Return to Normal?

May 26, 2020

Not here.

Not even close. But there are signs that we are looking forward.

First toilet paper started to reappear. A roll here or there. Then a pack, and even 2 brands to choose between. Then a Costco case.

Sanitizing wipes were next, though still scattered. It felt like you had to be in the right place at the right time.

And finally, the return of our most limited commodity, hand sanitizer! Only two per customer!

Delivered to our doorstep a few days ago. Held in isolation within the cardboard box for a few more days, and now available for use. We weren’t quite out, but I don’t feel like I need to hoard and consider whether each squirt should be used.

Purell’s are old, Germ-x new.

Life’s focus in these strange times.

On the, this is going to continue for some time vein, newly acquired skills: While wearing a mask I can scratch my nose by moving my chin.

We drove to Maple Leaf for our post work walk. After one half of a lap around the park we exited to the neighborhood sidewalks instead. Too crowded. Many kids on bikes and scooters, hardly anyone else with masks. I used to notice if they were wearing helmets. On the streets there are fewer folks and it’s just easier to make space. Keep our bubble. We are not perfect isolationists, but we do make an effort.

A good walk, and now it’s time to relax.

Sunday Sunny Day

May 24, 2020

A bit of this, a bit of that.

Work on one of those things you just want off of your plate. As a government employee we are required to answer to requests from the public. But sometimes those requests almost feel like harassment. Too many, too often, and regarding a subject that is under another agency’s jurisdiction. I got a good start, but did not finish my mini-project, which is aimed at putting an end to the current requests focus.

Out for a walk to a place where Carl regularly works on keeping some vestiges of baseball form alive.

The wall is relentless

Luckily we got there before several others looking to use the wall arrived. Over the last many weeks Carl has become acquainted, a nodding acquaintance, with others who use the space.

The total walk was a bit over 3 miles.

A repeat neighborhood artwork

A long enough walk for good exercise, but not so long as to wear us out completely.

Post Walk Covid Hair

So next up was raspberry patch maintenance. The structure that pretends to contain the patch was the obstentious focus of the chore. The structure did need to have one bamboo piece replaced, but most of that work was on readjusting the old bits. Then the real work of weeding between the canes began. Especially trying to eradicate buttercup. Major inroads were made, but the chore was not completed.

Lots of bees and bumblebees, not visible in this picture

Our orphan, often overlooked rhododendron in the side yard.

Finally it was time to stop the physical work and focus on family arithmetic. And dinner.

It would be nice if tomorrow is as productive.

Garden day

May 17, 2020

We risked our lives yesterday and went to a store. The primary goal was to get some tomato plants. And some envelopes and turkey burger. Based on the wide variety of items we settled on Fred Meyers. We managed to find the tomatoes in the outdoor section without too much difficulty, and put them, 3 of them, in the car. Then it was into the indoor building. The envelope hunt was pretty uneventful, except there were no envelopes. Back up to the grocery section. This was where the risking was all over the place. Masks – only about half, distancing- about the same. We did the self-checkout, where the line was distanced as were the checkout stands.

Today was the day to get outside and plant. Three tomatoes shouldn’t take too long, except in my world it’s never that straight forward.

My garden gnome

I wanted to add some soil amendments before planting the tomatoes. The bag of soil amendments was way too large for the raised bed, so I/we needed to weed the backyard beds and then use most of the amendments in that area. And I needed Carl’s help to lift the full bag.

A few hours later the beds were weeded, amendments added, and tomatoes planted. And pruning of the camellia started.

One cage short

The camellia pruning is a project that needed to happen. It is growing into a rhodie and is way too tall.

Pruning started. The rhodie is getting leggy, and will be pruned too.

This project did not get completed, but it was started. I wimped out, am out of shape and needed food. So I will attack it again another day. Maybe tomorrow.

Post yard work hair, pulled back because it is long enough!

We did manage to add a walk in as well, on this rainy sunny day. The following is one of the many rhododendrons we passed. I think this was the most striking for colors.

Tomorrow it’s back to the grindstone.

From Soup to Nuts

May 10, 2020

DSCN3391A few days ago, my Mother’s obituary was published. It is good, but she was so much more. She wanted to be a career woman, when that was unusual. And she was smart, could sing, and played the piano and a little trombone. No nonsense in her way, she told it like she saw it. “You’re doing it wrong.” Her advice to me as I set out for my first job in engineering was, “Don’t let them know you can type. “Her knowledge of plants was encyclopedic. And fauna, dead fauna, could be mounted with a pin. Small, dead fauna, like butterflies. I do recall she was not too enthused when I brought a deer skull home.Further she demonstrated showing up for what you thought was important. She volunteered for many years at Planned Parenthood. One of my more recent memories with Mom was sitting at the table for breakfast, while she looked through the New York Times. “That damn Trump is an idiot. I fear for our country. “And there is still so much more. I miss her. Here’s to the last 62 Mother’s Days. M is for the million things you gave to me! Just kidding Mom.And for that relationship just beginning, Happy first Mother’s Day Becca! You’re rocking it.And now for the NUT.So, have you received your stimulus check? We had done our taxes with direct deposit, so we would avoid getting a check with you know whose signature. Small favors.But no. We got a letter from the IRS. Telling us we had a check deposited. Thank ME very much.This provided us the opportunity to compare the NUT’s signature to ballplayer autographs.We have a few around the house. Carl sends birthday cards to ballplayers, mostly well past the end of their careers. Many reply, some even call, and have established a relationship. One even called to see how Carl was doing during this pandemic. Back to the signatures. The modern day player’s autograph is frequently a swipe with a pen. It could be anybody. The retired Harmon Killebrew would ask rookies to sign their autographs during spring training, and if it was illegible, he would ask them to work on it so in 5 years the recipient would be able to tell who they were, and better remember the moment.Now, an autograph is really different than a signature. But not really for the total self promoter trump. Here, have my autograph, I AM IMPOTENT IMPORTANT.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

May 9, 2020

And what we miss most is the people that are in these places.


April 30, 2020

Hoping for a great day in the Big Apple.Birthday celebrations in the time of Covid.Ashlan is in the thick of the current situation. Coming and going, and having to deal with all of the issues going on with the running of restaurants. Trying to adjust to a wildly different situation, different customer demographics and service expectations, and employee situations. Business learning at a graduate level.We are very proud of her.

The Best Aunt

The Best Friend

The unauthorized Zoom in the time of COVID

Theo working to keep Ashlan safe

Happy Birthday

Food Art

April 20, 2020

1. Carl is a caregiver.

2. Carl’s care giving is normally for infant to early elementary school ages.

3. Carl has not worked in a small child care giving capacity since mid February. This statement does ignore caring for Corwin.

4. Carl has been applying artistic techniques to food for well over 30 years.

5. He is working to keep his skills fresh.

Picasso inspired Woman with Red Hair

This does not come close to all of the artwork I have devoured in the past few months.


April 15, 2020

Happy Jackie Robinson DayCarl has made it a point every year to go to a baseball game on April 15th, Jackie Robinson day. The Mariners, if they are in town, occasionally a minor league team, and high school games a few years. This year, the closest we got this year was a family group playing at the Ravenna little league field.Our lunchtime walk was to a drugstore to get aspirin, and some baseball cards. Our post work walk was to a friend’s house to, safely, pick up another baseball card, and catch up on several weeks. About 5 miles altogether. Two trees caught my eye today.The first was just a magnificent specimen.The second had very interesting shape and delicate structure.

That’s all


April 14, 2020

WFH (working from home) has allowed me to track and appreciate the neighborhood flowers on a daily basis. When I planted our bulbs last fall and many falls ago I did not think to retain any information. So what blooms is always a bit of a surprise.

From the front walk.

Nice light pink with yellow highlights

Deeper pink, and somewhat larger

Really enjoying the orange with a more open petal arrangement

The next 3 are all the same variety. They have denser petals, but never seem to get really organized for a nice presentation

We also got some new photos today.

What personality!

I know this is all over the internet now, but as a lego household, I couldn’t resist the humor.

Happy Easter morning

April 12, 2020

Apparently Easter Eggs grow on trees

Our bunny brigade

Easter Egg trees are not native to Tennessee

We will continue to physically distance today, although a walk for takeout dinner is planned, about 5 miles round trip. For the first time in a long time Carl will not be helping the Easter bunny distribute his wares. The Easter bunny may be an essential worker, but his assistants are not.

The Easter Bunny was here!

29 eggs hidden around the house to get me moving this morning

And hello from home church in Tennessee