E vs. I

‘As a retired introvert the leap to “quarantined” retired introvert was not a big one’


There has been some talk about the new era we are shifting into – here’s hoping we have reached the tipping point!  

One thing I am fairly sure of is that there will be a shift toward more of an introverted world and away from the extroverted world we have known so long. That shift was emerging in the ‘beforetimes’, but I think it will be even stronger in the ‘aftertimes’.

I have several introverted friends.  To a certain extent, I think they are faring better during these times of social distancing, change and reflection. And I think they have the unique skills to navigate these uncharted waters. I know they miss human connections, but maybe not quite to the extent or frequency extroverts do.

I am a big fan of Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).  I have used it to better understand myself and those around me (at home and at work).  I am an ENTP (extrovert, intuitive, thinking, perceiver).  There is a ton of information about MBTI and each type on the web.  Pretty much every site is spot on when it comes to my personality type.

As an extrovert, social distancing is tough for me. I really miss my in person social life.  I am grateful for Zoom, but I hope it isn’t my only means of connecting for the foreseeable future. I need to find other ways to connect,

According to this article, as an ENTP, I need to chase a passion’ during these times of profound change.

ENTPs have a tendency to start tons of projects, but never finish them, and get into funks when their lives become routine. Uncertainty appeals to you as a new flavor, because anything can happen. You can be flexible with your time, and actually sink your teeth into a project that might turn into a new passion or entrepreneurial pursuit. Focusing on projects can definitely help keep your mind off any lingering existential stress, as well.

I’m not a gardener, cook, crafter, or home decorator……..so, maybe blogging is the passion I need to chase??  And maybe this extrovert also needs to learn more from my introverted friends about listening, observing, preparing, and self-knowledge to be ready for what comes next.


More on masks, science, and the coronavirus:

According to this article in the Washington Post, research supports wearing masks!


What are we having for lunch?!

In this time of semi lockdown, it is all about food.  As my husband says, ‘what else is there?’

I am sick of cooking and thinking about what to have for dinner (or lunch).  I have not embraced ‘the trying new recipes wave’ that has taken on a life in social media.

I made one thing I think is tasty and will stand the test of time – Blue Zones homemade granola.  And it was so easy that I am embarrassed that I have purchased granola in the past. (recipe below since I couldn’t find a link).

What frequently happens is that I find a recipe then can’t find the ingredients at the grocery store.  Enter Amazon.  I couldn’t find orzo in our overstuffed pantry so ordered it from Amazon.  The kind I got is Greek and I am sure it will do the trick.  It arrived the next day. But come to find out, orzo was hidden in my pantry the whole time. (pantry photo above)

My husband is more interested in cooking during these times than I am.  He was lamenting that he couldn’t find self-rising flour for a recipe.  I said, ‘don’t worry, I’ll order it from Amazon’ (or maybe it is in the pantry??)

I am a person who likes to go OUT to eat.  Not all the time, but rather frequently.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, just tasty.  And for some reason, even sitting in my car eating a Taco Time mini meal isn’t nearly as appealing as eating inside Taco Time – go figure.  I am also not enamored with take out.  It just doesn’t quite fit the bill!

Of the many things I miss, eating in a restaurant with my husband or friends is a big one.  And then there is happy hour………

Granola Every Day, Every Way (from the Blue Zones Kitchen – highly recommended)


  • 3 c old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups raw nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans)
  • ½ c maple syrup (or honey)
  • 3 T coconut oil
  • ¼ t cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper
  • In a bowl, combine oats, nuts, oil, syrup and cinnamon
  • Spread onto baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring once in a while. Bake for 30 minutes
  • Remove from heat and let cool. Combine with dried fruit if desired.
  • If using roasted nuts, subtract 10 minutes from the cooking time.

Masks, continued

I thought this was a great Vogue article on gender differences in mask wearing.  It came to me via Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper (highly recommended).


16 weeks later!

This may not be important in the scheme of things, but it is to me. I got my first haircut yesterday in 16 weeks!

First a disclaimer, I have no financial relationship with Gene Juarez (GJ) other than I pay for my haircuts.

It was good to be back.  I am a long-standing GJ customer and received regular updates from them during the Stay Home Stay Healthy times. 

I was impressed with how carefully they prepared for reopening.  They now have an app (doesn’t everyone) and I used it to make my appointment, complete a health check, check in and pay.  No cards or cash changed hands.

I washed my hair at home.  I then drove to GJ and waited in the parking lot until my allotted time.  I went in, masked, and placed my personal items in a disposable bag.  Masks are required for all staff and guests. Amanda, my stylist, escorted me to her station for my cut.  She was masked and wearing a ‘robe’, as were all the staff. She proceeded to cut my hair in her usual efficient manner. They aren’t blowing dry hair at this point because they don’t want things ‘flying around’.

I learned that GJ paid both the employer and employee benefits while the salon was closed.  Prior to opening the staff were required to participate in two training programs to improve sanitation.  The company consulted with an infectious disease doc to make sure all their protocols were up to snuff.

And to make it even better, I also learned that the company would match any of the donations employees make to Black Lives Matter-related organizations.

As someone who is high risk, I felt safe going there.  And boy, did I need a haircut!


I forgot to list this fantastic show in my COVID finds.  It is now on Netflix. I love it and loved to see this amazing virtual ‘sing out’ the cast did for teachers.  Definitely worth a watch – it brought a tear or two to my eyes.


On Fridays, I am going to post the current case counts for King County (Seattle).  Starting next week, I will compare the numbers to the week before.  Overall, it looks like cases are plateauing in the Puget Sound, but it is a bit too early to detect any impact from the protesters.

June 7, 2020

  • Cases: 8371 (up 25 from the day before)
  • Hospitalizations: 1512 (up 7 from the day before)
  • Deaths: 571 (up by 1 from the day before)


Rain is in the forecast yet again.  I am starting a new book, Red at the Bone (thanks, MC).  We are also obsessed with Line of Duty on Acorn and will devote some serious time to that.

See you on Monday.

Living as I go along

Travel plans?

This summer we planned on attending our grandson’s graduation, going to Montana to see friends and family in June, returning to Wells Gray Provincial Park in eastern British Columbia in August (highly recommended) and then heading to Europe in the fall for some time in Italy capped off with a stop in London. 

Not bloody likely! 

I think this has been one of the hardest aspects of the pandemic to ‘get my head around’.  I really enjoy travel and always look forward to a new adventure.

Now what?

We have been toying with some travel ideas, but none seem to quite fit the bill.  If we go to Montana, what would that experience be like?  And can we be sure we aren’t bringing COVID 19 with us?  Cases continue to be on the rise in WA. We are both at higher risk so would want to be somewhere most people wear masks and practice social distancing.  I am not sure such a utopia exists!

This is one of those times I’m glad that I have ‘lived as I went along”.  That is one of my favorite quotes from my favorite aunt.  We have done a fair amount of traveling and I have the memories and photos as reminders. 

We visited CA’s central coast in January.  And in February, I had a wonderful time reconnecting with girlfriends in Maui (see the sunset in the heading).  We also make a point of taking a local outing each week to explore a new area close by.  Our next trip will be to Potlatch for clams, weather and tide permitting.

We are still pondering what travel might look like for us in the months ahead.  And I am still struggling with being content smelling the newly blooming roses in my zip code.


P.S. No blog tomorrow because I am getting my haircut!

#Boomer Remover

Well, here are two old people with a very old dog……all on COVID time.

I was feeling ‘expendable’ and saw this art

icle: Validation!

The U.S. is an ageist society and COVID 19 magnifies it for me by emphasizing the ‘decline narrative of aging’! I haven’t listened to the one-hour podcast at the end of the article but will do so.

As many of you know, I am over 65 and a cancer survivor.  The cancer I had, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, even treated, puts me at a higher risk of an adverse outcome from COVID.  One of the chemo drugs I was on is toxic to the heart and I get a yearly ECHO to keep an eye on it.  I am 4 + years out from diagnosis and in remission.

Even with that history, I am active, engaged and feel fine.  I want to make the most of the time I have while feeling good to travel, see friends and family and stay active. There seems to be no phase of this pandemic, short of a vaccine, that will allow me to do that.  And I don’t like feeling ‘walled off’ for the foreseeable future.

I am not overly optimistic about a vaccine soon.  I haven’t taken a deep dive into this, but it is likely that the coronavirus is a zoonotic disease (from an animal), meaning that it really can’t be eradicated, only controlled through the current public health measures and a vaccine.

When I step on my soapbox, I have a tough time when people aren’t wearing masks or social distancing.  C’mon people, there is still a pandemic and these simple measures do save lives! If everyone did those two things, people like me (and others with chronic conditions regardless of age and front-line workers) could move around with some small degree of freedom and safety (and I am allowed one weekly trip to the grocery store)! But masks and social distancing are rarely happening and, to me, that reinforces the us vs. them mentality where I may be seen as ‘weak and expendable’.

In the near future, I don’t see travel, spending real time with friends and family and doing something as simple as going to a movie on a rainy day in the cards for me.   And I don’t have that many more shopping days until Christmas!

So, let’s behave like we are all in this together and keep everyone safer by practicing physical distancing and wearing a mask.


COVID times

It was the best of times…..it was the COVID times…..

Here we are three months into lockdown.  One thing I know is that the ‘beforetimes’ will never return.  The ‘aftertimes’ are still a long way off.  So, that leaves me with the COVID times.

Like many of you, I have checked off the ‘stay at home’ activities:

  • Clean out closets and drawers
  • Grace and Frankie and the Crown on Netflix
  • Make some progress on my stack of e-books
  • Zoom with friends (coffee, tea, hard cider, and wine)
  • Zoom yoga
  • Zoom doctor’s visits
  • Minor household repairs noted, but not necessarily done
  • Cut my husband’s hair
  • Press on nails
  • Color my hair

I’ve also discovered and rediscovered:

  • Walking in my neighborhood
  • How beautiful the rhodies are this year – see today’s blog header
  • Daily meditation
  • Reconnecting with cherished friends, even remotely
  • Weekly outings to new, nearby locales (while physical distancing)
  • More thoughtful reading (see suggestions below)
  • Blogging
  • Fashionable masks
  • 1940’s film noir on Turner Classic Movies
  • Acorn TV, aka my COVID channel (see favorite Acorn programming below)
  • How lucky I am to have the husband I do!

Pandemic reading List:

Acorn Programs:

While I have enjoyed discovering and rediscovering during these COVID times, I’m still looking forward to the ‘aftertimes’…


Coming of age in a pandemic…

Our grandson is graduating from high school on Saturday.  His life changed when schools were closed in March due to COVID 19.  All the traditions vanished overnight– senior prom, senior project, senior trip, baseball, senior awards, and now graduation.  His graduation is on Saturday and will be held as a ‘drive by’.  He and his family will be able to drive up and get his diploma.  His dad is the school principal, so that’s a plus! We will visit him on Sunday for a physically distanced picnic (fingers crossed on the weather).

So what is next for him? 

What will his summer hold?  I remember the summer after I graduated from high school fondly.  I had a great summer job as a park lady and spent tons of time hanging out with my friends before college in the fall.   His summer will likely be vastly different. 

What about college this fall?  Will he be able to attend classes on campus or will it be another stint of remote learning? 

And how long will the pandemic go on?  Nobody knows how long we will be dealing with COVID 19 and if there will be a second wave in the fall.  That could make things even more challenging for a college freshman. 

And how long will the protests continue?  And will they result in meaningful change in the near term?  Will it be up to him and his generation to do the heavy lifting necessary for equity across the board?

Midst all these unknowns, there is one thing I do know.  He is an amazing guy!  He is smart, kind, funny and loyal.  His friends are an impressive bunch, as well.  Even though the road ahead is filled with more unknowns than I ever faced, I am confident in his navigation skills.

Congratulations to him and the class of 2020 and here’s to all of you!


P.S. My favorite Op-Ed today in the Seattle Times is by Brenda Salter McNeil – ‘United’ States has never been honest about how hateful it is.  I can’t post the link, because I ran out of free articles. It is worth googling.   My favorite quote from it:

White protesters are demanding their rights to a haircut and Black protesters are demanding their right to live!’

P.S.S. I won’t be posting over the weekend.  That way I will know it is a weekend. See you on Monday.

Checking my privilege

I have frequently heard the term, white privilege.  I knew intuitively what it meant but have never examined my own white privilege.  Inspired by So You Want to Talk About Race, I decided to do that. As defined in the book, ‘Privilege, in the social justice context, is an advantage or set of advantages that you have that others do not’.

Here are my privileges I have come up with so far:

  • Born white
  • Born documented to English speaking parents
  • Born neuro-typical and non-disabled
  • Straight and cisgender
  • Raised in an intact family with reasonable financial security
  • Able to safely play outside, ride my bike and walk to school as a child
  • Friends readily available that looked like me
  • Access to excellent free public schools within walking distance
  • Access to an affordable college education
  • People like me in the majority at school, work, books, movies, my neighborhood and on the streets
  • Have a safety net (Medicare, Social Security and a pension)

I was tempted to list my disadvantages as well.  As the author pointed out, this isn’t the time for that so ‘resist the urge’. The author revisits her list of privileges often.  I think that is a good plan for me.

Students from the University of Washington School of Public Health are sharing this white privilege checklist from Peggy McIntosh at Wellesley. I know there are other resources out there too.

I sometimes wish I had the platforms for systemic change that I once had.  But I don’t.  So I want to think about how I can increase my awareness of racism overall and to find effective ways to advocate, starting with voting! 

Here is another checklist (I am a huge checklist fan) with ideas for action: 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice.


Dayton, Ohio

As many of you know, I was the Montgomery County health commissioner from 2006-2008.  It is a long story as to why I went to Dayton and it’s not today’s topic. Today’s topic continues to be about race and it is long, so bear with me.

First, a bit about Dayton.  It is great community and part of the ‘rust belt’.  It has steadily lost population since the post war boom years.  It was the headquarters for National Cash Register, Standard Register, and Delco/Delphi (parts supplier for GM).  Wright Patterson Airforce Base is located there. The population is 52% white and 43% Black. Many of the white former residents have ‘fled’ to the nearby suburbs, like Oakwood (birthplace of the Wright Brothers), Kettering, Centerville, etc.

During the post war boom years, jobs were plentiful.  The more desirable jobs went to white men from Appalachia and the more menial jobs went to the local Black men.  Dayton was the site of race riots in the 60’s and is still highly segregated today. And yes, there are protests there now in response to George Floyd’s murder.

My main job experiences prior to this had been in CA and Seattle.  Neither prepared me for the racial tensions ahead.

I went through a rigorous community process to get the job.  The other two candidates were white men from the local area.  I am fairly sure I was selected because I was a woman and an outsider. The benefit of this process is that a number of leaders knew me and were willing to give me the benefit of the doubt.

My predecessor was a white man that I will call BB.  After I got the job, BB informed me that he was going to fire a long-time manager named RB. According to BB, RB had never performed well and had been a long ago political appointment.  BB said he was doing me a favor by taking this action so I wouldn’t have to deal with it and that it would blow over in a ‘few weeks’, long before I arrived. No action like that can be taken without majority approval from the Board of Health. RB is Black.

This was my first job as ‘CEO’ and, looking back, I was totally out of my league!  Shortly after I arrived, I had my first public Board meeting.  The room was full of Black community leaders. All spoke about the racist firing of RB.  I was completely overwhelmed.  There were also community protests.  One of my Board members who had opposed RB’s firing used the term that he had been lynched.

I was unsure of my next step, short of quitting. I met with each of my board members and GL told me to meet with each of the Black ministers who were the community leaders. GL helped pave the way and all but one agreed to meet.  I met with them on their turf.  I didn’t bring any other staff or expect them to come to the health department. The gist of those meetings was that RB probably had performance issues, but the public firing was a step too far and seen as another racist act by the health department.

In hindsight, going into the community was particularly important.  That didn’t solve everything but listening to their issues and committing to do better was an important first step. I made a ton of mistakes while I was there– one memorable one was having lunch with a Black female leader and referring to Rick and me as ‘the black sheep of the family’.  I am still mortified by that one! 

Note, RB has since passed away and here is a clip from his obituary:

Boyd’s health district job ended in controversy when his division was dissolved in 2006. Amid a lawsuit and community cries of racism, the parties settled out of court.

Looking back, my time in Dayton was an amazing personal and professional experience.  It is fresh in my mind today.  And I am forever grateful to Gary LeRoy, MD, my very wise board member for taking a chance on me!

This is my favorite OpEd from today’s Seattle Times on police harassment from the vantage point of a retired T-Mobile executive.


I posted Black on Instagram

Actually, I didn’t.  But I know many people and businesses have posted Black as a show of solidarity.  And I am not critical of that action.

But I do want to go deeper on this. 

One of my all-time favorite companies, Grayling Jewelry, put their money on the line.  They are a small woman owned business in Portland. They have been trying to survive on mail order only.  On Saturday, they donated to several CBO’s in Portland in support of racial equity.  That is the kind of action that has meaning to me.

And here is a great article that talks about race from a white privilege perspective (thanks, M).  I always think about the Black pro athletes in the NFL and the damage being done to their bodies.  And how few Black coaches there are.

And a column from the New York Times on the Destructive Power of Despair.

As promised yesterday, I started So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.  She says ‘if you are looking for a simple way to determine if something is about race, here are some basic rules:

  1. It is about race if a person of color thinks it is about race
  2. It is about race if it disproportionately or differently impacts people of color (COVID-19)
  3. It is about race if it fits into a broader pattern of events that disproportionately or differently affect people of color’

I guess what concerns me the most is our (my) short attention span.  Everyone was all over the whole 99% movement and it fizzles, we get fired up about gun control after a mass shooting and no meaningful laws are usually passed, we are all over COVID 19 and then get bored and party with friends.

Since before this country was founded, there has been racism.  And since it still isn’t safe for a Black man to jog without being shot, not much has really changed.

And I am back to thinking about what I can do now and looking back at my many years in the workplace and the things I didn’t do then!