COVID-19 updates from Texas

As of today, the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has not declared a state wide stay at home order. He is letting counties make that declaration. I live in Tarrant county. We have had over 100 cases diagnosed. It’s growing by at least 15 cases a day. Fort Worth has issued a stay at home advisory and the schools in the county are closed till further notice.

I shopped at Central Market in Fort Worth today. They are the source for a supplement I take daily that is very important to my health. (I bought two bottles, a month and a half supply.) They are very serious about keeping their customers safe from each other. I had to wait in a line outside the store, keeping at least 6 feet from everyone else. They didn’t let anyone in until someone else came out. There were decals on the floor reminding everyone how far to stay apart. When I got to the checkout, I was informed the reusable bags I had brought in, they couldn’t touch. I had to bag my own groceries. I don’t mind that. There was also an acrylic shield between the card reader and the cashier so I couldn’t cough or sneeze on them.
Central Market’s parent company is HEB. If you’ve paid attention to big natural disasters in Texas, you’ve heard of them stepping up and providing hot meals during hurricane relief and generally taking care of their communities. They really do believe in taking care of their people.

I work for Walmart, if you’ve followed me for a while, you know that. Shopping at Central Market made me aware of the huge difference in a company that really cares for people and one that wants to make it seem they care while still making as much profit as they can.
Walmart stores have reduced hours, supposedly so they can have more time to sanitize and restock. And they are hiring lots of temporary workers to stock and cashier. And I don’t know what actually happens from the time I leave at 4 pm and when I get there at 7 am but I don’t see the extra sanitizing happening when I’m there. There are no sneeze guards at the registers, cashiers and customers are only about 3 feet apart. The pharmacy is serious about distancing and disinfecting counters and there are markers on the floor for distance and there are three or so pieces of tape on the floor at the service desk to keep people spaced apart if they’re paying attention. There is no limit on people in the store. There is no reminder to keep 6 feet apart. There are a few gloves available for us workers to use but no masks.

Another thing I see is many shoppers are not taking this whole thing seriously. The people I see shopping when the store opens are. They keep their distance, many are wearing masks and gloves. They get in and get out. Then, late morning, the people start coming in that are just hoping to find something to buy. Afternoon brings a lot of people that get bored and decide a trip to the grocery store is something to do. They come in groups, the whole family including kids. Then they get mad when they can only buy one thing from the meat counter. Or one carton of eggs. There’s no toilet paper or paper towels by then so they complain about that.

Today was a nice spring day so I was sitting on the front porch as it got dark. We live not too far from Interstate 20, on a normal day the road noise is very noticeable. If everyone was taking this seriously, you would think it would be much quieter. Nope. Highway noise was just as loud as normal. We also live in the flight pattern for DFW airport and there are a lot fewer airplanes in the sky.
The National prediction is for this virus to peak in three weeks. Governor Abbot says he should have a prediction in a week of when this will peak. But then, this is the state where the Lieutenant Governor said that grandparents should be willing to die to save the economy for their grandchildren. No really, here’s the link:

Oh, and gun stores remain open as “essential” businesses in the state. Cause errbody gotta have a gun to protect theyselves when the lootin and stuff commences.

Siri, politics, ads, phone numbers and listening in.

My husband uses Siri assistant on his iPhone regularly. Like a couple times a day. I’ve used her to identify songs less than a dozen times. Ever. The fact he uses her so much means she’s listening for his voice to ask her a question. Listening to his voice.
With the current state of politics, we have had quite a few debates on which Democrat we want to be on the ballot in November. He is currently being vocal about Mike Bloomberg being on the ballot and thinking about voting for him. I’m for Pete but that’s beside the argument here.
He just got a text from the Bloomberg campaign. He didn’t know how they got his number. I think Siri told them.

Instant pot adventures

This year for Christmas, neither my husband nor I could come up with anything to get me. He threw a bunch of ideas out and I shot them all down. I tried floating ideas and they all sunk. Finally, in not quite desperation, but decided unenthusiasm , I proposed he get me a 3 quart instant pot.
I’ve tried cooking a few things and some have been successes, some needed tweaked and it’s a learning process.
For starters, this 3 quart pot is smaller than the standard pot so all recipes need reconsidered for size and cooking times. Hence the tweaking of recipes.
The first thing I tried was ham and split pea soup. Absolute success. Guaranteed I will do it again. Recipe to follow at another time.
I tried meatballs. It worked but my sealing ring now smells of oregano. Strong smells and seasonings tend to impregnate the sealing ring. Fortunately, the pot comes with two rings.
Next, hard cooked eggs. Here comes the tweaking part. Using the instructions for a bigger pot, the eggs cracked and didn’t cook enough for my taste. If you like the yolk not quite done on the center, then by all means do refrigerator temperature eggs for 4 minutes. If you want them done to make deviled eggs, set the eggs out and let them come to room temperature and then do the 4 minute eggs.
Tonight I attempted baked potatoes. My mother made baked potatoes in her pressure cooker. I know it doesn’t work the same, but I googled instructions. And a fail. I cooked two potatoes 15 minutes and let the pressure slowly release for 10 minutes. Still hard in the middle. Microwaved them for another 4 minutes or so each. This is a work in progress.
I will keep you posted on successes and failures and works in progress.