My younger brother Danny just makes me laugh. We are both into gardening. He went to the nearby farm where he has for years been able to scoop up enough manure for his garden into his own sacks. It was a win-win for the farmer, who got help with his manure management problems, and for the gardener, whose veggies have always been the talk of the neighborhood because of this special fertilizer.

Not this year.

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Ominous! A friend had to be tested for the coronavirus before she could have shoulder surgery. Did they do the nose swab? Nooooo.

They took out a long, long, looooong bristle brush.

They stuck this bristle brush up her nose until it reached her eyeball.

Then they twisted it back and forth for about five seconds (which doesn’t sound like a lot, but IT IS!!).

There must be some kind of chemical on it,

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We live in an equestrian neighborhood. A lot of us have barns in the back yard of our small acreages. Many have horses. Walking around enjoying the sight of the horses and the pretty spring flowers has been Recreation #1 since the darn virus took center stage a few months ago.

The beautiful scenery makes you feel 100% different than when you are glued to the bad news, much of it fake. It seems like there are people in positions of power who are trying to drag out and even expand the misery of covid-19 well beyond the need for precautions.

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I have really come to enjoy the game of pickleball this winter. Outdoor pingpong meets smaller-scale tennis, with a hard paddle instead of a racquet, and a whiffleball instead of a heavier ball. It’s great for social distancing: the idea is to hit the ball where the opponent is NOT – where the opponent can’t get to it. So you never get close to the other players. It’s best as doubles, and more fun that way.

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Next time you slip into misery over the dang coronavirus, think again. Get into the habit of telling yourself, “God’s got this.” Because He does! Remember? He’s got the whole world in His hands! His timing is perfect.  He is everywhere. He knows everything. He never loses anything or anybody. He loves to keep us connected and thriving, not isolated and sick. And He will resolve any problem of any kind, for our good and His glory.

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The desert is dull and dreary, to the uninitiated. Brown and tan and gray and blah, for the most part. You hike along, avoiding cactus needles and poky mesquite branches, wondering what the heck the Native Americans ever found to eat in this barren wasteland.

And then boom! You see hot pink flower blossoms – improbable amid the rocks and gravel. In stark contrast to the forboding spines of the cactus, out pop some truly wondrous,

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Consider the teddy bear cholla. This desert plant looks soft and fuzzy, like a teddy bear. But ooh, ooh, ooh. If those microscopic barbs get inside your skin, they are like a long line of tiny fish hooks. They take hold, and they hurt. The more you move and try to get them out, the deeper into you they sink.

They are very common in the Southwest. Here’s one right outside our driveway!

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COVID-19 worries have been almost overwhelming for many of us. Will I get sick and die? Will Mom? Will I lose my business? Can we make it on a 25% pay cut?

Whenever I get freaked out, I turn to the three best things in the world: children, flowers and the Bible. If you feed your heart with good, reassuring, encouraging and funny things, there won’t be room for worry and stress.

So here’s why I’m OK today:

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Going to post a daily “power verse” from the Bible for a week or so. Helps me focus and feel OK with this dang virus and ensuing debacle.

Photo: these are “Resurrection Lilies” from my garden. A clump of long, skinny leaves comes up in spring, dies back, and then there’s nothing doing for months — then tall stalks suddenly emerge in late summer and you get a burst of color!

It’s not the gardener’s doing —

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Yet another tough consequence of this pandemic and quarantine: the “beauty operator” at Mom’s golden-oldies home has been banished. So all the lovely elderly ladies don’t have any way to floof up their helmet heads, get perms, etc.!!! AAAIIIEEE!!!

Mom is bringing all her old golf and gardening visors out of storage to see if any will do to hide her uncoiffed “do.”

I thought she should let her hair grow out long.

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