Weekly Diary

Saturday – Second attempt at Irish Soda bread was more successful. I used the recipe from the Gourmet cookbook instead of a random 5 star one off of the internet like last time. This recipe did not call for any butter to be added to the dough. The bread also tasted good, like the first loaf, and was not as crumbly as attempt #1.

Sunday – Since we couldn’t go up to Sonoma for our usual water yoga class, which always ends with Namaste, and because it was Easter, we watched a service on my iPad. We usually alternate between Catholic and Episcopalian services, in person, not on the iPad, but we like the minister, Penny Nixon, who serves at a UCC church south of here. Our friend Linda attends and we’ve gone with her once or twice. I think both times we spent Saturday night at her house and it was just down the road.The service was streamed from the front pew in the nave, which we have seen before. There seemed to be three people in the building: Penny, the pianist/singer, and a reader. Neither of us had heard the songs before so we didn’t join in singing. Mostly we wanted to hear Penny’s sermon which was as good and heartfelt as expected. Penny was a Pastor at the MCC church in The Castro during the height of the AIDS pandemic which she weaves into her sermons on occasion.

In seminary, one of our textbooks was Gospel Parallels where similar Gospel passages were shown in columns for comparison. It is interesting to compare the versions of Mary at the tomb in Matthew, Mark, and John. I guess you don’t need to reference the book any more, just google it.

MA had requested I make a cake for Easter. She has never requested I make a cake before. Instead of saying “Me? Make a cake?” I found a recipe for lemon coconut cupcakes and made those. The recipe called for sour cream, which we didn’t have, so I looked up a substitute which was a cup of yogurt with a tablespoon of lemon juice and tossed that in the KitchenAid . It was the first time I’ve used the monster. We had the results for dessert. They were good. I put the extras in the freezer and we’ve been eating them all week. Oh yeah, I used Stevia, not sugar, and substituted lemon olive oil for some of the butter.

In the afternoon, we had our weekly Zoom conferences, one with family and one with friends, several on each call live in New York or within a commute. Two are nurses, one at a busy, busy, understaffed hospital with not enough PPE. We’ve all heard about those so I’ll skip more details for now.

Weekdays – Don’t vary much from one to the other. The cat starts crying outside the bedroom door sometime between 4:45 and 6:30 (on the weekends too – bad kitty!) and I get up and let her out. I make a pot of coffee, do stretches/yoga for 20 minutes, then have a piece of toast and some coffee. I say a prayer that those who are suffering find comfort and then I state out loud “my immune system is really strong” which I may repeat a few times during the day. It can’t hurt to have that sentence in my psyche.

It’s national poetry month, so at a minimum, I read a poem a day. I have a hardback with selections from Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Keats. I haven’t yet made it through the Lord Byron section. If someone told me they were reading Byron I would ask why. Well, my name is Ada and I’ll bet everyone named Ada has been asked if she’s heard of Ada, Countess of Lovelace, first computer programmer, even though her first name was Augusta, she went by the former. The Countess’s father was Lord Byron, who, by many accounts was quite a scoundrel, left Ada’s mother, ignored Ada, but he was an accomplished poet. So, I feel it is my duty, given my name, to be familiar with Lord Byron’s poetry. OK – call me foolish. I will write more about that later.

Next, I turn on my iPad and go to poetryfoundation.org to read a more modern work or grab Maya Angelou from my bookshelf or Robin Morgan, or Lawrence Ferlinghetti or maybe Jane Hirshfield, a recent acquisition. Then I check the news headlines on SFGate, NYTimes, IrishTimes, and Times (of London) for the international perspective. I try to be at my desk before MA gets up as she likes to watch the TV news and I don’t want to hear it. She usually cooks some breakfast, like fried eggs and turkey bacon, and I go out and sit with her while we eat. If they are showing people on TV getting shots or drawing blood, I convince her to change the station to DIY or HGTV until I finish.

I get dressed, usually before 9am. I don’t like to wear pajamas all day unless I am sick and getting in and out of bed. I don’t own any bunny slippers but I may wear slippers or flip flops all day.

I’m at my computer most of the day. Reading, writing, doing analyses, attending a Zoom meeting, sending/responding to emails, or on a teleconference until 5pm. I try to go out for a walk around noon for 30 minutes to an hour. I’ve just started hula hooping once or twice a day, during short breaks out on the deck. If creative thoughts come to me, I write them down in a special notebook dedicated to my scraps of essays and poems. So far, no short story or novel has come to mind. I might call a friend near or far to check in.

Once work is over, if I didn’t get a walk in at noon, I take one then. Mary Anne makes dinner, grilling outside if possible, and I assist unless it’s a night for getting creative with leftovers which is solely my job. Dishes get washed, TV gets watched, then climb into bed, and, for now, I pick up where I left off the night before, reading out loud from The Wind and The Willows. Night night.

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