As my favorite late night host would say: what to do “quarantine-while?” Many things, as it turns out. Yes, I took up Italian and after several months negotiated all five levels of Duolingo Italian. I’ve learned a lot, but not enough to have a basic conversation with anyone who speaks fluent Italian. So now I’m seeing what I can do to punish the French for what I learned in high school, which is more than I thought. I was immediately bumped up having known some basics. I switch back and forth and will go back to Italian again, perhaps with a tutor when that’s possible. I don’t mind beating up on the French but love Italy and Italians and want to be able to speak somewhat fluently when visiting or perhaps even taking another cooking class there.
You know I’m back to writing a bit, witness this reconstituted blog. Today I’m helping my husband edit transcripts from a seminar he held last week. I’m not looking forward to that tedious task. Long-term I want to start exercising again, probably not at the gym (there’s one in our building) but walking and doing some core work. I’d also like to look into opening options for “single shingle” type businesses especially with regard to health insurance availability. And I’ve an idea for increasing voter participation and candidate responsibility. But I do tend to get waylaid when inspired.
We live in a quirky neighborhood, not city or suburb, university on one side and city on the other. The other day husband and dog Lulu were out for a walk and he brought me a poem. Turns our we’ve a poetry box in the neighborhood and in it was Lone Dog, by Irene Rutherford McLeod. One original with a photo of a dog, and copies to take at will. A very kind neighbor.
I’m a lean dog, a keen dog, a wild dog, and lone;
I’m a rough dog, a tough dog, hunting on my own;
I’m a bad dog, a mad dog, teasing silly sheep;
I love to sit and bay the moon, to keep fat souls from sleep.
I’ll never be a lap dog, licking dirty feet,
A sleek dog, a meek dog, cringing for my meat,
Not for me the fireside, the well-filled plate,
But shut door, and sharp stone, and cuff and kick, and hate.
Not for me the other dogs, running by my side,
Some have run a short while, but none of them would bide.
O mine is still the lone trail, the hard trail, the best,
Wide wind, and wild stars, and hunger of the quest!
A rank amateur, Lulu’s mom decided to give the kind poet who provides this service a reply, to wit:
Ode to the Lone Dog
Seventy degrees in Tucson, I’m eight weeks of age,
I left with two people and turned a new page.
Now this town is my home, it was seven below.
They set out for a walk, shivering pup in tow.
They bought me coats and booties, not that I care,
But it seemed they had a bit of money to spare.
I gave obedience, dock diving and smart toys a try.
Ha! With COVID, indoor play dates now get me by.
Even though I was young and brand new to this town,
I got to know everyone, because I get around.
Scavenging, baying on cold nights with the stars?
I’d love to tease sheep, but not travel so far.
Here human staff care for home, food, treats and play.
Despite the leash, I’d have it no other way.
Apologies to the true poet! And thanks to Ms./Mr. Poetry Box. We also have a book box made by kids from the Montessori School up the street. It’s called the Little Villa Terrace Library, patterned on a museum a few doors away.
It’s nice to pick up a book and drop one off from time to time. Quirky neighborhood, but cool to live in and walk around. So in my spare time when not learning, I’m writing, cooking or doing laundry and 101 other things, quarantine-while. I think I’ll make a frittata for lunch, with potatoes, baby arugula, tomato and gruyere cheese. Not a quiche, as my hands melt butter for pastry! Ciao, back to work, Dee