Astronaut Chris Hadfield offers self-isolation advice on his WordPress site.An Astronaut’s Guide to Self-Isolation
Introverts tend to get a bad rap. No, we are not ALL serial killers. Okay…known serial killers. They have to catch you first . Wait, where was I? Oh,…The Truth About Introverts & Why the Quarantine is Hard on Us, Too
Would the Lion King Shelter at Home?
Nutter Butter, our two-year-old cat recently started balking at the enforcement of the governor’s stay at home orders. He has a cat cage that is the envy of all the cats in the neighborhood. But he has tired of sheltering at home in his well-equipped, if multi-purpose, cat cage.
Typically the cats come and go into their cage all day long. At night they are locked in.
Nutter Butter says, “I’m done with that.”
As the weather gets warmer and the rains have stopped, Nutter Butter has been venturing out for hours. He’s the pied piper of the feral cat community in our neighborhood. Herds of cats follow him like he is their cat god.
They head through the back fence toward Cottonwood Creek, which is flowing about an inch deep and four feet wide behind our back yard.
Usually, Nutter Butter comes home for a snack and nap around eleven in the morning with mud on his paws and burs in his fur. His cat friends take turns sneaking into the cage behind the other cats’ backs for a bite to eat as well.
Nutter Butter hunts.
Yesterday he brought home a field mouse, tossed it in the air on our front lawn so that we could watch him play with it during our dinner. The other cats crouched in a circle around him anxious to pounce when their moment came.
They discovered that mice were not as tasty as the gopher served the night before.
Normally, Nutter B. comes home about 5:00 looking for dinner. It’s still light, so we don’t feed him now until 7:00 or 7:30. Our mistake!
Tonight he did not come back at dusk for food. We clanged bowls and called his name. Usually, he sits across the field and perks up his head when he hears his name. Eventually, he meets us half-way across the field and we pick him up and carry him back to his cage to speed up the process.
Tonight when the yellow plastic bowls clapped together in a third attempt to entice Nutter Butter to come home, we thought he was gone for good.
At about 8:00 we found two neighbor or feral cats lounging under the oak trees in the vacant lot, their reflective colloids glowing in the flashlight.
But Nutter Butter was not in the field with them.
He wasn’t on the garden walk where he likes to preen.
No perking. No Nutter B. anywhere.
Finally about an hour after dark, Nutter Butter ambled across the street into our yard. But he wasn’t interested in us. He headed for the empty lot next door where the families of gophers live. He stood like the Lion King awaiting his followers.
No one came out to follow him. His cat buddies had already bedded down for the night in the field. They sensed that he was in trouble.
They watched from a distance as I picked him up and carried him into the house, picking burs out of his tummy fur as I went.
“Sheltering at home is safer for you Nutters. Mama knows best.”
Instead of hanging limply like he usually does when we carry him, he twisted and tried to go back to his evening adventure.
“No, you are going to stay home.”
Nutter B. did not agree with my edict and narrowed his green eyes at me.
I generously took him inside the house to feed him so that his roomies would not eat his food. I overestimated the appeal of food. He refused to eat more than a couple of cursory licks of canned cat food sauce and then went to sulk by the back door.
“I’m not hungry. I want to go back outside,” Nutter Butter said.
I tired of his whining. What did he know about how dangerous life could be without sheltering at home? He had never suffered near-death catfights on the roof above our bedroom or had to run away from coyotes or large dogs out roaming at night. He’d never been bitten by a rattlesnake.
“You are going to bed and that’s that.”
Who knows where he will go tomorrow. Maybe to the beach. He’s a rebel.
The new Facebook changes are not a hoax. I switched over the first day it showed up on my screen inviting me to try it. It is much more group friendly.
First of all your groups are listed easily by clicking a button on the top. You may learn that you manage more than you thought. It surprised me to learn that one of the groups I created through a page I manage didn’t show up under my managed groups.
The first change I noticed was a note on one of the groups I follow with a post about being able to search a post. I’ve spent way too much time looking for a post I know is in the group and there is a way to search that group.
The menu on the side makes it easier to make changes on your group. You don’t have to open the settings button for everything.
Less Reliance on News Feed
The last change that Facebook unearthed complaints about missing people in their News Feed. Since many people use Facebook to find groups and events., this new look should make it easier to use those features and be less reliant on News Feed for their group news.
So far I like the look. What do you think?
Self-isolating takes its toll after a while. The COVID-19 virus has forced us to keep to ourselves and stay inside for the most part. The news says the restrictions are working and may stay in place until June. Keeping up your mental acuity and health is as important as preventing the virus.
What do you do?
Jigsaw Puzzle History
In the 1760s European mapmakers pasted maps onto wood and cut them into small pieces. John Spilsbury, an engraver and mapmaker, is credited with inventing the first jigsaw puzzle in 1767. Puzzling has grown into a major pastime since that time with the craze starting in 1900 and skyrocketing through the early 1930s. In early days the pieces did not interlock and were cut along color lines eliminating clues for assembly. Puzzles were quite expensive and were primarily enjoyed by the rich.
Parker Brothers manufactured the first figure and interlocking puzzle pieces making the jigsaw puzzle affordable for everyone. Die-cut cardboard puzzles of masterpiece paintings that could be mass-produced added to the growth of the hobby. By the 1960s, puzzles decreased in popularity.
In the last decade improvements in die-cutting, laser cutting, and digital puzzles have put the pastime back on the table. Online companies like Vistaprint as well as retailers like Costco and Walmart offer you the chance to turn your favorite photos into puzzles.
Do you have a cause or a favorite place? Make puzzles out of your photos to enjoy them over and over. Here is one of mine. From Woodlake Rose Garden.
Digital puzzles make it possible to assemble your photo masterpieces into as many pieces and shapes as you can imagine. You are limited only by your screen size. I downloaded an app for my computer from Free Jigsaw Puzzles.
If you get tired of making your own photos there are a several sites that have almost unlimited free puzzles. These are my top two picks.