Tag Archive | COVID-19

COVID Diaries: Day 278

Today is the winter solstice in North America; the darkest day of the year.  On top of that, today’s weather is a relentless, depressing, non-stop rain…

For the darkness reason, it’s not my favorite day of the year, but at least it will start to get lighter starting tomorrow, even if the cold and rain will continue for several more months.  There is something about the light that is good for my soul.

What strange times we continue to find ourselves in.  People are continuing to suffer from COVID and its associated chaos, and I’m sure the mental health crisis so many are experiencing will continue to get worse in these long, dark, isolated winter months.

I’m tempted to just buy myself a whole bunch of presents…  I’m not usually one for much retail therapy, but as there is very little in social diversion due to the latest lock down, what more is there?  Luckily I did receive some puzzles for Christmas (early presents) so I’ll have some new challenging ones to work on!

And of course, I have plenty of writing to do here.  I still have my huge backlog of travel posts too!

End note: After I started this post before work, it started snowing!  So far it’s still coming down!  Since I don’t have to drive to work anyway, bring it on – let it snow!

COVID Diaries: Day 273

There’s been some good news and bad news in my COVID life…  So perhaps we should break this out.

The bad news:

  • It’s almost winter.  It feels like we really didn’t get a summer this year and now we have to jump right back into winter!  Other than snowshoeing, this is not my favorite season!
  • Things are locked down tight again. We aren’t supposed to gather outside of our immediate household, and aren’t supposed to travel, and can’t even go out to eat at a restaurant!  So, I’ll be back to my own mediocre home cooking…
  • It’s dark.  It’s still pretty dark when I “arrive” at work (having had the grueling walk to the spare room commute).  And it’s dark when I’m done working for the day.  That’s hard on the soul.

The good news:

  • The vaccine news is certainly good!  In 9 months they have fast-tracked three vaccines!  Hopefully they will prove to be both safe and effective; it will be interesting to see how the roll-out goes.
  • The winter solstice is in less than a week, so it will start to get light again!
  • I have plenty of puzzles to keep me occupied.
  • Not been able to go out and be social gives me more time to do some reading!
  • Maybe this will be the winter that I go for some drives to find noteworthy things to photograph.  I would like to do more of that, and it seems like a perfect opportunity!

Until all this is over, I’ll be dreaming of travel and wide open spaces.

Badlands National Park

How about you?  Are you finding ways to make this lockdown more tolerable?

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 133

Today our Governor suspended any movement through the reopening phases that he implemented several months ago.  Indefinitely.  The lock-down will continue.  I feel like we will never be done with this…

I’m having trouble adulting this week.  I’m tired of COVID, I’m tired of immature people, I’m tired of seeing so many people suffering.

So to provide something a bit more light, here are some things I’ve learned in lock-down.

  1. In an average week, I spend approximately 95% of my time alone; I’ve been loosely keeping track.  One week recently I got down to 90%; that was unusual.  No wonder I get lonely.
  2. On the marshmallow roasting curve, I’m a four.
  3. Since the lock-down began, I have read 19 books.
  4. I’m really, really craving a Scotch egg.
  5. I seriously think of taking the seats back out of my car, putting the bed back in, and taking off.  Every. Single. Day.  This leads to a lot of obsessing about my early retirement…
  6. I have done four puzzles since the lock-down started, but haven’t done any in the last month or so.  Maybe I should start a new one.
  7. Last night was the first night this summer that it was too hot too sleep.  I consider that an improvement from July 1, when I had to turn the heat back on.
  8. Recently I discovered that Costco is selling boozy otter pops and I may now be ruined for life.  Genius!
  9. Google “I smell like beef,” and watch the Katie Ryan YouTube video.  Trust me.
  10. Today I ate what was suspiciously like a Cheese Puff; it was in my bag of Cheetos.  It was all light and puffy and gross.  This describes everything that’s wrong with 2020.  There is no room in the world for cheese puffs.  2020 is a cheese puff.

But remember… We’ll get through this.  Together, but separate…

COVID Diaries: Day 131

We have now been at this for over four months.  Four months!  I’m tired.  It feels like one endless cycle of workdays and weekends, with the occasional grocery shopping trip.  Well, who am I kidding.  It has been that endless cycle – the furthest I have traveled in the last four months has been to work, and even that is very rare.  I need a vacation!

I’m still trying to keep track of an endless series of rules and guidelines.  Last week I could still eat inside in a restaurant but this week that’s banned.  You are supposed to wear a mask in public, which is simple enough and has been in place for weeks, but apparently being at home with people you don’t live with is now “in public.”  That’s new.  How are people supposed to keep up?  I still haven’t been able to get a haircut and now I wonder if I’ll get in before that rule changes again. Good thing I don’t dye my hair or have a fancy hairstyle.

This week in the sermon the priest said, “hell is an absence of anything and everything but yourself.  Do you really want to spend an eternity with just you?”  He wasn’t talking about COVID, but it certainly felt relevant.  Of course, lately I’ve been feeling like maybe that’s not so bad.  The ranting, the judgment, the call out and cancel culture, and some people’s beliefs that their opinions are the only right opinions – it is wearing on me.

The sun has been out though, and I have been spending some time on the deck reading.  COVID is definitely a boost for churning through books!

Thursday night I went with Lelani to the beach after work.  We picked up fried chicken dinners from the grocery store along the way, hiked in and relaxed while drinking wine from a can with our dinners.  An impromptu photo shoot and my sassy mood resulted in my new favorite photo of myself!  The weather was windy and slightly chilly, my hair was a mess, but the waves on the shore did the trick.  This girl’s soul needs the ocean.

My sassy self!

That hair!

I have also been working on pruning some of the big shrubs and trees in the yard; they were badly pruned five years ago (not by me), and they have finally grown back in the right places to attempt to prune them back into a better shape.

I pinched a nerve in my right shoulder a few weeks ago and ouch!  It has been painful.  Hopefully a second trip to the chiropractor this week will have me on the mend; it is not fun!

Last night I went to a very small BBQ, and had salmon, shrimp and home grown zucchini.  I brought the wine.  It was a rye barrel aged red blend from Beringer, and it was quite good!  It was this month’s wine club red, and it was certainly not something I would pick on my own, so it was great to be introduced to something new!  It paired well with a warm evening and good company.

I hope you are all well, and able to get out and enjoy the summer!

COVID Diaries: Day 111

After three days of rain last week, the blue sky has returned.  It was so cold and so dreary that I actually had to turn the heat back on in the house on Wednesday!  That is pretty rare with our mild coastal weather.

I had a four day weekend, and was soooo tired for my first two days off – worn out to the core.  I didn’t do much Thursday and Friday so I could build back up some energy reserves.  Is that even possible – can you bank energy?  It’s hard on me that I can’t travel.  It would be nice to take a week or two away, but what would I do with very little open and tourism destinations still asking people to stay away?  So meanwhile I’ll continue building up my vacation bank, and saving money for my early retirement.  What more can you do?

Independence Day was pretty nice, and I went for a long walk with Shelley in the morning, followed by lunch at a place with outdoor seating.  I did some yard work, then got a chance to go stand-up-paddleboarding with Lelani in the afternoon.  It was nice to try it again!  We talked and relaxed on the lake for a while.

As usual, I was in bed before dark, but apparently my fellow citizens wanted to light off copious amounts of fireworks to demonstrate their angst at being pent up for so long.  With no city sponsored fireworks show this year, the neighborhood booms were the worst they have been in years, and I wasn’t able to get to sleep until after midnight.  Things are just so different these days.

Sunday I got up early and did a long hike up to Oyster Dome with Lelani.  This has long been one of my favorite local hikes.  It’s a pretty tough one, with a lot of up up up, but the view at the top over the bay and the Skagit tidal flats is always a stunner!  We were early enough that it wasn’t too crowded, and we went a different route than I usually do, which took us back along a trail that was very quiet!  We clocked just under 4 hours, and when we got back the trailhead parking was packed!

I’m still lonely, but it has been nice being able to get out more.  Getting to see friends and getting up in the woods are both good for the soul.

 

COVID Diaries: Day 81

Day 81.  81 days since I’ve been working from home, and not seeing people in real life much.  81 days since thrift shops, restaurants, events, travel, camping, and pretty much anything that brings me joy has been canceled or closed.  81 days – I could have gone around the world and been back home with a day to spare – according to that book at least…

We finally got notice on Friday that our county was approved for Phase 2 – a limited reopening…  Dog groomers, hairstylists, retail and restaurants at limited capacity.  Some places reopened Friday or Saturday – some are waiting a little while, just to see.  Camping is open, but smaller communities still don’t want you to come visit.  People are angry, and they have every right to be, about a number of issues.  With all the protests around the country, I wouldn’t be surprised if COVID case counts go up dramatically this week.  Will that mean a new round of closures?

In the last 81 days, life has gone on, as it always does, but not always in the best of ways.  My horse died in March.  My relationship ended in April.  A close friend of mine died suddenly in May (not of COVID-19).  I’ll admit it, I’m sad.  I’m lonely.  I’m tired of not being able to go do much.  I have been feeling a writer’s block lately, even though I want to write.  There are only so many books, puzzles, and yard work you can do before you are just sick of it, and want something new.  I’ve been going for a lot of long walks, but my routes are feeling monotonous too.

My heart is screaming for a vacation.  The beach, the desert, the mountains, the countryside… Anything but a city…  I’m trying to be patient.  I’m trying to appreciate the fact that I’m saving money, saving vacation time, and making great progress towards my goal of early retirement.  This too, shall pass…  When this is all over, I have some catching up to do!

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?

 

 

COVID Diaries: Day 65

It’s the weekend!  I have a four-day weekend this weekend, due to my work schedule, which is awesome, but the staying at home part is not as awesome.  Originally, in life-before-COVID days, I was supposed to be taking a long weekend trip, but I guess you folks will just have to put up with me instead.

Other than that, I’ll just be reading, writing, cleaning, organizing, doing yard work and hopefully doing a hike or two.  I have been watching the Channel Islands National Park, Georgia Aquarium and Monterey Bay Aquarium live cams when I need a little relaxation.  I swear when this is all over, I’m going to travel every weekend for weeks and never get tired of it!

I put on jeans this week. The kind of denim that isn’t super-stretchy even, and I was so excited that they aren’t tight!  I have felt like I’ve been doing pretty well staying in shape, because I have been taking long walks most evenings and being really good about getting my steps in, but jeans were a test.  I passed!  It was literally the first time I have worn real pants since March 23.

Yesterday after work my friend Shelley and I went for a long walk on a different route than we normally take.  We checked out the old Georgia Pacific property in town; it is finally being redeveloped.  The Port purchased the property in January 2005, and some of GP’s operations there continued until 2007, when GP finally closed for good.  Political infighting left the redevelopment languishing for years after that.  In the last three years or so, it has finally gotten moving, with old buildings being demolished, and roads, a bike pump track and a park being built.  One old building has been redeveloped, but is currently closed due to COVID.  In the years to come, additional mixed use buildings will be built and old GP buildings converted, a combination of light industrial, retail and residential space.  I love that they have saved some of the old industrial features of the site, and they stand proudly as architectural salvage and a reminder of the history of our city.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and remember those who fought and died for our freedoms.

 

COVID Diaries: Day 60

The weekend had some ups and downs.

Friday morning I received some very sad news and it has been weighing heavily on me.  So when I got a call from Lelani asking me over for a patio dinner, I accepted.  We sat outside and enjoyed a sunny spring evening, talking and catching up in a way that is always impossible with a device.  We talked about all the places we will go once the world reopens.  We talked about road-tripping, and a vacation to Europe, and a trip to Kauai.  We will have to see which comes first!  I also really want to do an outdoor painting for my deck like the ones she and her daughter did!

Saturday morning I went hiking on the Chanterelle Trail in town, despite the threatening rain.  The sprinkles went largely unnoticed underneath the tree canopy, and I got my workout in with a 4.8 mile hike with a 1,000 foot elevation gain and a pretty view of the lake.  The switchbacks make the elevation gain manageable, and it felt great to be back out on the trail.  It was my first hike since COVID began, and it was sorely needed.  I even wore the new hiking pants I got a few months ago and hadn’t had an opportunity to try out yet.

The rest of Saturday was pretty lazy, but I made progress on my puzzle!  And read my book.  Cora has been “helping” with my puzzle, which basically means laying on strategic parts of it so I have to work somewhere else.  And then grabbing pieces to play with.  It isn’t as if she gets no attention!  Since I took the photos below, I have done quite a bit more!

Today was supposed to rain all day, but surprisingly the early morning showers cleared up for a nice, sunny afternoon.  I mowed the lawn and did a bit of yard work – the grass grows quickly this time of year!

Back to work tomorrow!  I even need to go into work for real too; my Surface has been having some trouble with freezing up, so our fantastic IT folks have configured a new one for me.  It will be a brief visit, but it will be the first time I have purchased gas since March…