This year of pandemic and especially consequential US elections I spent in Oceanside, in isolation since March. I watched too much news and worked in the orchard too much. My paintings were some complex muted watercolors to deal with horrid fires, deaths, concentration of power, and political agitations.
My husband brought the virus early, in Spring, and took all precautions that my viral load was smaller than his: I had sudden chills for one evening, but was nearly alright the next day, and was able to help him. But during the year, I had two foot injuries, both very painful, especially the first one that involved a toe nail, and because of the other - a possible fracture in August, I tripped over a hose - I could not walk for a while, luckily I had many apples and managed alone for three weeks.
Actually, I spent most of the year completely alone, seeing people behind masks only once a week in a store, and waving neighbors at a distance some time. People here are so nice, they were leaving flowers and vegetables at other's doorsteps. Our awesome next-door neighbors shared their avocados with me. I suffered from luck of available decent fruits, and soaked more nuts and seeds, and made many quinoa-lentil salads. I did not like running in a mask, so I have exercised at nighttime on the streets, when nobody was there, and met unusual number of coyotes.
I acquired many skills that I always wanted to have, like weaving (including fences), making raw vinegar from various fruits, fermenting, catching wild yeast for sourdough, baking flat breads from unusual things, air-drying (flowers, leaves, and clothing), soldering, wood burning, drilling, polishing, some basic woodwork to use with prunings, new hand and machine embroidery styles, new monotype techniques, eco-printing, eco-dying, paper-making and transforming, bookbinding, junk-mail art-journaling, sewing from reclaimed fabrics, refreshed crochet, macrame and knotting, propagating in sand, building growing containers from recycled food-grade plastic, rain-water gathering (eventually got two recycled barrels), and a bunch of others.
For several month, I turned the veranda into a propagation station and dismantle it later, after planting the seedlings. I could not get any new seeds or compost for the new layer of the soil-building, as planned, so I composted in the ground and made mulch out of anything I could find. I repaired almost all irrigation problems and built new drip lines, so the garden had some improvement nonetheless.