Sameness

August 15, 2020

The days, weeks and now months are flying by. The sameness is making it difficult to remember the day of the week and what I had for lunch yesterday.

Except that we just finished having yesterday’s lunch leftovers for dinner. Matzo ball chicken soup. Yesterday’s lunch also included latkes and corned beef and pastrami hash. The occasion was the periodic distance gatherings on the patio. The normal 3rd baseball buddy was not in attendance, he was being tested for the C-19, after having a cough for the last few weeks. I am fairly certain it was at least two weeks since we have been 6 feet from each other.

Yes, 6 feet apart

Today we took a late morning wander through a neighborhood we have never walked before, Windermere.

Entrance to the Windermere enclave

We drove to a market where we intended to purchase some ice cream, on sale. We parked on the street and took off on foot. In pre-C times there would have been a bus ride to get us to a remote starting location, but not right now.

It was nice to walk down some different streets, even if they were not that different, they were different. It got pretty hot today, into the 80s, but it was not the hot part of the day yet.

Carl repurposed a sign from a part (thrown out) to add to our window menagerie.

And we are well into another puzzle, with a breakfast theme. The last one completed was about the Post Office, such an important institution.

Enough said. Tomorrow it’s supposed to get into the 90s. Outside activity should be early or late.

And, for the record, we got 2 pints of Lopez Island ice cream. Mint Chip and Chocolate Amaretto.

Almost like Work

August 8, 2020

I spent the better part of today seated in front of a computer. The difference was it was our home computer instead of my work computer. I usually do the bills on the weekend, so that was normal. And tracking our expenses, also normal. And then there was going through about 100 emails that were saved, or really, just not read/deleted. Most I had decided to put off when they arrived, until I had time. Today was that time. I didn’t react to all, but put them into positions other than my email inbox.

And then there were the two pesky medical “bills” that can’t seem to get resolved. One is from an out of network provider who can’t manage to get their bill to our provider for determining what part we need to pay. I will pay when they get it processed, but every few months we get a letter asking for our Medical Plan information. This is for services from last year, sheesh. And for some reason our provider is sending out a second set of Explanations of Benefits for some chiropractic visits last year. Over a year ago and the EOBs are different! I will have to call. I paid all of those bills and don’t understand why I keep getting new and different statements. It’s exhausting.

But yesterday, between endless sessions editing a document, we got to zoom with my Dad! On his 93rd birthday. The first time I have seen him in a year. And he got to see his great-grandson. Oh, there were others involved, sisters and a brother in law and Corwin’s parents. Without those others it would not have happened, so thanks to them.

The distance visit got me moving to take a long visit back to MI, but not for several weeks yet. Plans are in motion. I was sure to fly Delta using our credit from previously canceled flights. But Alaska had a BOGO sale going, ending today, and it was too good to pass up. We still have another year to use the credit. I am counting on being able to travel next year. We also booked our quarantine apartment for the first half of our time away.

Other exciting news is that the raspberry crop is diminishing, but the tomatoes are ready to take their place.

And after many, many, years, an accidental duplicate Costco purchase is finally used up. Or at least into dispensers. I honestly think 1 gallon bottle is over a decade old.

One more puzzle done. And so am I.

Busy Day

August 2, 2020

A group I am in asked us to set a “long-term” goal (6 weeks). And then each week we can report on our progress, or not, or change, it’s very flexible. My long-term goal was to reassemble a weight machine we have had for many years. We took it apart when we vacated the premises for the remodel. We have been back for almost 4 years, so it’s about time.

The first 2 weeks when I reported my progress, my report was no progress. I was determined to not have the same response this coming week. To be true, the weight machine is still in pieces. But like all good projects, getting started means some other projects have to happen first.

Where the weight machine should be

The weight machine is the white pieces

In this case, the weight machine needs a place to live. The location of choice was occupied by a bench, which could be shifted closer to a wall, except for 2 bicycles that have not been ridden in a decade. The 2 bicycles could move to the garage, they should really find a new home, so to make room in the garage. The garage has space, but it is cluttered and not fully organized.

Today’s work was focused on the garage. Two long ladders, excess vinyl siding, and pieces to an outdoor movie screen. One ladder is a tall, old wooden extension ladder, and very heavy. The other a much lighter, aluminum extension ladder, but a bit shorter. The vinyl siding is left from the remodel where the kitchen was extended. I would not use vinyl siding, but replacing all of the siding on the house was beyond our budget. Vinyl siding pieces are long and flexible, making wrangling them interesting.

This is where I actually had some fun, figuring out how to wrangle, and make them more manageable for the long haul, and found a reuse for trash. The siding had been in a cardboard box, about 12 feet long, and disintegrating. The first step was to get rid of the cardboard. Step two was to get the 3 vinyl siding pieces to hold together. I actually just tied string around them at 4 places. Now they move, almost as one. Then there were the 5, equally long, mounting strips. And a moment of inspiration from a newspaper bag floating around the garage, which I tried to fit around the end of the mounts. It fit, and we have several newspaper bags that had not been recycled yet. The mounting strips are now encased in a series of 8 newspaper bags, taped at the joints. And they move almost as one.

Vinyl mounts in newspaper bags. The wood pieces make an outdoor movie screen.

This may sound like much ado about a little vinyl, but it was the key to the rearrangement. Control of long things.

I have plans to make this new arrangement better, by hanging the ladders on the wall, and maybe some of the screen parts. To that end I bought some hangers, but ran out of steam before I got it all done.

The exercise machine is not rebuilt, but there is now space.

Future rebuilt weight machine location

And the garden is progressing. The first tomato is almost ripe, and the zucchini leaves are well established.

And made a pot of lentil chili to complete the day. For tomorrow, always better after a day. And half is in the freezer.

Mariner’s Home Opener

July 31, 2020

And we are there.

Sort of. But at least we are in our seats. And the first in the outfield. (There are a lot more now. )

We’re the really white ones

The Mariners managed to keep a few opening day traditions alive, including a Make-a-wish kid run around the bases first. A few days ago, but I don’t think they want to expose a medically fragile child to a bunch of ballplayers.

At least 2 MLB teams have players who have tested positive. The season is still on, but we’ll see if it continues, especially without a bubble. Flexibility in scheduling is currently the key.

Carl’s over 60 team continues it’s socially distanced practices, but it is becoming increasingly likely they will not have a season. I think the guys are enjoying the exercise and camaraderie. Carl is about the only one who wears a mask while playing. But they do keep their distance.

Walking continues to be my primary exercise.

Crossing the bridge from campus to not campus. We have been doing more walking in the early evening, and less at lunch. It’s okay, but I think we are out during the highest temperatures of the day.

We are not walking this evening, because, Opening Day.

FIRE!

July 28, 2020

No just incredible loudness.

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year. We might have hit 90, but it did not include midwest level humidity.

Work, work, work, work.

In the last mid-afternoon meeting of the day when … the power went out. Ok. But that meant the internet also went out and I was unceremoniously booted from the meeting. And, after almost a minute all of the smoke alarms on the main floor went off.

It was so loud, Carl, who was outside, thought the noise was coming from several houses. We pulled the batteries out of the offending detectors, but they continued to chirp. A bit quieter, but still annoying. I have not figured out why they went off. It was not the batteries, we tried putting in new ones to no effect.

We finally decided to get out of the house and into the heat. And the power came back.

We walked anyway, logging over 3 miles. Probably the hottest time of the day, but it did cool down as the sun went down.

Today was about 10 degrees cooler, and no power outage. Yeah for small victories.

From a walk over the weekend.

Mariners’ Game 1 of 60

July 25, 2020

AKA Bang the Trash Can Slowly.

The Mariners get to start the season against the cheaters, otherwise known as the Houston Astros. And Justin Verlander.

It’s been a different experience.

The first game is on the road about half the time, so not unusual. But we would almost always be with our baseball buddies.

Carl and I are watching on our own.

Smashed cauliflower for dinner. Maybe not traditional baseball food, but we did have sausages with yesterday’s Washington/Yankee rainout and the Dodgers/Giants rout.

We managed to squeeze in a 7,500 step walk between work and first pitch. We taped the pregame and will catch up on any interesting bits later.

Yesterday I wanted to see Dr. Fauci’s first pitch at the game in D.C., and did. But they had already completed the lineups, anthem, and whatever else happened. Then they broke for commercials and didn’t get back until after the first batter was on first base. Pretty bad. Hoping they get their act together. And the first pitch kind of went sideways, but I don’t think any less of the doctor.

I guess I am used to the game’s traditions and pageantry on opening day.

The Mariners scored the first run, but alas, not the last …. several. Still there were some highlights. I watched the pre-game after the game had ended. Pretty good, and as the Mariners have 10 Black-Americans on the roster, it made sense to focus on the BLM movement, and what it means to them.

Happy Opening Day

July 24, 2020

Yes, a few teams played yesterday, but the Mariners start today.

Carl getting ready for his shortened season, if we ever get to phase 3

Pedal to the metal, hope the kids are ready.

Sights of the day

July 22, 2020

Today was heavy on the work side. Add in a drizzly morning and I only had a few hundred steps by 6:30. That was when my after work, non-work meeting ended. I was on to my next chore, ordering groceries, when Carl asked if we were going to walk.

I am now over 7,500 steps.

Work breakfast

Work lunch

Baseball, front walk style

Favorite political sign so far, and I don’t usually like political signs

And now to do that grocery shopping

Visions

July 21, 2020

We got through another jigsaw puzzle. Colorful again, and challenging, but not quite as entertaining as the butterflies. Still, a calm activity. One piece, two or a session, it got completed.

Here’s Corwin trying to get to his grandpa Carl. At least sort of.

That’s the Carl who attended Rey and Becca’s wedding, while the fuller model was recovering from heart surgery a few thousand miles away. Under the care of the incomparable Nurse Jane.

Walked twice today. The temperature was warm, but the breeze kept it quite nice. Watered today too. The food crops are the main motivation, but the backyard got a drink too.

And work. And Summer Camp baseball as they are calling the major league warmup. Some teams are playing other teams. Yankees/Mets, White Sox/Cubs. But the Mariners are playing themselves. The season starts next Thursday, although the Mariners don’t play until Friday. Carl is practicing too. With a mask, mostly against a wall, but occasionally with teammates in small, socially distanced groups. We don’t know if they will get to play. The area needs to get to Phase 3, and we are firmly entrenched in Phase 2.

It is good to get out a bit here and there, but our choices that we will accept are very limited. I have heard from 2 sources that frisbee golf is a great activity for getting some exercise, playing a game and still being able to be safe.

Morning Activity

July 19, 2020

Had 12,500 steps by 12:30.

Started by watering everything in the backyard, even the grass. The grass only gets an occasional drink, and this was the first augmentation of the year.

10,000 steps were on a walk to drop off our all mail-in ballot, and continue around Green Lake. Other than the ballot drop box we avoided the walking path, sticking to the sidewalks across the street. Much easier to social distance. The real reason for the early walk was to avoid the heat of the afternoon. It’s supposed to hit 80. My dad informed me that would be a cool day in Michigan.

Speaking of Michigan, while I am spending a weekend day of leisure, those that are vacationing at the cabin are hard at work. Squirrel access eradication is the chore of the season. That is until the roof leak was discovered, chore 2. The big breakthrough today was verifying at least one point of access. And finding a second possibility, also addressed.

Head poking out over some old foam

Now plugged.

But the benefits of spending time at the beach was getting a pretty good view of the comet, looking as though it will land in Canada.

Note: All pictures are from Mark and Pooh, used prior to asking permission.

And now, back to a crossword puzzle from mid-June. Fully Covid free by now. Or work on the current jigsaw puzzle.