2020 Life Logs, Day 89: Working Sunday

2020 Life Logs, Day 89: Working Sunday
Date: Sunday, March 29, 2020
Weather: Overcast and Rainy; High 47 degrees, Low 42 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I’m sure the weather could be worse, and our work today was inside, but it was surely a most dreary, cool, rainy day. It didn’t help that Shadow got me up at 2 am and again at 5 am to go out in the rain. But at least after the 5 am get up and go outside affair, we then slept in until 9 am. Then it was time to get up and get ready to go to Heather and Jed’s new house to clean the basement and the garage. Those are the jobs I volunteered to do along with Jed and the boys. We started by working on the basement while Heather attacked the wallpaper in the master bedroom. She and Jed have given in on getting rid of the carpet in their bedroom and will do that later when carpet installation is once again allowed. But she really wants to get that wallpaper replaced with fresh paint. She has stripped wallpaper before, but this stuff is really stuck in many places. She has to get back to fulltime work at home starting tomorrow morning, so I will try my hand at wallpaper removal tomorrow. I also offered to pick the boys up tomorrow morning and take them with me to the new house to continue working. Yesterday they started stripping the carpeting out of their new bedrooms and evidently Sam and Jonah figured out how to remove those wooden tack strips that hold the carpeting in place. They can work on that tomorrow while I help Ollie turn cutting pieces of Con-Tact Shelf Liner into a math lesson. Hopefully we can get all of the kitchen shelves covered so we can begin moving the non-essentials from the old house to the new. The basement is ready to start ‘accepting’ deliveries and with a little more work tomorrow, the garage will be ready as well. The plan is to move Jed’s wood shop into the double car garage, along with all of the sports equipment. Hopefully there will be room left for a car or maybe two. And hopefully we’ll get periods of dry weather during the week so we don’t have to move things in the rain. Progress is being made, but there is plenty of work to keep us all busy full-time. And then, of course, Heather and Jed are working full time from home and the boys are supposed to be completing school activities at home. Those Goldpebbles are going to have to get creative and turn all their help with moving into school assignments. That’s my challenge to them!

2020 Life Logs, Day 88: Making Adjustments

2020 Life Logs, Day 88: Making Adjustments
Date: Saturday, March 28, 2020
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Rain Late; High 45 degrees, Low 43 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This morning Heather and I talked and we decided to make some adjustments in our stay-at-home and stay apart policy. For the past 16 days, both of our households have been on our version of a lockdown. Since we are now past that 14-15 day Covid incubation period and none of us has any symptoms, this morning we decided to treat our two households as one. We will proceed with as much caution as possible even though we will now be together in the same house sometimes. There will still be no hugging or kissing—elbow bumps only! But I will now be able to help them with their move. Since they closed on Thursday, they can now move into the new house. And if things go as expected, they have one month to get out of their current home as the closing on that house is the end of April. They had devised a work schedule to get workers in both homes to do various projects, but that went out the window when our Governor put this state on a non-essential work order this past Tuesday. Painters and carpet layers are non-essential, so Heather and Jed are going to have to do the work themselves or just put it off until later. Today they started working on a new plan. Heather, with a little help from Sam, started ripping carpeting out of the boys’ upstairs bedrooms in the new house and they ordered wood flooring that they will put down themselves. They are going to leave the current carpeting in the master bedroom downstairs and the bonus room above the garage and replace it later. Today Jed worked on cleaning the carpeting that is staying and I offered my services driving back and forth delivering things from our current end of town to the new house. And in between trips, I contributed a bit to cleaning efforts in the new house. Tomorrow I have offered to clean the basement and garage with the help of the boys so we can start moving things in. The move would have been a lot easier if they could hire the work done, but we will get the essentials done and some things will just have to wait until life is back to normal. Thankfully the old house and new house are both perfectly livable as is. You just always want to paint and replace flooring before you move into a new house, but doing that while working full time from home while also trying to home school three boys certainly limits the amount of time and energy you have. It is not the perfect situation, but hopefully the excitement of moving into the perfect new home will prevail.

Justin sent photos today of their horse Hopi and her new baby Barnaby. So precious. And then he sent a text with a photo of baby bunnies born today. There is certainly a lot of depressing news coming our way these days, but new birth is always uplifting. Ziggy and Coco must be so excited to have a new foal and baby bunnies. So a new house for my grandchildren here and newborn friends for my grandchildren in Puerto Rico makes me a very happy Oma.

2020 Life Logs, Day 87: Another Computer Day

2020 Life Logs, Day 87: Another Computer Day
Date: Friday, March 27, 2020
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High 62 degrees, Low 36 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Ahh . . . I love it when the wind switches from the north to the south. Yesterday the high temp was 53, but with winds blowing from the north, you could feel the icy cold in the breeze. Today it was 10 degrees warmer and what little bit of wind there was came from the south. It felt like summer and you didn’t even need a jacket when outside. Unfortunately, I didn’t allow myself to be outside enjoying the beautiful weather. I am on a mission to complete the photo organization project on my computer, so I worked on that all day. Every couple of hours I did take time to go on a walk with Shadow and late in the afternoon, I went out and cleared the leaves out of my raised beds. Tomorrow I hope to add new garden soil and plant the first seeds which will be peas. It is too early to plant arugula outside, but I might try it anyway. But definitely, I will plant some inside. The tomato seeds I planted inside last week are already coming up. Fantastic. I ended the day with a Zoom meeting with my Newcomers wine group. I was so much fun to just enjoy the company of other adults and not worry for a bit of time about the coronavirus.

2020 Life Logs, Day 86: Congratulations, Goldstones

2020 Life Logs, Day 86: Congratulations, Goldstones
Date: Thursday, March 26, 2020
Weather: Sunny with a Chill in the Wind; High 53 degrees, Low 39 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Congratulations to the Goldstones! Despite the statewide ban preventing all non-essential businesses from conducting in-person operations, they were able to close on their new home today. Evidently banks, the registry of deeds, and lawyers are considered essential services, so the sale was finalized today. The new home is only 3.4 miles from their current residence, just a little closer to downtown. It is a beautiful home in a wonderful neighborhood and now that it is theirs, they are anxious to make the move. The plan had been to wait until the school April vacation to move, but since there will be no school until at least May 4th, there will be no vacation week. The move can begin now. They spent the afternoon in their new home doing some cleaning and planning. Getting any work done right now is tricky. For one thing, you don’t want anyone coming into your home, so Heather and Jed are going to have to do most of the work themselves. The problem being that now that they are working and schooling kids at home, there is no time for anything else. But they will figure it out. For this moment, I just hope that they are celebrating tonight and dreaming of how wonderful it will be once they are moved into the new home. Once they returned home, I delivered a bottle of bubbly to Heather in the front yard as a celebration gift. They had just gotten home and it was past time to fix dinner, so we really didn’t get to talk. Hopefully we can talk this weekend so she can fill me on their moving plan.

Shelter-in-Place, Stay-at-Home, Lockdown, Quarantine . . . the policies that guide our lives in the time of Covid-19. It was a busy day and I thought I was following all of the ‘rules’ of physical distancing. But tonight as I reflected back on the day, I think I overstepped the bounds of safe confinement. This morning I delivered a couple of books to my friend Midge Frieswyk. We had planned to meet in her driveway, but before I got there, another friend stopped by and they were sitting in the open garage when I arrived. There was another chair for me, as well as a cup of tea, so I sat down and visited for a bit. It was wonderful to visit face-to-face, but probably not the best idea. Then I drove on to the Woodin’s to deliver a package, a hardcopy of a ‘How to Use Zoom’ PowerPoint, and some potting soil for Jane so she can start growing microgreens inside. We met outside the front door and certainly kept more than 6 feet between us as we tried out our abilities to connect via Zoom. It was great to see them for the first time in two months, but again, we’ll try to stick to Zoom in the coming weeks. When I got home it was time to take Shadow for a walk and get ready for my Memoir Writing class on Zoom. Today we reviewed my book introduction and first chapter in what I hope to develop into a complete book about the Voyage of Windbird. It was a small group of 4 and the input was very helpful and encouraging. We enjoyed the class on Zoom so much that we plan to meet again next week.

2020 Life Logs, Day 85: Breakthrough Day . . . Finally

2020 Life Logs, Day 85: Breakthrough Day . . . Finally
Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Weather: Overcast; High 42 degrees, Low 36 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I had a productive day. It felt like I broke through the fog and was productive for the first day in quite a while. I didn’t finish the photo editing/organizing project I have been working on for months, but I will finish it tomorrow. Hurray! Hurray! And as is happening more and more as each day of face-to-face isolation continues, I spent a bit of time on the phone with family and friends. I talked with my niece in Charlotte, with friend Jane Woodin who returned yesterday from Florida, with friend Midge Frieswyk about home schooling issues, and then tonight Justin and I talked for over an hour. Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco have been self-isolating and working and schooling from home. They are feeling healthy, the kids have three hours of on-line instruction each day which helps to facilitate the working at home with kids at home, and last night their horse Hopi had a male foal that Ziggy named Barnaby. Business is slow, not yet at a complete standstill, but slow enough that Justin has had to cut back on staff. He is still paying off the business loan from Hurricane Maria and is having to anticipate another one to get through these times. But the really interesting part of the conversation was about Ziggy’s productiveness on various fronts. Ziggy has a game called Farm House Fortress that is available to download on Apple tablets and computers. Justin thinks he used Hyper Pad that he learned about at a science camp last summer to create the game. In addition, Ziggy is creating comic books and stop motion animated shorts under the name of Zitron Productions. And he is producing Zitron music sets. Justin said he really can’t keep up with all of Ziggy’s various projects. He is certainly a busy little guy these days. He will turn eleven in two weeks, so I am trying to figure out what to give him to support his creative ventures. What he wants is a quail, but I’m not sure I get that to him. You can order 100 quails to be shipped, but not just one. Justin also talked about the frustration of completing the paperwork for Jo’s US citizenship. Certain documents are due on April 8, but all of the government business offices are now closed due to Covid-19 and they can’t get the documents needed. Heather and Jed are running into the same issue with their house closing. That was supposed to happen tomorrow but when I talked to Heather about it yesterday, she wasn’t sure they were going to be able to go forward with the Governor’s new order that keeps all non-essential workers at home. What unprecedented times we are living through.

2020 Life Logs, Day 84: J.R.R. Tolkien Quotes

2020 Life Logs, Day 84: J.R.R. Tolkien Quotes
Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 50 degrees, Low 36 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My favorite Tolkien quote from The Fellowship of the Ring is, “Not all those who wander are lost.” Today, however, I happened across a little conversation between Frodo and my very favorite wizard, Gandalf, that is quite apt for these times.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

So true. But on the lighter side, there is this quote from The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. “Do you wish me a good morning, or meant that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?” Think about that the next time you say good morning to someone!

There was a little sunshine today and I think that helped clear my head and get me back in focus. I spent most of my day working on organizing photos from the past year. Eventually I have to go all the way back to the fall of 2016 to finish this project, but I was very pleased with today’s progress. I will continue tomorrow.