Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Relief: June 4 - 30, 2020


June 4 Dan was discharged from the hospital with a prescription for Doxycycline. That seems to have cured him, fingers crossed. All bloodwork was negative so it’s very much a mystery why his fever kept coming back. For now, an unsolved mystery, but Dan is feelin' fine.

First meal after hospital food - BLT and Diet Coke

This week felt like a return to normal with eye doc, dentist, car service appts. Knowing what day of the week it was for something other than trash day was wonderful. While we were free, we enjoyed lunches out in Sacramento. Less traffic and fewer people in these places, but it was nice to be out getting something accomplished. Mask wearing appears to be taken much more seriously in Sacramento than El Dorado County.

Mid month we walked the 8.8 miles around Jenkinson Lake which took us 5 hours. Our miles/hour are always slow around that lake, but this time we must have been crawling. We made it but our bodies definitely aren’t used to that amount of exercise. We both need to build up our endurance.



Since the park/lake had recently opened, it was packed with people like it was a holiday weekend. The trail was bustling and camping and day use sites were full. Way before we arrived at the waterfall, we could hear children's shouts and loud voices. I have never before seen so many people here.




We’re hoping to take a road trip in September with the goal of canoeing on the barrier lakes with Dan’s cousin Gary and his wife. Because I’ve never canoed we returned to Jenkinson Lake several days later to rent a canoe and try it out. I have kayaked several times and except for the method of paddling, canoeing didn't seem too different. It was so hot and a great day to be on the lake.


Seeing the shoreline from the waterside was so different from hiking the trail around the lake. We saw so many water birds--the usual like mallards and Canada Geese, but also a female Wood Duck and her babies sunning themselves on a log. Wood Ducks are not normally found here. Sadly, my photo of the family was taken with my cell phone which doesn't hold highlights very well. Next time ...,
Wood Duck Mom and Babies



We celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary at the end of June with a fabulous dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants in Sacramento. It felt safe and comfortable to eat there knowing that whatever precautions needed to happen did happen.

The visiting pregnant doe gave birth to a fawn somewhere beyond our cleared woods. One day when we were walking our cats, Pandora began doing a low-predator crawl down the hill while I held on to her leash. I stopped her when I saw the doe and her almost newborn fawn just inside the wooded area quietly moving away. The fawn was so new that it couldn't straighten its legs. A few days later we were walking our cats in the cleared area but trying not to get too close to where I'd seen the mom and baby. But somehow, we were too close and suddenly the cat-sized fawn began running around in a panic sometimes falling down as its legs gave out. Pandora was straining at the leash while I wondered if she wanted to play with the fawn or chase it down like a cheetah and feast on its little legs. The fawn disappeared into the woods. Since that time, we've had no fawn sightings but we've seen mother deer when she visits our apple trees.








Dan is still clearing/thinning our woods. Pandora and Syd find a lot to interest them in the piles of brush waiting to be chipped. 


Our garden, so far, is a success. The three tomato plants have ripening tomatoes. I've already harvested a handful of Sungold cherry tomatoes, basil, and a little arugula. The larger tomatoes will be ready very soon. I'm still working on sourdough bread with occasional success and have added pan pizza to my repertoire.



With June came the lovely gardenia fragrance scenting warm mornings and evenings. While most of our blooming plants are finished by the end of May, June brought flowers from the chaste tree, butterfly bushes, more rose blooms, and the deep blueness of hydrangea flowers. 


Subsequent to the killing of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, rumors of violence were flying around the internet even landing in small town Placerville. Many merchants boarded up their windows and doors just in case. When we drove through Placerville headed to the hospital on June 2, the shops were still boarded up. By the time Dan was discharged on June 4, the boards had begun to come down. All protests in Placerville were nonviolent.



In prior journals I've mentioned the hanging man dummy as a remnant of the Gold Rush era. In 1848 at the start of the 1849 Gold Rush the town, now known as Placerville, was a mining camp called Dry Diggins. In 1849 after being found guilty by a jury, three white men were hanged together for murder, robbery, etc and the town became known as Hangtown perhaps as a warning to would-be thieves and murderers. By 1854, the city was the 3rd largest city in California and since residents had been lobbying for a name change since at least 1850, it was given the more presentable name of Placerville. Many mining camps that became towns had quirky names. The city of Ione was once called Bed Bug, until the miners realized they'd never get a woman to come to a town called Bed Bug.

The hanging man dummy, which is private property, may have seen its last days. Unfortunately, a noose is part of the city seal and also shows up on several downtown businesses. It is time for those symbols to go. Even the 1854 residents weren't happy about the Hangtown reputation. 

The Placerville Farmers' Market opened on June 6. It was a month late in opening due to the pandemic. Most shoppers and vendors wore face coverings of some kind. So glad it's back.


So, how did El Dorado County's Covid numbers do in June? The number of positive cases doubled from May, and there were increases in all age groups. Mask wearing seems to be a rare event in Placerville amongst both merchants, restaurants, and visitors.

I took the below photo on June 4, the day Dan got out of the hospital, the day we had to pick up his prescription from the pharmacy on Main St. There was not one mask on any of the people shown here and no social distancing. They are all in the fastest growing demographic of rising Covid-19 cases.