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Price Gouging in the Time of Coronavirus

No matter how early we get to the grocery store, or how far in advance I order groceries there are a few items that I can never get.

Toilet paper, Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer.

I don’t know anyone who has been able to find those items either.

So earlier when I heard that people were selling them on eBay I had to look and I was shocked and outraged at the prices people were asking for these household items.

There are shut ins and elderly people who have no toilet paper. Items like hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes are almost obsolete on store shelves.

We all thought it was hoarders but it turns out it is price gougers who are taking advantage of scared people in this time of crisis.

So I am begging everyone to go on eBay and follow these simple directions to shut these scumbags down. Report any price gouging you see, even if it’s shame reporting them.

Things are rough enough these days without dirtbags like these taking advantage of others.

What else are you doing while in quarantine, lets all do our part and shut this down!

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Life in the time of Coronavirus

It was going to be a true March Madness week with a Super Full Moon and Friday the 13th. One of those combinations that make healthcare workers everywhere shudder and put in for time off.

Coronavirus had come to the USA a few people were getting nervous and buying all the toilet paper in site, some saying it was all being blown out of proportion, others were saying it was a big hoax in an election year.

I thought it was funny when I sneezed at the grocery store (Texas allergies) and cleared the aisle.

The NBA dramatically postponed their season before a game tip off when a player tested positive, putting hundreds of people out of work. The NHL followed suit, cancelling their season and all I could think of were all the people who worked in the arenas as well as all the TV production people who were now out of work.

I was happy that Don worked in a non contact sport (NASCAR), they would be racing with no fans, but he would still have a job.

On Thursday I left San Antonio to attend church retreat, it felt good to be leaving amidst all the chaos, we all went to sleep that night never guessing how much life would change in just one day.

It was Friday 13th and the superstitious day was starting to cast a very dark spell on our country. The President declared a national state of emergency, followed by schools and churches closing their doors, nursing homes going into lockdown no longer allowing family members or friends to make visits, people were being told to stay home from work, some not knowing when or if they would be going back.

A domino was in effect and no one could slow it down. The only ones who seemed to be profiting from the mess that Covid-19 was spreading were grocery stores and toilet paper manufacturers.

March Madness was coming at us like a train and then it hit home when my husband Don like everyone else in the sports industry was sent home and out of work.

I remained in the safe cocoon of our retreat from Thursday until Sunday, we kept our 6 foot distance and refrained from hugs or even hand shakes, and we washed our hands as though our lives depended on it. Each evening we would pull out our phones and share the latest insanity with one another that was happening in the world.

On Sunday we gathered for Mass one last time before leaving and our priest told us we had a privilege that no one else in San Antonio had that day, we were celebrating live Mass in person.

The drive home that day was quiet and the lack of traffic on the roads was almost eerie.

Don met me in the church parking lot and just as we got everything unpacked it started to rain. I stood in the parking lot and laughed, this was going to be a storm in every way. We ran to our cars and headed home to start navigating this new course our lives were thrown into.

…..to be continued…..

.

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Life in The Time of Corona

In January my husband Don first started talking a about articles he had read about a new mysterious virus called Corona. He spends a lot of time on planes and in busy airports and was concerned about coming in contact with the virus. I told him to use good hand washing and do his best to avoid anyone who may be ill. Little did we know what was in store for all of us in the not so distant future.

We were in California visiting my son David and his wife Ani when the first dark clouds of the upcoming storm started moving in.

People were being told to wash their hands and they were actually listening, I remember thinking why haven’t we been doing this all along and was glad to see them finally using good hygiene. We were still thinking this was going to be a virus we could avoid by being taking normal universal precautions. Towards the end of our visit I started hearing about shortages of hand sanitizer in stores and how people were buying out toilet paper at stores. We laughed at how people seemed to be getting crazy about silly things and thought it would probably blow over in a few days.

When I returned home to San Antonio on March 6, the only thing that was different was that there was no hand sanitizer in the stores and the toilet paper aisle was looking a little depleted. I am glad now that I purchased a 24 pack just in case. The storm clouds were getting darker, but I still thought it would be just that a storm that would pass through quickly, I don’t know if anyone was ready for what was coming our way.

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Things to consider if using a public restroom in Israel…

If your visiting Israel and you plan to use public restrooms consider bringing

1. Tissue (few public restrooms have toilet paper)

2. Hand Sanitizer (there rarely is soap)

3. Shekels (Israeli money) there is a fee to enter many of the public restrooms.

4. Jeans to wipe your hands on since hand towels and dryers are rare.

5. Lysol wipes (if you have a fear of germs) to clean the toilet seats.

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Ceseara –

We woke up on our second day in Israel to cold rainy weather. After breakfast we bundled up and drove to the ancient city and ruins of Ceseara, this was the place I found the least interesting on my first trip here.

It was very different from my trip in 2018 where the skies were blue and the sea was calm.

Seeing the waves crash into the rocks left me wondering what it must have been like when they started to build the city, did they keep working even when they were freezing and being beaten by the water? How did they build so deep into the sea in a time when there were no tools or divers or machinery to help them.

By the time we got to Stella Martis the weather had calmed, we were able to venture out with only our jackets into the chapel where Father Pat.

In the large church was the cave where Elijah was said to have lived.

Nearby are The Bahá’í Gardens a breathtaking are for spiritual reflection, it was winter when we visited and the gardens were still beautiful and colorful.

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TABGHA – ISRAEL 2019

In Tabgha we saw where Jesus multiplied bread and fish and fed thousands.

Years ago the church was burned but the Olive Tree in the center survived. We were told that Olive Trees will live for thousands of years unless you pull them from their roots and burn them they will always come back.

We then went to The Primacy of St. Peter where we were able to see and touch The Rock that Jesus stood on and called to The Apostles to come and have breakfast with him.

Don was very moved to be able to touch The Rock that Jesus stood on.

Located on the shores of The Sea of Galilee the church and ground are beautiful.

Across the road was The Rock that Jesus stood on when he preached The Beatitudes.

We wondered how Jesus was able to address so many without modern day microphones or speakers, and found it was a natural amphitheater.

From across the street I could hear and understand Emilee, when she spoke to us. The rock is on top of the cave, we decided the cave must have been Jesus’s Green Room where he prepared to speak.

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Jordan River – Israel 2019

The Jordon River

My image of The Jordan River is this big beautiful body of water that the sun somehow always shines on. I envision John The Baptist standing in the middle waiting to Baptize anyone who enters.

In reality the area that we are allowed to visit is no more then a small stream of muddy water.

Across the area is Jordan, the area is protected by armed guards to keep anyone from crossing into their country without permission.

Not what I expected but the idea of standing in the same river that Jesus was Baptized is pretty amazing.

It was a short visit where we renewed our Baptismal Vows before getting back on the bus to Jerusalem.

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Return To Israel My first trip to Israel had been an amazing experience, the only thing missing from it was the opportunity to share it with Don. So nearly 2 years later we have returned to one of the most beautiful places I had ever been. Exhausted after a long day of travel, I was energized when our friends arrived. We had dinner, then walked along the shores of the Mediterranean, before going to sleep to dream about the adventures and history that we would be sharing over the next few days.

My first trip to Israel had been an amazing experience, the only thing missing from it was the opportunity to share it with Don.

So nearly 2 years later we have returned to one of the most beautiful places I had ever been.

Exhausted after a long day of travel, I was energized when our friends arrived.

We had dinner, then walked along the shores of the Mediterranean, before going to sleep to dream about the adventures and history that we would be sharing over the next few days.

My first trip to Israel had been an amazing experience, the only thing missing from it was the opportunity to share it with Don.

So nearly 2 years later we have returned to one of the most beautiful places I had ever been.

Exhausted after a long day of travel, I was energized when our friends arrived.

We had dinner, then walked along the shores of the Mediterranean, before going to sleep to dream about the adventures and history that we would be sharing over the next few days.

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Womans Wonderful Wild Waco Weekendl

When my daughter moved to Waco last year people from all over would ask, isn’t that where Chip and Joanne are from? Have you been to The Silos or Magnolia Table?

Hearing these comments and questions made me feel I must be missing something important, so this weekend my friends and I headed to Waco for a girls weekend in the heart of Gaines country.

Its a 3.5 hour drive from San Antonio to Waco. Buc-ee’s is always a great place stop and stretch your legs, fill up your gas tank and of course use their famous clean restrooms.

Once in Waco, we stayed at the Waco Hilton in the center of town and a short walk to most major downtown sites.

When visiting the Silos parking is difficult to find I would suggest using public transportation such as the free trolley that will drop you off in front of The Silos.

The entrance had a great “miles to Magnolia” photo op that we took advantage of when we arrived.

The store was not as large as I thought, the decor was fun and unique but the items were a little expensive.

We walked through the store and found a few treasures and souvenirs to purchase before heading outside and to the garden center.

There is a huge play area where you can toss bean bags, play kickball or lay down on the artificial grass. There are picnic tables and a wide variety of food trucks.

We skipped visiting the bakery due to the long line and instead headed to Magnolia Table for lunch. On arrival we were told by the hostess that they would not be able to seat our party of 5 together but could split us up and have us seated in 2-3 hours. Deciding there was no food worth that wait we drove back to Waco for lunch at Hecho en Waco where the food was delicious, service friendly and there was no wait.

We also visited the Magnolia Little Shop on Bosque that has marked down items.

Others highlights of our Waco weekend was a visit to the Dr. Pepper Museum, where a $10.00 fee allows you some fun history of soda and all things Dr. Pepper (if your lucky you may have a ghost siting.)

The Brazos River Suspension Bridge and “Branding the Brazos” cattle drive sculpture is a great place to walk around and find that perfect photo op while visiting Waco.

Pie Peddlers, if you love pie, then you will love the variety of pies where you can get a slice or a whole pie.

My favorite part of the weekend was having the opportunity to spend time with good friends, there was never a shortage of laughter and great stories. I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends.

And of course the huge weekend bonus to me was my daughter Liz was performing at a play festival in Waco that weekend so I was able to spend a short, precious amount of time with her.

At the end of the weekend we committed to finding out what other trips we could make in the future, lots of great ideas were tossed out there. No matter where we go, or what we do it will be fabulous. Any time spent with these woman will always be wild and wonderful.

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Milwaukee

Our trip to Milwaukee was planned as a means to check Wisconsin off our list of states visited together.   I came here with no expectations, didn’t even do any research prior to our trip. 

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Little did I know that the moment our Lyft driver drove into the beautiful downtown that I would fall in love with this gorgeous city located on Lake Michigan. 

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It may have had something to do with the perfect weather that ran from the mid 60’s to low 80’s that was a nice respite from the triple digits we were experiencing in San Antonio.  But there was so much more.

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Lake Michigan was a inviting color of blue, with lighthouse beacons protecting sailors from the rocky shores in front of them. 

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All along the lake there were sailboats taking advantage of the breeze and the weather.  Veterens Park in front of the Lake was the perfect place for flying a kite, riding a a bike, reading a book or taking a nap.

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The dragon flies looked like a battalion of tiny helicopters swooping in on the park.

We stopped to listen to a 1980’s theme band (complete with polyester clothings and tight shirts)that filled us with memories of being young.

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The Historic Third Ward was filled with restaurants like Benelux, where we had brunch on the roof, enjoying delicious food while enjoying the perfect summer weather.

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In Old Town you could find nearly any kind of beer you could think of, while enjoying some of the regions finest cheeses and sausages.

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We stopped at Brüdd Cafe for a beer flight and cheese plate appetizer.

 Then had dinner at the Milwaukee Brat house where we shared a sausage sampler and cheese soup.

The city is filled with sculptures, 

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Fun sculptures

Patriotic Sculptures 

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Odd Sculptures

 

And even whimsical sculptures.

 

I may have felt differently about this town had I arrived in the weather, where I was told the temperatures can drop to 50º below, but if I were going to chose a place to visit in August again, Milwaukee would definitely be top of my list.

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