often. They are from World Market and are on sale now for the ridiculously-low price of $13.44 for a set of six. (I get no commission from this sale.)
Since our fridge is now stocked with fresh vegetables, I made a salad this evening with arugula, radicchio, walnuts, and a gorgeous ripe tomato. I used a fig balsamic vinegar and olive oil for the dressing.
The salad paired well with the easy lasagna:
ESPNU was showing all sorts of Duck sports today. My Driver taped the January 2020 Rose Bowl, and we watched it together after dinner. No matter that Dave (and Lenny and Lisa and Leo, and so many of our friends) attended the game. It is always a good idea to WATCH the game on TV. A few plays, we could actually remember what had occurred (I watched the game on TV with Lucy, and obviously paid rapt attention), so that was fun... and made us feel good about our memory. We remember the Ducks winning, and they won again tonight!
Odd thing? It is mid-April. We watched the game while the wind blew outside and the temperatures “plunged” into the 60s. We wanted our fireplace this evening. The grocer is basically around the corner from our campsite, yet I had a WINTER STORM WARNING appear on the car GPS screen on the way to Ralph’s... and a FLASH FLOOD WARNING pop-up on the way home. As I write this tonight at 10:30p pacific, we have no rain, but the skies are dark, it is windy, and I am thinking it is going to rain soon.
Be safe out there, people. Be warm and dry. Go Ducks.
Until my next update, I remain, your stormy correspondent.