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COVID Diaries: Day 431

I had a great weekend.  Friday was my day off, and I ended up being kind-of lazy.  I did walk to the store to pick up fruit to make fruit salad for book club on Friday night.  We were able to meet on the rooftop of a downtown building, with fabulous views!  I love the company of these smart, compassionate women, and our topics of conversation ranged from COVID, to jobs, to love.  The love part makes a lot of sense, as the book, my pick, was about healing from a broken heart. 

 

Saturday was chores day.  I did get quite a bit done that I intended.  I did a deep clean vacuuming, including the stairs, the corners with the wand, and the hardwood and linoleum.  I did a lot of laundry (sheets and blankets and jackets), and folded most of it.  I did dishes, and put things away and broke down some boxes to recycle.  I mowed the lawn and raked up the heavy clumps of grass that were left behind.  Even better though, I had a chance to spend a couple of hours sitting in the sunshine, reading.  Heaven! 

Today, Tiffany and I went to lunch at a place a bit south of us, that has excellent food.  My elk burger was so delicious that I ate the whole thing! 

 

Then we went to check out a state park we had never been to before.  Rasar State Park was well worth the trip!  We spent a couple hours walking the few miles of trails, talking, and were mostly alone the entire time.  The trails take you down to the river, which is a feeding ground for bald eagles in the late fall and winter.  I’m going to have to come back in the winter…  They have a small campground with camping cabins that look like they would be fun to stay in too! 

We came home happy; there just something about nature that is so good for the soul.  And our timing was wonderful, since it started raining about a half hour after we got back.

In COVID news, our Governor FINALLY announced a full reopening no later than the end of June.  Yay!  It’s about time!  Of course, there’s still a chance that he could move away from that, but hopefully it happens.  I guess that means you have 5 more weeks of COVID Diaries, before I’ll have to abandon it for a new series! 

COVID Words of Wisdom: It is not your job to make other people comfortable with who you are.  Be wary of those who don’t want you to change or grow.  Grow anyway — there is no alternative.  Keep Moving.  -Maggie Smith

 

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 316

Another long long week…  Another weekend!  Except I have a meeting in the morning on my day off because I wasn’t quite able to get to everything I needed to get done.  Sigh…  Cora doesn’t mind; she just likes that I’m home.

The COVID cases here continue to be high, so unfortunately the lockdown continues, even as most other states are lifting theirs.  Our surge started after the new lockdown went into effect, so let’s just think on that for a moment…  I’m tired.  The vaccine rollout is a mess; our county has literally no vaccine at all.

We got about a flake and a half of snow this week before it petered out and the sun came out.  I think I would have preferred a foot of snow!  I mean I work from home anyway, so why not?

The weekend of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day my friend and I went on a little Sunday Funday jaunt nearby.  We found an old ship from 1917 that was scrapped and turned into a breakwater in the 1960s.  The trees growing out of it are pretty tall!  I’ve lived here all my life and had no idea this was close by until I was searching around for fun oddities to go see.

It was a gorgeous sunny day, and we had a great time!  It was so refreshing to have good weather in January! That made lunch outside tolerable, maybe even nice?  The fish and chips certainly lifted my spirits!

We also spent some time exploring a nearby state park that I’ve driven by a million times, but rarely stop at.  We walked the beach and hiked to a view of the Deception Pass Bridge.  What an incredible day!

I started a new puzzle, but haven’t made it very far.  The panorama format makes it look so small, even though it is 750 pieces!

I was thinking on life the other day and came up the idea to pass along some words of wisdom.  I mean, I’ve done a lot of living; it’s nice to think I might have learned something along the way.  Some will be mine, but I might share snippets from others too (attributed of course).  So here you go!

COVID Words of Wisdom:  If you are lucky enough to have a woman who tells you what she needs, make sure you listen and at least try to deliver. If you don’t, she won’t stop needing it, but she will stop needing it from you.

Circus Trip 2018: Birthday Lobster

Day 52, Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Beal’s Lobster Pier, SW Harbor, Maine

When you are alone, holidays can be hard…  So I wasn’t sure what to expect from my road trip birthday.  Did I want to mark it in any way, or just let it slide by unnoticed?

Being in Maine at my birthday was fortuitous.  I had always wanted to try whole lobster, and what better place to experience it for the first time than Maine, where I could have fresh whole Maine lobster right at the source!

I asked around that morning and learned that Beal’s Lobster Pier was recommended as the place to be for Maine lobster.  It was near Acadia National Park, so when I finished my days’ touristing, I headed over to check it out.  I arrived fairly early; if I remember correctly it was just before 5, and it wasn’t too busy yet.  I let the man at the counter know I had never had whole Maine lobster, and he set to work picking out a good one for me.  And the sides, you can’t forget the sides…  Coleslaw, corn on the cob, and cornbread…

After I paid, I wandered out to find a table with my glass of Vinho Verde, and had the most incredible view of the harbor from my seat.  It was a warm evening, and I felt so at peace on the water, seeing the occasional boat come in.

My lobster came with instructions on how to crack and eat it, and I was so grateful!  I made sure to take a photo so I could have it in case one day I needed them.

My meal was amazing!  So fresh, and so simple, and easily one of the best meals I have ever had.  It was delicious, and I felt like it was a birthday dinner done right!

Note: For those of you in the know, this was the day before my actual birthday.  It still counts!

COVID Diaries: Day 199

Well lookie there, we are almost at 200 days of this “new normal.” Blech.

I went clothes shopping in the new normal last night. Which consisted of me buying four pairs of jeans, taking them over to my friend’s house, which is closer to the store, trying them all on, and returning the other three to the store. Someone please tell me how this makes sense.

It has made for some quiet weekends and busy work weeks. I did have a great little day trip over to the island with a few girlfriends on the last weekend of summer. The boat ride was incredible, the weather was perfect, and we had fun poking around in shops and laughing so hard we cried. We even saw porpoises from the boat! Girlfriends are the best.

Then the weather turned to fall with a vengeance. High winds and heavy rain for several days. Fun. It did clear out the smoke though! In the last couple of days the smoke has closed in again, but not to the same degree. There’s hope that it will go away starting tomorrow. It irritates my eyes and my throat…

I’m definitely not ready for winter. With everything being so messed up this year, it feels like we shouldn’t even have to count it! We should get to skip winter and start in the spring! It seems like a good idea to me, but I doubt I’m going to be able to get this plan off the ground.

At least it is the weekend!

COVID Diaries: Day 172

September…  2020 is 2/3rds over!  Maybe I’ll survive this year yet!

COVID leaves me a lot of time to think.  Some are ridiculous thoughts like suggesting to my staff that we have a PEEPS diorama contest at work next Easter (this idea was wholeheartedly embraced).  Some are more serious, like putting in the work I need to do in healing.  I started seeing a therapist again, for all the things I bottle up.  We talked early on about how I have experienced an incredible amount of loss in the last few years (to put it mildly)…  I don’t often swear on this blog, but a phrase one of my former employees often said comes to mind…  “What fresh fuckery is this?!?  I think it’s going ok, but that work is damned hard.

I’ve been feeling a bit of writer’s block and it’s making it hard to be more active on this blog.  I’m hoping to get my writing mojo back, but I’m trying to be gentle with myself.

I’m still getting quite a bit of hiking in, with weekly forays into the mountains.  That is good for my soul…

I also keep up on my typical walks and even a swim in the lake!  Two girlfriends and I hired a fitness coach to design a core strength workout routine that we can do at home. I get plenty of cardio in, but I need to do more strength training.  So far it is going well but my quads sure did hurt!

And big news!  I planned a little trip coming up.  The seats are coming back out of the car and the bed is going back in!  It has been since early March that I have traveled, with the exception of one two-night camping trip in the next county down, and do I ever need it!  I’m going to do some days of high desert and then hit the coast for some camping at the beach.  Variety!  I haven’t traveled alone in almost two years, except for one work conference, so I’ll have to get back into my solo groove.

I hope you are all having a good Labor Day Weekend, so far!

COVID Diaries: Day 157

It’s the weekend! And the weekend is very much needed.

It also poured down rain last night and part of today.  I have to admit, that was much needed too.

My aunt and uncle were in town this week, so I got to spend three evenings with them.  That was fun – I always enjoy my time with them and I know my mom does too.

Last night my girlfriend Tiffany came over and we had dinner and went for a walk.  She is my oldest friend – we’ve been friends since she was 5 and I was 7! I don’t even want to say how long ago that was…

Tomorrow I’m going hiking with two other girlfriends.  It is going to be back to sunshine, and I’m so excited!

Happy Friday!

COVID Diaries: Day 152

It’s been a mellow weekend, and also quite a hot one!

I was off Friday, so I have had plenty of time to relax, as well as get in some major yard work.  I’m still working on pruning some large shrubs and trees in my front yard – who landscapes a small front yard with several 30 foot shrubs and trees!?  There really ought to be better education on this topic…

I got my hair cut on Friday – getting rid of the split ends that have been building up since my last haircut in January!  It looks and feels so nice again!  I have my layers back and my curls are so bouncy again!  Except in that picture, because it’s been straightened…  Not that there’s really anyone around to see my hair, but oh well, it’s the little things…

On Wednesday Lelani and I tried out a new trail area in town, and enjoyed a short after-work walk.  Afterwards we got beer and ciders, and walked down to see the sunset over the water.  It was so peaceful!

 

I finished another book last night, so now I’m up to 26 books for the year.  Not bad so far!  Cora has been enjoying some TV binge watching too.

My aunt and uncle are in town visiting my mom, so I’ll get to hang out with them some later today.  I haven’t seen them since January!

Yesterday some creepy middle-aged guy (more middle-aged than me, btw…) decided to park his car on my grass, get out of his car and proceed to urinate in my yard.  All while I was watching him.  So of course I ran over and yelled at him to leave – I had to channel my inner little crazy girl with a number of choice expletives – so hopefully he thinks better of it next time.  Gross!  I live less than a mile away from at least a dozen places one could go to the bathroom – two grocery stores, a Walgreens, a Rite-Aid, a number of fast food joints, so I’m not sure why he thought pissing in someone’s yard in a well-populated neighborhood in the middle of the city was a great idea.  I don’t understand what’s wrong with some people.

Last Sunday Lelani, Audrey and I went up to the mountain and hiked part of the Chain Lakes Trail.  We got a late start so we didn’t do the entire trail, but it was still nice to get up into the mountains and have a peaceful respite!

At work we’ve decided to have our administrative/office staff continue to work from home through the end of the year.  Another 4.5 months at least of saving on my commute!  I’m trying to stay thinking of the positives, and not the fact that I’ve barely seen any of my coworkers since mid-March.  And… we hired my new boss!  He doesn’t start until September, but that’s one big project off my plate!

Well I need to go get some more housework done, as it’s back to “work” from home tomorrow!

 

 

 

COVID Diaries: Day 94

Hard to believe it’s been over 3 months of being mostly locked down.

I continue doing my long walks, sometimes with a friend and sometimes alone, and I hiked last Sunday.

I have been venturing out more into the world of indoor spaces – I went for cocktails with friends last weekend, and a late lunch after the Sunday hike.  Restaurants – what a concept!

Besides that, I have just been working – the pace has been a bit grueling as I have one less-than-pleasant project that seems to just be getting bigger by the day.  I am still enjoying my schedule of having every other Friday off – it is nice to have that extra day even if I’m not really going anywhere on those long weekends.  Hopefully that will change soon!

I Chose You

I have never been a person who has done much fighting back.  I’m generally pretty quiet; an introvert, someone who doesn’t make waves.  A rule follower.  Mostly I’ll listen, and assess, or detach to protect myself, but I won’t typically engage.

You can say a lot to me without getting a reaction.  I have mellowed over time; I used to get more worked up, but now I have more of a tendency to go numb.  Conditioning over a lifetime I suppose, and a career where you have to make some people unhappy.  I rarely say much back in these situations; I tend more towards thinking up all the brilliant things I should have said later…  But quiet is likely better anyway.  If it will come to the same result, it seems the path of least resistance at least gets it over with more quickly.  Maybe it isn’t the best strategy; I’m sure that can be debated until the end of time.

Perhaps that gives people the impression that I’m meek.  That isn’t it.  I have simply learned that to engage is rarely productive; by the time you are done lobbing whatever negative opinion you have of me, there isn’t much that I will be able to say to change your mind.  Your hurtful words come from a lifetime of your own hurt, and aren’t likely to truly be about me.  I have learned that lesson more times than I care to remember.  When your goal is not to help but to hurt, the message has lost its meaning.  And whatever I have to say in response won’t be heard, or received, or considered.  I will be talking to ears that hear but cannot listen, and ears that cannot listen cannot change or understand.

My choice is to disengage.  To say I tried, but I could not overcome.  To say that I loved, but it wasn’t enough.  To say that I still love, but I had to let go.  The only one I can change is myself.

The last words I ever wrote to you were, “I wanted us.”  Don’t you know I would have followed you anywhere?  It seems that you got so busy fighting your imaginary rivals, that you forgot that I had chosen you.