Tag Archive | COVID Diaries

COVID Diaries: Day 723

Hopefully, with any luck, this is the final post in the COVID Diaries series!  Tomorrow is Ditch Your Mask Day here in Washington, and I can’t wait to see everybody’s bare faces!  We have been through a lot this last two years, and I’m ready to move forward.

Spring is creeping up on us in the Pacific Northwest, the robins are arriving, and the birds are singing their morning songs.  My morning commute on days I’m in the office is finally not mostly in the dark.  The early spring flowers are popping up.  And we are getting some sunny days between the cloudy and rainy ones.  New life and the signs of winter fading away do so much for my spirits!

I had planned to get up early this morning on my Friday off and head down south a bit to check out a new beach – I want to do some agate hunting!  But my car had other ideas.  It started having some issues with the door locks last weekend, and the CD player, so I dropped it off at the shop on Tuesday morning hoping they could do some quick diagnostics and figure out what the problem is.  Unfortunately, they are backed up, just like every other business, so here it is Friday and they still haven’t had a chance to look at it.  Sigh…  Hopefully today will be the day.

Thankfully I was easily able to just work an extra day from home this week, so I really didn’t need my car for much.  My mom took me over to the chiropractor yesterday.  Seeing that I’m stuck around home for another day, I’ll try to make the most of it and get into another day of purging and cleaning. 

Wish me luck!  It’s hard to stay motivated, but when you have an end goal in mind, I guess it gets a little easier. 

I hope you all have a great weekend! 

COVID Diaries: Day 718

It was a beautiful weekend here!  It was sunny and warm, and the first time this year that I tied my sweatshirt around my waist during a late morning walk!

It was also a weekend of chores.  Yesterday, between a long walk with girlfriends, and an hour of yard work, I hit 20,000 steps for the day!

I have committed to work on purging the house for 5 hours per week.  My purge-weeks go from Saturday to Friday and so far I’m at 3.25 hours.  That doesn’t seem like a lot but it is!  There’s plenty to go through, but hopefully I can keep up my motivation.  I went through a bunch of old travel brochures, greeting cards from my wedding (don’t need those!), a couple of random drawers, part of the pantry and a little bit of the garage.  I probably should stick to a room at a time, but my brain doesn’t really stay engaged that way.  I’m more a root around and see what I find type of person.

The real challenge will be when I get to the books.  Because books “bring me joy”!  But I know I need to pass along some. I’ve been doing well passing along audiobooks that I’ve already listened to, but with actual physical books it will be harder.  And the clutter in the garage.  UGH.  Wish me luck.  

Our Governor bumped up “Ditch your Mask Day”, so we only have one more week of this.  Yay!

I hope you all have a great work week!

COVID Diaries: Day 711

I did a whole workweek upon my return from vacation.  Thankfully it was a super short week, as Monday was a holiday and Friday was my regular Friday off.  Even three days was a long week!  Sometimes things at work just have a way of weighing me down; it was that kind of week. 

It seems I brought the cold weather home, as we got a dusting of snow on Tuesday morning and then a couple of inches on Thursday.  It is gone now, with the last of the snow washed away by heavy rain on Saturday afternoon.  This picture doesn’t show as much snow as I got, as the big fir trees block most of the snow in that part of the yard.

Good thing I got my yard work done in the morning, before the rain started, but my next chore will be to tackle the parts of the yard that were still covered in snow yesterday.  That’s the thing about the Pacific Northwest; it never gets cold enough or snowy enough for the yard work to stop, especially if you have a lot of trees in the yard like I do.

Other than the yard work, I’ve had a pretty lazy weekend; I finished a puzzle yesterday afternoon.  This beauty! 

Cora enjoyed “helping” with the puzzle, and both Cora and Yellow have enjoyed having lots of time to snuggle now that I’m home! 

I need to get some laundry done – why do the chores never stop!  Some purging…  And get the house cleaned up in anticipation of the work week.  A five day work week this time! 

I am signing up for a 15K – the Hot Chocolate Run that I have done several years in a row.  So far, one of my girlfriends will be doing it with me; I’m hoping more will sign up!  I need to get back into shape, and there’s nothing like a little incentive. 

Hopefully the spring weather and warmer temperatures will be here soon!  I can’t wait! 

COVID Diaries: Day 707

I got home late Monday night from two weeks on vacation in Minnesota.  It was a much needed respite, and yet so very cold!

Getting home on Monday wasn’t easy though.  There was a winter storm warning in Minnesota that was due to bring 14 inches of snow.  Thankfully the snow came later and it wasn’t bad getting to the airport.  My first flight was great!  My second flight was canceled due to high winds.  I ended up taking the shuttle bus home, but my bags didn’t come with me.  I got one bag back last night and my second got home today.  And all the Minnesota cider I had nestled into it survived!   

Unfortunately, I got home to a cold snap so encountered temps of 25 degrees and black ice on my commute, making for a treacherous drive on Tuesday.  But the sun is out!  And it warmed up to 44 this afternoon, making it much warmer than Minnesota now.

It was so nice to have a getaway, but it just reminded me how much I want to go on a long road trip again!  But probably not in the dead of winter.  Well, maybe in the dead of winter in the south.  At any rate, a road trip is on my mind.  Hopefully soon.

My vacation was spent doing many cold weather activities.  Hiking, snow shoeing, visiting an ice castle and an ice maze, ice fishing, frozen waterfalls and other fun winter activities!  I had a great time, but didn’t always stay warm!  In the evenings, I got to work on a puzzle, watch movies, play games or just read. 

In other news, my state’s Governor finally announced that he would lift our mask mandate no later than March 21, long after most other states.  So that may mean that the COVID Diaries may finally come to an end, and it will be time to have a new “thoughts on life” series.  One can only hope.  Stay tuned! 

COVID Diaries: Day 683

I’m ready for winter to be over, but I’m trying to embrace it while it lasts.  The last week or so has been cold and clear, with some blue sky days and some that were foggy.  It was back to rain today.

Cora is fully embracing the winter – lazy days spent snuggling in her puff.  These cats really have the life…

Yesterday a girlfriend and I went to TJ Maxx and to the outlet mall to do a bit of clothes shopping.  I have purchased next to nothing in the way of new clothes over the last two years, what with not traveling, and mostly working from home.  It’s been time to get rid of some things that were getting ratty, with faulty zippers and faded colors.  I was way too successful with sweaters and tops, but I can’t complain, as usually it’s the other way around…

On our way home we still had a bit of daylight left, so we stopped by a newer park about a half hour from home.  We checked out a trail, and the viewpoints at the top of Little Mountain.  This is one we will definitely need to visit again! 

I finished my Minnesota puzzle and started a new one.  The fairly monochromatic pink on the new one is going to be more challenging.  I’m making some progress, but it’s a bit slow.  She’s so pretty though!  The photo is a picture of the box – I haven’t made it very far yet.  It was a Christmas gift from my mom.

Shelley and I walked downtown to steak night mid-week.  It is always so delicious!  I was so hungry though, that I totally missed taking a photo of my steak.  I did manage to snap a pic of the chocolate cake we shared for dessert.

 

I’m looking forward to the day when I’m not going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark.  Sunset is after 5 pm now, so that day is coming!  I feel like I only ever see the sun on my days off and when I can squeeze in a lunch walk, which isn’t everyday.  

I need a vacation! 

 

 

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.