Tag Archive | COVID Diaries

COVID Diaries: Day 661

Ugh… So far 2022 isn’t looking any better than 2021 left us.

I gotta say I have winter fatigue.  After three snowstorms, a treacherous commute over black ice, multiple experiences with freezing rain, and then a big rainstorm to wash it all away, I’m really just ready for summer.  The plus side was the snow kept me from having to work from the office a few days, and I just got to stay wrapped up all cozy and working from home.  I managed to avoid any freezing pipes despite the frigid temperatures, so that was a positive.  But my skin is suffering from the dry air…

One evening I walked downtown through the snow to get out of the house and have dinner at one of my favorite restaurants.  It was pretty quiet when I got there, and I had a chance to just sit at the bar and read my book while sipping my wine.  The mussels and pork belly poutine hit the spot!

My cousin was going through old photos and texted me this one.  My brother, my dad and me – probably 1978.  I don’t know who got cut out over on the left…  I miss my dad so much still.  It’s been almost three years, and it still feels like yesterday.

New Year’s was quiet, because my friend who was going to come over couldn’t.  But I got treated to three days of her in the last snowstorm this week because I live within walking distance of her work, so she stayed with me to make sure she could get there.  We started a new puzzle.  And we walked to dinner and I got fajitas!  Oh boy, how I love steak fajitas…

 

Now I’m just trying to get motivated to clean the house.  Meh…

In other good news I have a four day work week next week and a four day holiday weekend!  I live for the long weekends!  I have a couple of friends coming up too, so I’m looking forward to that.  Maybe the year will start to turn around!

 

Goodbye 2021: Another Year in COVID

I had such high hopes for 2021 at the beginning.  Surely it had to be better than 2020, which basically delivered a whole steaming pile of death, destruction and mayhem (and some significant savings on commuting).  But in fact, 2021 has given us a crazy roller-coaster of whiplash moments that frequently left me feeling like I was a cat watching a game of ping-pong, quietly muttering to myself, “make it make sense…”

There were some silver linings in 2021 though, mixed in with some heartaches.

In May my heart broke when a long-time friend and ex-boyfriend died of a massive heart attack after spending ten days on life support.  Although we were no longer that close, there was a time when he meant the world to me and it was so hard to see him taken so soon.

I also caught Yellow in May, a stray cat who my old neighbor had been feeding, and brought him inside.  Over the last seven months, he has decided that the indoor life is really pretty good.  He sits on my lap, sleeps on the bed curled up with me and doesn’t even mind Cora.

In June, I took a vacation to parts of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and even a bit of Wisconsin.  The weather was hot and sunny, and good company made for a great trip.  The lakes are warm enough that you feel like you are swimming in lukewarm bathwater!  And the little sunfish come up and nibble on your legs…  

I worked almost exclusively remotely until July, when we all spent 2 months back in the office on a full-time basis.  Now, I’m back working two days a week from home, which is nice as gas prices are crazy with inflation lately.

In August a girlfriend and I got away to the Oregon Coast for a week of agate hunting, trying new restaurants and breweries, and sightseeing.  It wasn’t that warm, but it was still glorious!  We had such a good time!

I took two weekend getaways to the Washington Coast, one in May by myself and another in early December with a girlfriend.  Beach-combing and sightseeing were on the agenda, and were good for the soul.

I did several Sunday Fundays with girlfriends, weather permitting, and found new places close to home to explore.

Sadly, 2021 saw people be viciously mean to others.  A lot of people have stopped living by the Golden Rule, and somehow feel that they now have a right to judge others they don’t agree with.  Unfortunately, the internet helps with this, as people feel more comfortable sitting behind their keyboards and expelling their verbal diarrhea on others.  It has been hard to see.  In the end, we will all be judged by God and him alone, so I hope people take a step back and move back into kindness in 2022.  I have had to step back from people like that, as it just isn’t worth my sanity.

With so much time at home, I finished 11 puzzles and read 38 books! 

We are closing out the year with two big snowstorms and frigidly cold temperatures.  As I write this, the 23 degree temperature is warmer than it has been all week!  Which isn’t a big deal other places, but it is rare that we deal with the threat of frozen pipes and black ice here.  It really is pretty though when you aren’t out in it…

Given that 2021 did not indeed turn out to be the comeback year that I was hoping for, I must now cast my gaze towards 2022 and sternly notify it that it must, indeed be better.  May 2022 bring you blessings…

COVID Diaries: Day 634

Well, after three atmospheric rivers, and a lot of flooding all over the county, the weather systems are calmed down for a little while.  One man died, many farmers lost a lot of their livestock, and thousands of homes and businesses will need to be gutted and rebuilt.  The county is dotted with sinkholes and roads that are eroded away from the rushing water.  

The flooding finally made it to my hillside street, in the form of a blocked culvert that started overflowing into the street, and sending a lot of gravel out of the neighbors’ parking areas and into the street.  Fortunately, it didn’t erode underneath the street.  Really, since that is all that happened near me, I have nothing to complain about.

Then we moved onto snow.  I woke up Monday morning to a dusting of the white stuff, but it didn’t create any issues for my morning commute.  It snowed again a little on Thursday morning, but not enough to even stick.  Friday night brought a new storm of wind and rain, and plenty of snow in the mountains.  It made a mess of my yard, bringing down a couple of big branches that I’ll need to cut up and get rid of.  The yard work never ends this time of year!

I really get tired of the constant battering of wind and rain on the coast this time of year.  But given the tornadoes in the Midwest, I probably still have nothing to complain about here. 

Last weekend my friend Shelley and I took a long weekend and went to the coast.  We rented a room in a little motel, then got upgraded to a two bedroom suite with a full kitchen because the TV wasn’t working.  We beach combed,  and checked out the sights along the coast.  It was a nice getaway, despite the rain and cold.  We bundled up and managed to do ok. 

I’m not ready for Christmas, but I did manage to get my ornaments made for my family’s homemade ornament exchange; for me, who has no crafting skills whatsoever, this is a big accomplishment each year!  I’ll try to remember to share them all once I receive the ones from my aunt and my cousin. 
 
2021 has been a brutal year.  Our insurance broker at work always says that you are bound to have one or two bad years out of every five.  I’m hoping I can apply that to life as well.  I hope you all are hanging in there; there is a light at the end of the tunnel!  Just a few more weeks; 2022 is bound to bring something better! 
 
I hope you are all well. 

COVID Diaries: Day 606

I am currently living through an “atmospheric river.”  I swear the weather people are just making it up as they go along, but my mother assures me that this has been a thing before.  So if mom is correct, then clearly I’ve just blocked out my previous traumatic experiences. 

For those of you not living through an atmospheric river, it basically just means that the hard rain continues on and on until you feel that you will surely die of rain.  Inches and inches of rain…  It’s endless.  As in never ending.  UGH…  Some towns in my county are flooding now and the rivers aren’t expected to crest until tomorrow.  I live on a large hill and have no risk of flooding, but it isn’t looking good in some parts of my community.   

I finished my latest puzzle on Friday night. That makes nine this year so far.  And yesterday I booked a weekend getaway to the coast for December. Some sightseeing and agate hunting will be just what the doctor ordered, even though it is possible that we will still be experiencing the “atmospheric river.”  Let’s hope the river is gone by then.

In less rainy news, last weekend I went out for dinner with some girlfriends and had a wonderful time, laughing and catching up.  It was a much needed night out.  I’m constantly remembering that I need to make time for social events and time with friends, even when I might otherwise be tempted to not leave the house.  Girlfriends are good for the soul.  My burger was pretty darned good too.

Thursday I had the day off and my mom and I went out to lunch and checked out an antique shop and a thrift shop.  I picked up a large, awesome glass jar, that I will one day fill with large agates (I dream big)!  I also got a couple of hiking books, including one of local winter hikes.  For when the pouring rain stops, of course. 

And I caught this photo of Yellow and Cora teaming up to check out something outside.  They are getting along!  Yes, Yellow does look a bit skeptical, but he didn’t run away.  They aren’t cuddling up together or anything, but they also aren’t hissing or growling at each other, except on the rare occasions when Cora wants to chase Yellow.

I hope you all are having better weather than we are here in the Northwest!  I leave you with some wisdom – this very thing has been on my mind a lot lately.

COVID Diaries: Day 585

I’m currently experiencing the beginning of a “bomb cyclone” that is supposed to be roaring through the Pacific Northwest today through Tuesday.  I’m not sure what a bomb cyclone is, but it is apparently going to be the worst one we’ve had since the early 1980s.  Now depending on which news source you read, it apparently started on Thursday and is a series of “bombs,” or is that cyclones?, raging through.  So far at least, I would describe the last few days as pretty typical of fall in the Northwest.  We got some rain, we got some wind, but I was outside both Friday and yesterday and it seemed like a perfectly lovely fall day. 

Unfortunately all this talk of the bomb cyclone put off my Sunday Funday, because you know, the entire coast was supposed to be underwater and buffeted with near-hurricane force winds.  What we have right now is rain and a bit of wind.  I walked to the grocery store and got soaked on the way back, but the walk there was calm, and almost sunny.  So I guess with the arrival of the rain it is probably a purging and organizing, and puzzle type of evening.  It’s hard to get motivated through the drizzle.

I just have to reflect on my Sunday Funday a few weekends ago, when a friend and I went down to Whidbey Island and did some agate hunting, and I found three! We sat and talked and then went to the little town of Coupeville and poked around in the shops and got dinner at a Tavern nearby.  I got some photos of the gulls too.  It was such a nice day! 

In good news,  Yellow had his follow up appointment with the vet on Friday, and they pulled out his remaining staples.  His wound is closed!  Five long months, and I KNOW that he was just as tired of it as I was.  Even though I explained to him that he doesn’t have to go back for a while, I’m not sure he really understands that.  He did forgive me though when I gave him some wet food.  He really is settling in well here.

 

Of course, Cora is doing great too – she is happy and healthy and just wants Yellow to play with her.  He’s not ready for that, but he does let her lick him, until she gets rambunctious.  

I think it is time to start a new puzzle.  I’ve been pondering a lot on what’s next in my life’s journey and getting things sorted out.  A little down time couldn’t hurt.

 

 

 

COVID Diaries: Day 577

Sometimes, I day dream to maintain my sanity.  I think about all the things that I’ll have more time for once I retire.  All the things I want to do, or do again, or see.

Travel: I cannot wait to get back on the road and travel regularly again.  A new job a few years ago, then COVID, and I’m itching to stretch my wings again.  I have so many places on my bucket list!

Reading: Admittedly, I read a lot now.  But there are so many books and so little time!  History, historical fiction, biographies, novels… So many books sitting on my shelves and on my IPod just waiting to be picked up and loved.

Rock-hounding: This is a new pursuit.  I mean, I have always loved rocks, but I have gotten way more interested in the last year. Probably because it’s outdoors, and away from other people.  You can walk gorgeous beaches, or meandering rivers, and see what you find.

Photography: I have enjoyed photography for a long time.  Ever since that day at Yellowstone National Park when I was about six, and my dad told me I could take one photo of anything I want.  I chose an elk carcass.  Yes, that somewhat morbid nature has remained with me.  Yes, I still take photos of carcasses…  But I also take photos of beautiful landscapes and live animals!

Hiking: Getting out and enjoying nature and exercising has been so healing and grounding for me.  I dream of taking new trails and going to new parks.

Puzzles: I have so much fun working on a puzzle!  Enough said.

Family: My job has meant long hours, and sometimes a long commute.  I’ll have more time to spend with family and friends!  Hopefully, coupled with traveling, hiking, rock-hounding and puzzles.

Maybe I’ll pick up some new hobbies too.  I have always wanted to cook better; maybe it will be a time to work on my skills. I would like to do a vegetable garden too!

That day is getting closer all the time…

COVID Diaries: Day 569

It’s finally the weekend once again!  I can’t tell you how much I LIVE for the weekends.

And today is my mom’s birthday.  We went out for lunch to Mexican food.  She didn’t want anything big to celebrate, so we kept it low key.  I’m so grateful that I have a wonderful mom; someone who raised me well and continues to support me everyday.  She is truly a blessing.

Work is, well work.  In strange and wonderful news, one of my direct reports, who resigned about a month ago, decided that the grass isn’t always greener and is coming back next week.  It’s great to not have to train up someone new.  Some things really do work out for the best! 

The news on Yellow is good too!  FINALLY his wound is staying closed!  It has been three weeks since he had his last suture and staple procedure, and the wound is still holding.  A few of the staples have fallen out, but there are five or six that remain.  I sent pictures to his vet yesterday and we are going to give it a few more weeks.  I’m so happy about this! 

Last weekend I did a lot of yardwork and purging inside.  I’m planning to continue that this weekend, in addition to having a Sunday Funday with a girlfriend. 

I continue with my future planning.  I met with my financial advisor a few weeks ago and things are really looking up!  It makes me happy and feel like I have more flexibility with things.  It really is a relief. 

I hope you all are doing well!

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!

 

COVID Diaries: Day 535…

It’s been a looonnnnggg couple of weeks.  I’m still working everyday in the office, so that’s adding a lot of commute time into the daily schedule.  But what else?

I’m taking this opportunity during my commute to work through some audiobooks on CD.  I’ve finished three so far, after getting a bit of a slow start.  I count this as purging – because after I finish them they can move on to new, bookish homes!  Sadly my most recent book had a recording error and disc 6 had the same tracks as disc 5!  I wasn’t able to hear the end of the book! Thankfully the library has the audiobook version, so all is not lost.

Yellow had to go back to the vet yet again today.  This time to have his wound staples redone.  About a third of his armpit wound has closed, but the rest of that sucker is stubbornly holding on.  He was not pleased when I picked him up to once again rudely shove him into the carrier, so he expressed his strong dissatisfaction by peeing on me.  I mean, some might say he was just scared, but let’s be real, I’m pretty sure he was just pissed off.  I can’t blame him.  Once again though, within a few minutes of our arrival at home, he was willing to forgive me.  He has been enjoyed some loves, and some lap time and and extra lunch meal as I suck up to him.  Of course, I did get smart this time and trimmed his claws last night before this morning’s caging attempt.  I do, at least sometimes, learn things.

I continue to be disappointed at the divisiveness and meanness that is exhibited by so many.  I wonder if when we all look back on these days in a few years, if some people will reflect and feel the slightest bit of shame about how they treated other people.  I guess we will have to see.

My dad’s birthday was last week.  I miss the conversations about world events and his guidance on things.  I miss sitting with him watching the evening news.  Each year is another year where I have new experiences that I don’t get to share with him, and that is hard.

Last night I had book club – a chance to talk about interesting reads with a wonderful group of kind supportive women.  It is still summer, but the evenings have cooled off, so we spent the evening in my friend’s conference room, which has a nice view of the city and the bay.  Sunset photos anyone?

I’ve been on some nice walks around town and the beach, and that always helps me find my happy place.

I hope you are all enjoying the Labor Day weekend with friends, family and loved ones.  Cheers to the last days of summer!

 

 

COVID Diaries: Day 517

A few months ago it seemed that things were looking brighter.  The economy was opening up.  The lock downs were over.  Summer was starting.  I ended the COVID Diaries because it seemed that we could finally move on.  Tonight I am revisiting. 

I’ve been staring at a blank page for a few days, trying to find the words.  And not finding them.  Not finding the means to express the utter disappointment and anxiety I feel about the state of the country. 

I feel like I have never before seen people so pitted against each other on social media.  Maybe it’s true that people say things there that they wouldn’t say in real life.  But it is sad.  It is heartbreaking.  To see people calling others names for having an opinion that differs from your own.  To be attacking someone for their belief system or their choices because you would not have made the same choice.  To assume ill intent when all I have seen is sincere, educated people trying to make the best choices for themselves with the information that is available. 

And then you add in the world crises.  People dying around the world from the decisions and policies of governments over a good portion of my lifetime.  I have limited information, and my opinion is simply that – my opinion.  I try not to judge.  I tried to not cry as I drove to work this morning.  Exhausted. 

My therapist and I talked about the worry box this week.  A place to store those things which you cannot change.  To pack them away until such time that you give them attention, but only for a little while.  And then pack them away again to worry about only those things that you can control.  Tomorrow I will drive to work, write emails and plan for recruitments and counsel managers.  I will revise employment policies and implement insurance policies and get ready for our fall medical renewal.  I will look at old contracts and determine which ones can be destroyed because they are outdated.  I will talk to employees who have the same worries as I do, and keep mine hidden.  I will do those things which I can control. 

Help me to believe that people are inherently kind and good, as my faith is faltering.