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COVID Diaries: Day 557

I cannot tell you how many times I have sat down to write lately and not been able to find the words.  I’ve been exhausted.  I’ve been discouraged.  I’ve been sad and broken.  I’m trying to keep my spirits up, but I’m just tired of the negativity.  It weighs on me.  A friend said something to me the other day that resonated.  “When God is feeling particularly distant, who moved?”  I think it is fair to say that many in the world have moved.  I plan to move the other way. 

The good news of all that is that I have been working on my contingency plans, so I have more flexibility and peace of mind.  It is a good reminder that we cannot change others’ behavior, but we can change how we react to it.  And yes, I do realize that this a little cryptic, but I’m not able to share specifics at the moment.

I am happy that we finally have a new telecommuting policy, so I get to work from home two days a week.  I got to work from home on Thursday!  My first time since mid-July!  I was off on Friday, but I ended up having to log in and do a couple of hours of work.  Which I wouldn’t have done if I had to go into the office.

There was a gorgeous sunrise here on the first day of fall.  I was just leaving for work that morning and I put a couple things in the garbage can before backing my car out of the garage.  And there it was – in all its spectacular hot pink glory.  It was like God knew that I needed a pick me up and delivered one just for me.  There wasn’t an opportunity to catch a photo, but hopefully there will be more like that soon.

Yellow is healing (and forgiving me) after his latest wound closure procedure.  Another full-sedation surgery to cut the wound along a better line of force and then suture and staple it.  The vet explained that Yellow’s wound is against the natural line that promotes healing, so each time they suture or staple in that direction, it has more resistance when he moves and is more likely to pull open.  Creating a better line of force meant that they could align the sutures and staples on the path of less resistance.  But he got sent home with pain pills and a long acting antibiotic shot.  It can’t have been comfortable.  It is still closed though – fingers crossed!  He hasn’t been doing much photogenic posing lately, but Cora was adorable yesterday morning!

A few weekends ago a pretty nasty windstorm took down a lot of small branches and debris in my yard.  The raking season has returned.  Soon I will be buried in fall leaves and yard work that is impossible to keep up on.  Wish me luck.

That also means that puzzle season is back. So far I’ve done two.  Beer caps and butterflies.  What can I say, I have eclectic interests.  Both puzzles came from a puzzle swap with my aunt, uncle and cousin.  I passed along several that I had already done too. It’s always nice to have a new influx of images!  I had a few moments of weakness at the Goodwill on Friday too, and bought four new puzzles!  Honestly, I try not to buy puzzles and books, because I already have too many, but I couldn’t resist.

 

I need a vacation!

 

Weekend Musings: August 13, 2021

Today I had the day off, and I spent it running errands.  I picked up my new glasses!  Got paint for a deck repair project.  Took Yellow to the vet again.

Yeah.  Poor Yellow.  He has decided he really doesn’t like going in the carrier.  He peed on me as I was manhandling him in…  I can’t blame him.  When I first brought him inside back in May, he had an abscess in his armpit.  A surface wound, that was raw and oozy.  Off to the vet we go for an antibiotic shot.  It didn’t help.  So a stronger antibiotic – pills.  I mean who doesn’t love pilling a cat!?!  No effect.  The abscess was still there.  So then he had a procedure, under anesthesia, to debride the wound and suture it up.  Well guess what?  The sutures didn’t hold.  My poor guy!  So that brings us to today and the peeing incident.  We got to the vet, he cleaned it up again and Yellow is now sporting about 10 staples in his armpit.

He is now lying beside me and seems to have forgiven me.  Let’s hope that the staples hold.  He doesn’t seem to be bothered by them and is resting comfortably.

It is hot here again and smoky, but hopefully the heat and smoke are going to dissipate tomorrow.

On with the weekend!

Weekend Musings: July 24, 2021

I survived my first time week of work back in the office.  And I survived the commute.  I can honestly say I didn’t do anything there that I couldn’t have done from home.  It gives one a lot of think about.

I’ve been playing around with my rock polisher too.  I’ve found that some of the rocks have a lot of shrinkage, sometimes almost the entire rock!  I think that I’m going to try skipping the first two rougher cycles, to see if my ocean polished rocks just need the two more gentle polish cycles.  I guess that’s part of the fun!  Practicing to see what gives the best results.

Yellow went back to the vet yesterday for a little surgical intervention.  He’s had a small abscess in his armpit since before I brought him inside.  It hadn’t healed, despite two rounds of antibiotics.  So they put him under, cleaned it up and sutured it; hopefully the stitches will give him the jump on this persistent wound and help it finally heal.  He was pretty mad at me last night after we got home.  Fortunately he seems to have forgiven me today and is snoozing on my lap, while Cora sleeps in the puff next to me.  And even better, the sutures are the dissolving kind, so as long as he heals I don’t have to take him back to the vet to have them removed.

Other than that it has been a quiet weekend so far.  I hope you are all doing well!

 

Refreshed…

Did you miss me?  Did you notice I’ve been away?  Well I’m back!

I’ve been on vacation!  My first real vacation since before the pandemic, and my longest vacation since my road trip in 2018.  I ran away for a full 10 days, and I made the most of my time away!  It was glorious!  I barely checked my work email, and nobody from work called.  I had so much fun exploring the Midwest, roaming around finding little nooks and crannies.  I cannot even tell you how much I have missed vacation!

Today was my first day back at work, after arriving home late last night.  Don’t worry, both Cora and Yellow have forgiven me.  Cora wanted pets as soon as I walked in the door last night.  Yellow took until mid-morning today to decide to give me a chance, but once he got a taste of those pets, he was all in…

I’ll be back to posting soon.  I’ve got adulting to do, since I have no groceries and the place needs a vacuuming.  How does the house get dirty when I’m not even here!?  Meanwhile, meet Big Ole!

 

COVID Diaries: Day 443

Meet Yellow.  Yellow came to live with me a week ago, after I managed to capture him on May 27 and made him endure the agonizing trip to the V.E.T…

Yellow has been around outside for a few years now; my previous neighbor fed him along with a host of other feral and neighborhood cats, raccoons, deer and squirrels.  He has come over to my deck for years, where Cora got all worked up and meowed at him from her various window perches.

Sadly, my neighbor died last August and her family sold the house.  The new owners told me that the real estate agreement included a clause stating that they would continue to feed Yellow.  Instead they built a fence and got a big, energetic dog.

Yellow did what any intelligent, self-respecting cat would do; he found a new sucker.  He moved over to my house and started giving me the big, sad, ‘won’t you feed me?’ eyes.  Once I started feeding him he began to trust me and let me pet him.  So I made plans to capture him and get him checked out.  Meanwhile, Cora seemed to get used to him; she would watch him out the window, but she no longer seemed to get upset at his presence.

He has no chip, but he was neutered, so he obviously had a home at some point.  He has an abscess under his armpit, so he got an antibiotic shot to hopefully set that on the mend.  It doesn’t seem to be bothering him.  He’s doing just fine being an indoor only cat, and does not seem in the least interested in the outdoor life.  He and Cora are adjusting and there haven’t been any big squabbles, no growling, and just one hiss.  He is still wary of her, and she seems mostly interested in trying to steal his food and making sure he doesn’t steal too much of my attentions.

Yellow’s hobbies so far include:

  • Snoozing in the guest room
  • Wrapping himself around my legs when I sit at the computer
  • Singing the song of his people between 1 and 3 am
  • Producing copious amounts of eye boogers

He is very friendly and very mellow; he didn’t have any objection to me trimming his claws even!  I do suspect he’s been low energy due to the fact that he got several vaccinations and his infection, so we’ll see!  Even though it has only been a week, I’m confident that he will settle in just fine…

COVID Diaries: Day 420

This past weekend I took a brief trip to the Washington coast.  It was full of solitude, but realistically, that’s basically the same as being at home.  Except the sandy beaches. 

I found a little, cute motel in Ocean Shores, and spent a few days walking on the beaches, looking for sand dollars and agates.  I got up before dawn to get to the agate beach at low tide, and barely saw another soul in the hours I was there. I found several agates and lots of interesting jasper rocks.  I also found one gorgeous, large red agate (not pictured)!  I can’t wait to see how they look after getting polished in the tumbler. 

I also found a ton of sand dollars, as I wandered all by myself on a windy, on-and-off rainy Saturday.  Going to the beach in the Pacific Northwest, at any time of the year, isn’t for the faint of heart.  I was cold and tired by the time I got back to the room each time, but on Saturday I got 20,000 steps wandering along the beaches.

Cora issued stern looks when I got home.  How dare I go away…  It was good for me to get away, but I’m lonely.  That part never really goes away, whether I’m at home or away.  I haven’t quite learned to settle into that skin. 

I started a new puzzle; one I received as a gift for Christmas from my aunt and uncle.  I made quick work of the border Monday, but haven’t done more yet.

Somehow we got a reprieve from going back into a tighter lock down.  Our governor “put a pause” on rolling back counties that weren’t meeting the metrics, including my county.  It’s almost as if he’s just making it up as he goes along…  Yes, I’m being sarcastic…  I guess we’ll see what happens in two weeks.

COVID Words of Wisdom: I found myself thinking about you last night and about everything that was lost.  But it was different this time.  My heart reminded me that I still have everything.  You are the one who lost it all.  — Alfa Holden.

COVID Diaries: Day 305

Over 300 days of lockdown.  The downhill slide to a full year.  It’s been almost a whole year since I took more than 2 days of vacation, or went on a real vacation.  They are talking about another whole year of this, and that makes me sad…  While I still don’t mind working from home, it’s the lack of connection that’s one of the hardest parts for me.  And of course, the lack of adventure…

After more horrible rain and wind, the weather finally broke to a few beautiful sunny days, and now we are back to overcast, but at least it wasn’t raining this morning!  We needed to dry out, considering there has been pretty major flooding, downed trees, and power outages around here.  This morning I went for a hike with my girlfriends.  The Chanterelle Trail is about 4.5 miles (sources pin this particular trail at 4.2 miles and 4.8 miles, so I split the difference).  1,000 feet of elevation gain took us up over Lake Whatcom for some pretty incredible views. 

This is a hike that is just outside of town, so it is nice that it only takes about 15 minutes to get there!  It was a wonderful hike, with the exception of that one little bug that flew into my mouth and… ewww…

The rest of my weekend will be devoted to puzzling, reading, and blogging, and hopefully another adventure with a friend tomorrow!  I started a 1500 piece puzzle – this is the largest one I have ever worked on!  I’m enjoying it so far, but I can’t seem to find a couple of edge pieces, and I hope they aren’t missing.  This puzzle was a new-in-box puzzle, so that would be frustrating!  The search continues, but I’m making progress on the innards.  Cora, of course, has been her usual “helpful” self.

Last night I watched Rear Window again, one of my favorite classic Alfred Hitchcock films.  If you haven’t seen it, it is worth checking out!  It had been a while since I had watched it, and it is still just as good.  People used to be so elegant!  I wonder what they would think of us working from home and never changing out of sweatpants!

As you work on Monday, or if you are lucky enough to have the holiday off, please remember that the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. called on all of us to unite, rather than divide.  And that means stop ranting on Facebook and insulting people who don’t believe the same thing you do.  Here are a couple of my favorite MLK Jr. quotes.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
 
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
 
My love to you all!  Be kind!

COVID Diaries: Day 142

Whelp…  It’s a new month – the jury is still out on whether it will prove to be just another disaster like every month since March. So far we would have already survived the flood three times over…  Let that sink in.

I have continued trying to clear my backlog of assorted teas, and started on a new box today.  It’s one I bought when I went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge last December; it came in a cute little tea tin of Blueberry Icewine Ceylon tea.  It sounded like it would be really good!  Not gonna lie – ugh…  I’m not sure I’ll be able to drink this stuff.  Perhaps I’ll do a taste test to see if this one beats Chamomile on the gross factor.

Work is kicking my ass.  I’m in the final phases of a couple huge projects and one that will be going for a while.  There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but I just need to keep walking…

I have also spent a lot of time wondering how someone can just one day decide they don’t love you anymore and disappear.  You go from being the light of their life to someone who can’t do anything right, to discarded, while you are still trying to figure out why they couldn’t just treat you like they did at the beginning.  I have never been someone who could do that.  It’s an exercise in futility trying to understand people and their motivations, but often I can’t help myself.

I have also decided to try to clear my backlog of assorted beers.  I’m not much of a beer drinker, so I end up with random portions of six packs that will sit in my fridge until the end of time…  I mean who knew my brother is the only man on earth who doesn’t like IPA?  COVID definitely ensures my friends aren’t coming over.  So far that’s going better than the current phase of the tea challenge!

 

Just one more day before the weekend! I can do this!

 

 

COVID Diaries: Day 73

It’s the weekend!  Which often in the Pacific Northwest means rain, and today is no different.  We did have thunder and lightning to go with the downpour though, a rarity for us!

I can’t complain too much – we had sunny gorgeous weather for the last several days, and I did have a chance to sit on the deck with a book a couple of times, as well as to go on some long evening walks in the sun.  I guess that just means that I need to work on some indoor things today.

Our Governor finally loosened the restrictions on case count that will allow my county to move into Phase 2 of reopening.  County officials still have to submit the application and be approved by the state, but we now meet the criteria.  Some non-essential businesses will be allowed to re-open with strict protocols in place.  It is a start.  My own work is phasing back into having more people on site, but it will still be a while before I’m in the office with any regularity.  Cora appreciates that I will still be home most of the time!

And!  Some camping will be reopening!  There may be hope for some summer recreation and travel yet!  Being stuck at home for the last two and a half months is taking its toll, so I’m so happy that we will finally be able to get out more.

How is COVID in your area?

 

 

Stay at Home Forever…

Hearts all over Washington State were broken this evening.  “Stay at Home” is extended until May 4.  32 more days of staying home, at a minimum.  UGH…

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t disagree that it is necessary, but ugh all the same.  I was feeling kind of mopey today anyway.  So let’s explore some things I’ve learned about staying home in the time of COVID…

  1. I use more toilet paper. I’m currently mapping this, but I think I am going through a roll a week.  I didn’t hoard, but I did buy 1 package last time I could find some, so I have about 19 rolls.  That will last me a while!
  2. I run the dishwasher way more often.  It’s all that eating at home.  I’m tired of eating at home by the way.
  3. COVID is stressful.  I’m safe at home, but I’m on the front line of decision-making for how to keep my essential government organization safe.  I am back to my stress-induced 3 am insomnia wake up call.  Ugh.
  4. You can’t make everybody happy (see #3).
  5. I never knew it was possible to obsess so much about having to clear my throat.  Was that cough “dry”?!?!?!?!?!?
  6. Working 40 hours a week from home does give me more time at home to get things done in my non-work hours, but that doesn’t mean I will!
  7. I’m really grateful that I had my surgery in December, before all elective surgery got canceled.
  8. Even introverts crave time with people.
  9. Putting on nice clothes doesn’t really have an impact on my mood.  But taking a shower does!  The last time I did laundry, I washed and folded exactly one pair of work slacks from the Board meeting I attended almost two weeks ago; since then the Governor has ruled that all public meetings must be conducted remotely.  I can’t say I’m disappointed!
  10. Coraline enjoys busting in on video meetings!

I like to get out for a walk each day or do some yard work; thankfully I’m only a short walk away from a college campus that is eerily empty…  I’m praying that our efforts are working to flatten the curve and save lives.  I’m heartbroken for the people who have lost their lives, and lost loved ones.  I hope that sooner rather than later, we are able to move on from this.  Meanwhile, I’ll keep doing my part.