March 15, 2020

For our social activities this weekend we took walks in the sunny, but cold, city. During each walk we did a little shopping.

We got ground turkey, olive oil, lemon juice, frozen veggies, broth, etc… What we didn’t find was hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes or lentils! I have learned to get down on my knees to look to the back of the low shelves.

We didn’t need TP. Yet.

And we did have breakfast out. Support our local little restaurant. And we had pizza delivered for Pi Day.

The weather was very brisk, but lovely.

The stores were lively, but the sidewalks were not crowded.

Tomorrow it is back to work. From my dining room. I am hoping for a more effective time than Friday, when I had some technical issues that took at least half the day to manage.

No Visitors

March 12, 2020

It feels like we are entering a whole new plane of existence.

Between yesterday’s post and now, I, and all of the District office types, are to telecommute. The office is closed to visitors, except for the public Board meeting. Mail and deliveries will be accepted, because we do need to continue to operate. Operations are split to two crews, to reduce the chance of everybody catching something.

There are no wipes or sprays to be found. Unless you have some special karma going, like Jane.

Schools are shuttered, universities are online, no athletics, museums are closed, concerts cancelled. We actually had a few social events this month, but only the dentist appointment remains. And the traffic is quite a bit lighter.

The freezer is filling slowly, and there are more canned goods than usual.

My biggest question now is, for how long will this new reality persist. We are in a reasonably comfortable position, as long as we stay healthy. Water and sewer service is not an option, like a daily latte. But there are many whose hours are reduced, or businesses closed. Precarious times for many.

Covid-19 Comes Home

March 11, 2020

Day 1 back, I was told to work from home. Overslept and still “got to work” by 8.

Day 2, 3 and 4 back it was/is/will be my turn to come to work. This situation really has impacted how we do business.

  • Staggering personnel at work
  • Many working remotely
  • Staggering lunch hours
  • Single person vehicles
  • No customers at the front counter, use the drop box, telephone or email
  • Go to Meetings, or whatever other version a person has, including our public Board meetings.
  • Maintain 6 feet separation if possible
  • Lots of meetings postponed
  • Clean, clean, clean, washing hands and sanitizer.

And now it gets personal!

The governor has decided to limit gatherings of more than 250 people. The Mariners are not a top draw, but normally exceed 250, especially on opening day. A family holiday. For game 2 they might be able to maintain 6-foot separation between fans.

On my own personal response, I now sing, quietly out loud, while washing my hands. I have increased my personal space bubble. And I really need to stock up on more lotion, my hands are completely dried up.

Favorite hand washing tip, “Wash your hands like you just got done slicing jalepenos and you need to take your contacts out.”

Not Following CovD Protocol

March 7, 2020

I am in a location where large numbers of people congregate, I gave our hand sanitizer to Carl, I’m over 60, and I can’t stop touching my face.

And yet, she persevered.

Last shot.

I am so happy to have spent a good amount of time getting to know this little guy, during a happy phase. By the next time I see him in person, he could be crawling.

And to spend more time with Becca and Rey. They are doing an excellent job of raising a happy boy. And does he like to talk. At least mumble, grunt, gurgle, squeal, etc. That reminds me a lot of Rey as a small being. Funny I don’t have the same memory of Ashlan, but that could be the second child syndrome.

We are following Department of Health protocol at work. A trial of large scale telecommuting is under way, so I will be working from home on Monday. Including a dial in Board meeting. On a side note, we had formed a commute solutions committee already. This experiment may inform some of their suggestions.

The Board will weigh in on how far we should go. Customers have already been asked to avoid coming to the office if possible, and several meetings have been postponed. A concert we have tickets to in a few weeks has also been postponed.

Of course, there are several positions that have to physically be at work. Hard to dig a ditch or clean “flushable” NOT wipes from the sewer system. But I am more of a bureaucrat.

Flexibility will be our watchword.

And now it’s time to board the petri dish.

They grow up so fast

March 6, 2020

My last day with Rey, Becca and Corwin. Tomorrow it is back into the eye of the SARs-Cov2 storm.

From early days

From a few days ago

And today

Errands, chores,

The diaper tree

and a desperate attempt to get far enough on the knitting project to go solo…


March 5, 2020

Today we took a brief trip to Nashville. 3 stops.1. Anylabtest – this was a bit of a bust. Carl needs to periodically get his blood tested for thinness. That is that it is thinner than normal, but not too thin. He wouldn’t bleed for our home test, so off to the lab. He wouldn’t bleed there either, after 3 pokes they gave up. He did get permission to wait until he gets back to Seattle. 2. Visit Rey at work- went okay, but Corwin was sleepy and not overly smiley.3. Donate some diapers to tornado victims. There was a donation/distribution site at the Nashville Sounds baseball stadium, so we headed that direction. Following GPS instructions we wound our way through a maze of closed roads and heavily damaged buildings. Really brought the reality of the storm home.On a lighter note We found this at the grocery store. And it stayed in the store.Corwin being his adorable self.

Caught between a virus and a tornado

March 3, 2020

We have been keeping up with Seattle area news with online Seattle Times and work emails. The Corona Virus is dominating the feeds, as well it should. The Pacific Northwest appears to be ground zero in the U.S. It’s a little odd being aware, but away from the storm, and knowing we will be returning to the current eye of that storm. Still, using our standard protocols for hygiene will likely suffice.

And in our current locale, we have weathered a tornado. Carl was woken up by the sirens. I missed those, but saw/heard the lightning and thunder. We were unaware of the damage extent until Rey texted us that Becca’s school was closed, so we could come over later. Mind you, he didn’t say why, so I got online and finally found the news.

Rey may have been distracted by a flat tire on his car. He did manage to get some air into the tire, before taking Becca’s car. There is a screw in the tire, diagnosed by the fine folks at Midas, where I am waiting for the repair. On the positive side, it is warm and sunny, so driving in strange areas on a tenuous tire was only slightly tense.

In other events: Knit and Pearl. Decrease, cast off. Those are lessons as I try to remember how to knit. The goal is to complete a project I started in 1987. Coincidentally, Rey was born in 1987 and I got distracted.

Becca has been trying to bring back my onetime skills so I can finish the sweater. The first lesson has been knitting and pearling a swatch smaller than a hot pad.

At some point, soon, I will have to take the leap back into the actual project.

Overall I have to give this trip a big thumbs up. From relearning skills to mundane household tasks (dishes, laundry) to new and exciting recipes to Netflix series (Stranger Things and The Good Place) to house hunting, and of course, baby holding.

Learning to bunt

And it’s not over yet!

Tour de Kroger Parking Lot

February 29, 2020

After a week of caring for Corwin we have managed 2 outings. Thursday we took Corwin to high school, to visit his mom at work. There were much oohing and aahing, although the star of the show remained relatively stoic throughout.

Yesterday we took him to the Hitsville Caravan, or something similar. The Nashville Sounds Triple A baseball team was out drumming up interest. The directions to the location were pretty straightforward, until the end. We were in a shopping center with a Kroger and a gas station. It took us driving completely around the Kroger building and out to the road again, to finally realize the gas station convenience store was the correct location.

Corwin woke up for introductions, but was not quite in his party mood. He still made a good impression, and survived his first mascot encounter.

Booster and Corwin

Most of the time Corwin was his normal friendly self.

The theme of being lost in shopping center parking lots continued into the evening. We set out for Casa Fiesta, a restaurant almost across the street from Rey and Becca’s apartment complex. Rey had warned us that getting into the left lane for turning into the parking lot in time could be challenging.

The excursion started with a major hassle leaving the apartment. The one lane exit from the complex to a really busy road was blocked by two cars and two police cars, forcing exiting cars to use the one lane entrance, along with all of the folks returning to the complex. And the police in attendance were not making any effort to help direct.

After finally escaping the apartment, I paid close attention to getting left, and turned too early, into the wrong shopping area. Once again, so close, yet so far. Not wanting to deal with left turns onto the busy road, we explored the back alleys of the shopping area and found a switchback path down to the lower area and then up to the restaurant.

Dinner was quite tasty.

As with most nights, we retired to our Airbnb room, a few episodes of a show, and off to sleep.

Two kids and an old guy

February 26, 2020

Day 3-1/2 of child care, Tennessee style. The first day all of us took naps. I will put some of that down to travel fatigue. No issues with the travel to speak of. There was the minor situation where we followed those phone directions a little too closely, and turned into the airport parking structure instead of onto a road. Luckily they allow 20 minutes of parking for free, so we didn’t have to pay $6 for the detour.

We are getting into a pattern of sorts.

  • Wake up
  • Dress
  • Feed
  • Change
  • Play a bit, really look around, bounce, exclaim, mumble
  • Repeat

Corwin has patterns too.

We are enjoying our relatively quiet, focus on the baby time.

Rey and Becca are more organized than I remember being. But it works! Corwin is a content and happy child.

Tomorrow we are going to go for an outing. More on that later.


February 16, 2020

There is twilight during the morning and evening drives.February showers will bring flowers.The lilies were planted last year to brighten the spring. They are lovely, but we have barely seen them since time in the backyard has been limited by the continuous rain of January into February.I did manage a raspberry pruning yesterday. And Carl picked about 400 spruce cones out of the backyard today.Cuteness among the produce.And in view of equal time for our two kids kids.