November 8, 2020

290 is so much higher than 270

Memories of one year ago.

I remember parts of that day. Unexpected is the first word that comes to mind, with excitedly happy a close second (and third). In these times of instant communication, it took quite a while for me to get the news. Time spent quietly in a closed room, off the grid, deep in work. Followed by notes to call home, missed calls and messages. There have been many times I have not listened to messages before returning a call, and been admonished for my laziness. I did not listen to any messages, and called home. Carl was excited, but less than clear during the initial stages of the conversation. He assumed I knew. knew what? It was the type of conversation that could be the basis of a comedy. In our defense, Corwin was about a month early.

So much has changed since that day.

New home, lots of exploring the space, new work environments, lots of new clothes, and finally a new president (elect).

We are so happy, still, and so proud of the thoughtful way Rey and Becca are bringing up Corwin.


November 7, 2020
Today’s walk
17 year old Glenlivet
Cheap champagne

It’s a good day to celebrate.


November 4, 2020

Lifted, maybe

While watching a movie there was an ad for the Up Walker. I thought it was going to be a chair that automatically lifted you to a walking position. It wasn’t. Instead it’s a walker where the arm/hand grips are in front of you, so you don’t bend over for support. Carl said my chair idea would be the Up Chucker.

Having 6 meetings today was actually a good thing.

Election Day

November 3, 2020

We flew the flag.

I wore the pearls.

We voted (a few weeks ago)

The polls have closed, except maybe Alaska and Hawaii.

I hope. I HOPE!


November 2, 2020

I went to work again today. Another new employee, so that’s a good thing. Driving in I realized there are many things I have been missing.

Downtown buildings that I watched under construction, lights festooned on their tower cranes, are now finished boxes. Sun peeking through the fog. Mt. Rainier silhouetted against the morning sky. The dead deer at the entrance to our office.

I don’t drive much anymore. I drove more during our 3 weeks in Michigan than I had over the preceding 6 months. And my Dad’s car is a manual transmission. On the few times I have driven since our return I have a strong urge to put in the clutch, which is not part of a Prius.

Funny, and true, snippet from Halloween night. We were gathered around the Chai Tea carafe, neighbors chatting (distanced and masked – except while drinking). A neighborhood family moved back to Michigan a few months ago. Their house was up for sale when we left in September. When we returned in mid-October, the for sale sign was gone. And here were our old neighbors, drinking tea. It turns out they changed their mind after living in their new home in Michigan for a while. So they waited until they could vote in Michigan, voted, sold their new house to a brother, and moved back to Seattle to their old house. Who knew that moving to a battleground state to vote was a thing.

That’s all folks.

Halloween themed Zoom Board meeting

Happy Fall Back Day

November 1, 2020

Or day after Halloween.

We have not trick-or-treated in many years. With small children. There were clever costumes and a few failures along the way. What the kids would be and how to make it were a bit stressful for me. We still have a paper mache toucan head/hat that was part of a Rey costume. The large nose hung around for several years. It was also paper mache built on a baby backpack carrier frame, worn on the front. The nose extended from waist to shoulder. This was topped by a “hat” out of an inverted 5 gallon bucket with a brim cut from a diaper bin, with the words, “The Great and Powerful Schnozz.” That was the same year as the Starbucks coffee cup, which also used part of a diaper bin for the bottom circle, with painted foam sides and a cardboard lid.

That’s a snake, not a banana (made from a shower curtain left in the house by a prior owner)
The cat on the broom made this one special. I notice how much we use light foam- from the Friendly Foam Shop that used to be a few blocks away.
The toucan. Ashlan’s outfits frequently came from Kelsey’s Mother’s sewing machine
Pay no attention to the man behind the nose, and holey sweatpants (another story)

Yesterday’s activities were actually the most fun we have had doling out candy in a while. One of the families on the block put together a scavenger hunt for the kids. There were five or six clues that led them around the block to different porches and places where they would find the next clue, and finally, a treat. The organizer had given the parents the answers so they could assist the mostly pre-school kids. Our bat garden had a clue taped to one of the bats.

The parents on the block were also organized to put down a one way course on the sidewalk, with signs encouraging distancing. And a suggested start time. Many candy giver-outers had little packages in their yards or on their porches to be picked up. The City allowed non-arterial blocks to close the street for an hour while the kids gathered their loot – to allow for safer spacing. One neighbor warned the Indian restaurant at the end of our block of the brief closure, and he supplied a large carafe of Chai Tea for parents to share. Is chai tea caffeinated? I stayed up past my normal bedtime. At our house Carl dressed up as a baseball player and pitched origami baseballs with candy inside. It seemed to be a huge hit. These were made a bit ago and should be “clean.”

Origami baseball’s in the making
Ready for action.

Before that fun started, we took a walk to the farmer’s market for squash and garlic. The squash is for eating, the garlic for planting next year’s crop. Which meant the kale and tomato raised beds needed to be cleaned. For good measure I also pulled the zucchini plants out to compost, which led to a massive weeding attempt of that bed. And I added bagged compost to the raised beds and soil amendments/mulch to the other area. To help keep the weeds at bay. I did need Carl’s help to move the bags into a place I could work from. Especially the 3 cubic feet of amendments. I could “walk” the bag, but not lift it. Which is why the bags that have not been used live by the side of the house, instead of being stowed with the rest of the garden stuff.

Delicata squash, garlic and some potatoes
Ready for garlic
Ready for winter, but need to prune a bit. The open area was planned for strawberries, but had zucchini this past season.

And we are off to see what more we can complete today. Carl gets to dress us as a baseball player again for practice this morning. I hope to plant, file and reorganize my work area. And drink coffee.

A day in the life.

October 22, 2020

Yesterday was actually spent at work.

Big Screen

Today, back home. Setting up new gizmos and gadgets.

Little Screens

Yes, my work phone is now my house, work phone. And it rang promptly at 8 am. And again at about 4 PM. I guess somebody is checking up on me. Since my work phone is now at home, what will I use when I am in the office.

Watching sewer tapes. Both of my kids, in their younger days, spent hours watching sewer tapes.

Looking for side sewer connections

Signing paperwork with much less angst that there should have been. Maybe fried chicken had something to do with it.

Not enough productive work.  Work, just not enough checked off the list.

Finally got a walk in after work. The Halloween decorations are sprouting all over the neighborhood. I think people are spending more time at home and in their yards. Spider webs seem to be a popular theme. Followed closely by gravestones. No pictures yet, maybe between now and Halloween.

I only watched the debate for a few minutes. With the sound off. But it still looked like the T was interrupting. Just a few weeks more.


October 19, 2020

Yesterday I mentioned making the choice to walk blurred, rather than fogged. Today’s lunchtime saunter was also in the rain, and my glasses fogged. I tried wearing 2 masks, but eventually the fog appeared.

I kept the glasses on today. We were in the familiar neighborhood. Carl did keep pointing out interesting Halloween decorations, and some were lost to me in the fog. They may have also been lost in the blur.

A few blocks from home I caught a different glimpse of something. This glimpse made me try closing one eye, and then the other. Low and behold, only one lense was fogged. Carl verified this fact.

What I don’t understand is why my good eye, the one that really sees things, was the one that was fogged!


October 18, 2020

Our civic duty has been completed.

Rainy day, but we walked to the ballot box anyway. It’s about a mile away, and there appeared to be a steady stream of people walking or driving up, and waiting a socially distanced bit away, for their turn.

We were masked, as we almost always are when we walk. Today I took off my glasses because I felt blurry beat foggy. I wore a different mask today. It fit well, but didn’t have wire along the nose, and I think that caused more fogging. Or the dewpoint.

Other than the walk it was a bit of a lazy weekend. I continue to call it travel recovery, but after today that excuse will have run its course.

My home work station is now surrounded by watchers. Our cutouts are home for the winter. I wonder if it would work to have them sit in on a meeting or two.

Fully into fall now means it’s also time for the World Series. The Rays are in for the AL, and the Dodgers/Braves decision is currently figuring itself out. There are varying reasons to root for or against any of these teams, so it could be a fun series to watch. And thanks to the Rays for taking the Astros out, I would have had to root against those cheaters! They may say they were treated poorly, but they brought it on themselves, and I think they profited most by not having fans in the stands.

Time to go

October 13, 2020

It has been a great trip. One leg to go, and back to the grindstone.

Time is showing everywhere.

Puff balls.

10/10 showing their age

Trees are beautiful in their fall plumage.

Many, many walks. The County Farm Park was a pleasant nearby discovery. One afternoon our walk consisted of covering all of the different paths within the park.

Elevated Water Tower

The Maya Lin Wave Field was also new to us. (On UofM’s North Campus. )

Francois Xavier Bagnoud

Of course family was the main event, and spending the early distant time for the later close times was worth every moment.

Soccer basketball revival.

It’s a family thing
It’s a grandparent thing
It’s a great-grandparent thing
It’s a great-aunt thing
It’s a family thing