Tag Archive | COVID Diaries

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. 

 

COVID Diaries: Day 467

Today is the third day in a row that it has felt hotter than the surface of the sun here in the Pacific Northwest.  The predictions for a record breaking heatwave were not exaggerated.  Both yesterday and today, we have broken an the all-time high temperature for my city.  96 degrees yesterday, and 99 today.  Out in the county, and further south the temps are about 10 degrees hotter.  Where my mom lives, it topped out at 108 today. 
 
I know many of you probably read this and wonder why we Northwesterners can’t handle the heat.  But hear me out.  We rarely (or never?) get temps this high here.  Only about a third of the homes here even have air-conditioning.  Our temperatures are moderate year round, so our homes aren’t insulated in a way that keeps out the heat.
 
My non-air-conditioned home reached a high of 93 degrees yesterday and 95 today.  Yes, that’s INSIDE.  And that’s on the first floor, where the thermostat is.  I would guess that upstairs is about 10 degrees hotter.  And before you say, just go somewhere cool, there really isn’t someplace cool.  Many of our restaurants and public buildings don’t have air-conditioning either.  In fact, many of our restaurants have shut down because of the heat.  Even if they were open, we are still dealing with COVID capacity limits…  UGH.
 
The pavement on some of our roads is literally buckling.  They have closed roads and highways to assess the safety of the roads and the damage.
 
I’ve been chilling wet food for the kitties, and giving them cold, cold water.  They are basically just lying around in a puddle. That’s pretty much how I feel.  I’ve been drinking so much water and iced tea and moving a fan around wherever I go.  I’m still hot!
 
Last night I went out for a cocktail with a friend in the glorious air conditioning!  It was hard to leave.  Seriously.
The good news is that today is supposed to be the last day of the crippling heat.  Tomorrow’s high forecast temperature here is 83 degrees.  I imagine I’ll have to put on a sweater – HA!  I have been sleeping on the couch because my bedroom is upstairs, and I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tomorrow night.  Right now 5 minutes upstairs has me sweating like I’ve been pouring water over the rocks in a sauna!  I just have to make it through tonight!
I hope you are all staying cool!

COVID Diaries: Day 464

It’s the weekend! Unfortunately, it is going to be a scorcher! The Pacific Northwest is going to have record breaking heat through Monday, and in an area where most of us don’t have air conditioning! It is supposed to be 96 degrees here on Monday!

Still, I made it through my workweek and I’m glad to get a few days of a break, so that’s cause for celebration.

I’m hoping to get some home purging done, going through closets and drawers, and getting rid of things I don’t need. Let’s see how I do!  I’m sure I’ll have to carry the fan around throughout the house as I go, and point it directly at me.  I also want to give this blog some attention, and go through the photos from my trip!

Next week, our state is going to fully reopen.  It’s been a long time coming, as we are one of only four states yet to reopen.

On my flight home on Sunday, I watched Nomadland, with Frances McDormand.  First of all, she is an incredible actress.  Second of all, even though the movie was hyped as super-depressing, I was inspired!  I have been thinking an awful lot over the last year about my road trip and getting back on the road.  I’ll admit that I plan to do it with quite a bit more of a safety net in terms of money but traveling around and seeing the country (and the world), has such an appeal for me!  I’ve been focusing on saving money for my early retirement throughout COVID, and this just makes me want to buckle down and get there faster!

Life is short, and nothing is guaranteed, so we should do what we can to achieve our dreams.  I always feel so grateful that my parents had 20 years of retirement to enjoy before my father died, but that was only because he retired at 53.  What if he had waited until he was 65?  If there is anything that I have learned, it is that I’m not working a day longer than I have to.

Happy Friday everybody!

COVID Words of Wisdom: “We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.” ― Confucius

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 411

Another weekend has come and gone.  It’s back to the grind.  I have already had a long morning, and I don’t have much inspiration at the moment, so the grind is probably going to be harder… 

A few days ago, I finished my most recent puzzle.  Castle Donan Eilean in Scotland.  One day, I’d like to visit Scotland again.  Mom wants to go to Ireland – I can’t wait to travel again.  All that dreaming led me to book a weekend at the coast – a few days of beachcombing will have to do for now.

I’m loving the nicer weather, although it rained for good portion of last week. I always love seeing the blue sky peek out from the clouds!

I’ve been reading quite a bit lately – I finished three books this weekend! 

My new rock polisher came and I started in on my second batch of rocks.  So far, so good on round two. My beachcombing weekend will give me a lot of opportunity to scout for some new rocks!

Counties are being locked down again – the word is that we will miss the culling tomorrow, but we will probably get locked down again in 3 weeks.  I guess we’ll see.  It helps me to save money, I suppose.  And Cora loves it…

COVID Words of Wisdom: You never know how hard someone had it before they became soft, and you never know the ugliness they had to go through to have such a beautiful heart.  Sometimes we learn grace from the worst times of our lives and that’s what saves us.  – Stephanie Bennett-Henry

COVID Diaries: Day 402

We had over a week of unseasonably warm and sunny weather, with highs in the low 70s!  We even broke a record last week, with a high of 74.  It has been amazing.  I’m not one who can take the endless gray and cold days of winter and early spring around here.  Someday soon, I’ll have to change that up.  This morning, it’s back to rain…

The sunshine and warmth meant I was able to get in some outdoor dining at my favorite spots around town and soak up the Vitamin D and good food! Plus the time spent with girlfriends is always much needed.

The rocks I started tumbling are finished!  They look beautiful!  I even discovered that one of them is most definitely an agate and there’s another one that I think is an agate.  I’m going to keep trying to find agates, but obviously my agate skills need polishing.  Sadly, I’m pretty sure that the motor on my tumbler went kaput, within hours of starting a second batch of rocks.  I tried to poke around in it with my very limited mechanical skills, but the sound it is making and the fact that it is no longer turning the shaft leads me to believe there’s not an easy fix for this.  It was $12.99 at the Goodwill, so I can’t say I did too badly.  I’ll keep working on the first one, but thanks to Amazon Prime, my new rock tumbler arrived yesterday and I’m back in action!  Yes, I am aware that owning a rock tumbler (or multiple rock tumblers) puts me in a very distinct category of nerd.

Now that the rain is back, I imagine I’ll make some more progress on my puzzle.  I worked on it for a bit last night and was happy with where I ended up.

I’ve been getting some reading in too, but I still really need a vacation!