The Corona Diaries Week 54.5 and 55 - School Rounding The Bend

The last weekend of Spring Break, after such a lovely relaxing time in Ojai and a fun time in San Luis Obispo, we all chilled out at home a bit before school started back again.

Kurt sent pics of the cats keeping him company while we were gone.

IMG_4497
IMG_4497

I donated blood.

IMG_6405

And we prepared for Easter fun.

IMG_6409

What happens when you leave food coloring out on the counter...ugh.
IMG_6409
IMG_6409

Next morning, the hunt was on! Harper doesn't think there is an easter bunny, but she sure loves to look for eggs!
IMG_6409

It took her a while to LOOK UP. (click for bigger images of eggs in trees!)
IMG_6409
IMG_6409

Easter Breakfast with cinnamon "rabbit" rolls. (which look more like snails, let's be honest)
IMG_6409

And one deviled egg.
IMG_6409

IMG_6426

Then also for the 2nd year in a row, a rhyming treasure hunt put on by Kurt! Harper whipped through the house, finding the next clues which led to a basket full of treats. Mostly clothes and books. Just a few candy treats for our little sugar fiend.
IMG_6426
IMG_6426

Then return to school life and life life. Life with Willoughby.
IMG_6426

And my strawberry plant is making a wee strawberry!
IMG_6426

Eating more healthy yummy food.
IMG_6426

Thank you to Gammo for her easter card and $$
IMG_6456

Neighbors on my walk have this cute canned ham trailer and she's called "Myrtle"!! Love.
IMG_6456

Shopping at Trader Joe's when suddenly - this. It took me two reads not to see CYANIDE. I mean it's been a tough year.
IMG_6456

I taught Harper how to use an actual phone. We had a small earthquake the other day and it got me thinking that if something happened to me or Kurt (and the other wasn't home) Harper doesn't really know how to use a phone!! Yikes. So she got lessons and talked on the phone TWICE with Gammo and once with Betty.
IMG_6456

Biscuit making friends.
IMG_6456

Betty stopped by for a quick visit and brought Harper a new mask. So here was Harper's thank you card. LOVE the unicorn circus action.

IMG_6456

We started our spring garden patch. Which Willoughby then PEED IN!!! Shaking my head.

IMG_6467

I hope the garden actually works this year. Last year everything (except the green beans) got eaten by bugs. So we got marigolds and geranium to plant amongst the veggies to hopefully ward them off. And also waiting for the praying mantis seed pod to hatch.

Harper started back to swimming lessons again. She was so happy.

63976510141__8BA833CF-432B-45FC-96C4-B6F19ABE8D99

Grace gave me one of her favorite quotes. Genius and I'm keeping it close.

63966716276__8CDF577B-35F7-47A7-98A5-1D0D9D4BDFF3

Harper redesigned one of her toys:

IMG_0092

She drew a portrait of me one night after dinner. ("Do you want braids or pony tails?" "Which do you think look better?" "I'll do pony tails, easier to draw.")
IMG_0092

Then the BEST picture. Harper asked if she could watch tv when it wasn't time to watch tv. So I said no and she went to her room and immediately drew this. I was howling with laughter - on the inside.
IMG_0092

She's funny, that Harper. Expresses herself well with art.

 

Oy. And so that's been the last two weeks. I'm getting tired of blogging about Covid life when it feels like Covid life is SO CLOSE to being done. It's not actually that close, but feels like it which then makes it more frustrating.

I feel like the wind has definitely picked up in our sails, but damn if I don't also have a few oars in the water pulling as hard as I can!

 

 

 

 


The Corona Diaries Week 54 - Spring Break Part II

The morning we were to pack up and head to Ojai, Kurt got word that a job he was going to be starting had heated up quicker than expected. So we drove him back home.

Saw this dog having a windy drive on the way.

IMG_6332

Then in Santa Barbara the traffic was terrible so we pulled off closer to Montecito and found a lovely little french bistro where a) Harper could go to the bathroom and b) we could have some lunch SITTING DOWN AT A RESTAURANT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER A YEAR! omg

This silly picture does not do it justice. But it was so odd to actually be doing it. Sitting there. Being served. WEIRD. It doesn't feel real and I'm not sure when we'll actually eat at a restaurant again for a while to make it more official!

We dropped Kurt at home, then Harper and I went back up to Ojai. We checked into our little hotel where WE EACH GOT OUR OWN QUEEN SIZED BED! Whew. Then we headed over to our friend Betty's to start the cookie baking process. Gotta make the dough then let it rest overnight.
IMG_6332

As always there are books to be read at Betty's.
IMG_6332

Waking up in our own beds!
IMG_6332

Cute pup in the coffee line.

IMG_6332

Then cookies! Betty has over a hundred cookie cutters and a good part of the morning was spent sorting and choosing shapes. The rolling and cutting commenced
IMG_6332

IMG_6332

I mostly sat in the cozy living room, listening to the girls talk and bake. It was the most relaxing time I've had in a long long long time.

IMG_6356

The cookies, as always, were YUMMY. Betty is a fantastic baker.
IMG_6356
IMG_6356
IMG_6356

Always time for more reading.

IMG_6332

Fun with Mr. Bean.

IMG_6381

Then we walked around the lovely garden outside Betty's house. Harper played in the dirt while Mr. Bean looked on.
IMG_6356

Later it was time to go back to the hotel for a swim. Critical Spring Break activity.
IMG_6356
IMG_6356

IMG_6381

Then we went back to Betty's that evening for yummy local pizza and salad and a long long relaxing chat as Harper got to play on the ipad and Betty and I could have grown up talk. The next morning we packed up and went back to Betty's for another morning visit then we headed south.

It was Thursday mid-day. And here was the 405 s over the supelveda pass. It stayed like this for no reason until the 10. I am not going to miss this when we leave here.

IMG_6381

I mean, I'm grateful that I've lived here so long that when the GPS tells you to get in the far right lane and I'm in the far left lane, I don't break a sweat. Traffic doesn't scare me. It just annoys me.
IMG_6381

 

Harper wrote a thank you card to Betty.
IMG_6381

It was a very good spring break and I'm greedy for more time in Betty's Bungalow Bakery. Luckily, Harper wants to learn how to make cheesecake (or at least help someone who is making one) so we will go back to Ojai next weekend for more relaxing visits and yummy baked goods and excellent company.

 

 

 


The Corona Diaries Week 54 - Spring Break Part I

We got out of Dodge for a few days over Spring Break. I was so ready. (I'm still ready for next trip and the one after that and the one after that. LET'S GO.)

But first I had to tidy up the car because yowza. Colorful, but yowza.

63864208053__798EFA4C-2E51-4059-A860-0CA718D609A9

IMG_6226

We drove to San Luis Obispo to stay for two nights at the Madonna Inn. We've been stopping there for lunches when we drive north to visit the Callahans in Santa Cruz so now we were going to stay. We got the "Antique Cars" room.

IMG_6226

IMG_6226

Antique Car wallpaper and drapes. Also two double beds. Not queen size. Oy. One night I slept with Kurt and the next I slept with Harper. Neither was great. (And somehow the mom always gets the short side of the bed...)

63867544009__10CAB890-6289-411C-B46D-B8F5A92A006C

We explored the hotel area a little after our drive, walking up to where the pool was.

IMG_6226

Meeting some horses.

63867544009__10CAB890-6289-411C-B46D-B8F5A92A006C

Going to the lovely little garden near our room.
63867544009__10CAB890-6289-411C-B46D-B8F5A92A006C

Harper told us to stand in the giant stone thing, as though we were getting married.
63867544009__10CAB890-6289-411C-B46D-B8F5A92A006C
63867544009__10CAB890-6289-411C-B46D-B8F5A92A006C

And we had to kiss, masks and all.
63867544009__10CAB890-6289-411C-B46D-B8F5A92A006C

IMG_6226

That evening's adventure: Drive In Theater!! We picked up some food and snacks and went to see a movie the old fashioned way.

IMG_6226

IMG_6241
IMG_6241

We parked backward and opened the back hatch, piled up the pillows and blankets and Harper got her bear (and her thumb) and enjoyed the show. Kurt found a way to to get comfortable by putting a seat down and reclining. I sat in the driver's seat, reading social media on my phone and escorting Harper to the bathroom. Luckily it was a movie we'd seen already, so no big deal that it was not ideal...but it was an experience!

AtTheDriveIn

Then back to the tiny beds for a mediocre night sleep.

IMG_6241

Next morning - donuts!
IMG_6241

Then off to a boardwalk trail through a nature preserve. Harper was thrilled. (But she got into it later...)
IMG_6241

The view of Morro Bay was SPECTACULAR.
IMG_6241
IMG_6241
IMG_6241
IMG_6241

IMG_6271

It was a lovely walk, actually.

There is a place at Volcano National Park called Devastation Trail. When I was Harper's age, we would go to Volcano and that boardwalk trail was one of my favorite spots. It was originally built over a recent (cooled) lava flow (This was in the 70's) and was fascinating. I loved walking through the misty landscape, imagining all kinds of wonderful things. So watching Harper run ahead on this boardwalk made me hope her imagination was sparked somehow. Or I'm just 100% projecting... Funny thing about Devastation Trail - when we first went in the mid-70's, it was all cinder and cooled lava. Ten years later there was SO much regrowth it was hardly devastated at all. I'd love to back there now. I'm sure I won't recognize it at all. Nature is awesome like that.

Back to SLO - Once we drove into Morro Bay proper, the sun came out and we got to walk around the big rock.
IMG_6271
IMG_6271
IMG_6271

IMG_6271
IMG_6271
IMG_6271

IMG_6298
IMG_6298
IMG_6298
IMG_6298

63867544009__10CAB890-6289-411C-B46D-B8F5A92A006C

The afternoon was all about swimming in the pool at the hotel. Well. Harper swam, I sat in a hot tub and also read under an umbrella. I know, I know, pics or it didn't happen, but sometimes you just relax and forget about your camera.

The late afternoon adventure was going into downtown SLO to find some dinner to take back to the hotel. But first a stop at Bubble Gum Alley.
IMG_6298
IMG_6298
IMG_6298

IMG_6322
IMG_6322

Harper leaving her offering.
IMG_6322

I put mine next to hers.
IMG_6322
IMG_6322

We found sushi and took it back to our wonderful room (#sarcasm) and feasted.
IMG_6322

Then for dessert - champagne cake from the bakery at the Madonna Inn. Our favorite. The three of us only ate 1/2 of it.
IMG_6322

The next morning we packed up and had a small detour to our trip.


The Corona Diaries Week 52 and 53 - Seriously Ready To Be Done

This post is two weeks worth. As previously mentioned, I'm getting a bit bored of these posts, even if it is still representing real life in Covid-World.

But things are moving.

We are going to send Harper back to school for their modified elementary grades program. Half of each class back in the classroom at a time for three hours a day. (Two shifts of them.) It will be interesting. I'm less concerned about academics and more about Harper being able to socialize, even in modified ways. And to PLAY! That will be the week of April 19.

This coming week is spring break and we are getting out of town. More on that next week.

I've been doing some paying work, which has been good for the bank accounts, and hasn't made me too crazed.

Let's get too it. I have mini roadtrip packing to do!

CATS

IMG_4449

IMG_4449
IMG_4449
IMG_4449
IMG_4449
IMG_4449
IMG_6147
IMG_6147
IMG_6147

IMG_4449

FOOD

IMG_6170
IMG_6170

Irish soda bread and green soup for St. Patrick's Day. Soda bread was not cut well enough before baking and was a bit underbaked. :-(  The soup was good.

IMG_6170
IMG_6170
IMG_6170
IMG_6170

Saw a recipe for chocolate cake you make in the baking pan. I knew I had all the ingredients so I just whipped it up. It was quite good and I'm not a chocolate cake eater, which made it really easy to have one small piece and not want any more.
IMG_6170

Still loving the school lunch trays.
IMG_6170

KALUA PIG! Yum.

RenderedImage

FAMILY OUTING

IMG_6176
IMG_6176
IMG_6176
IMG_6176
IMG_6176
IMG_6176
IMG_6176

ART

I'm still teaching the third grade art class once a week. I had them make shamrock collages. Here is Harper's which I thought was pretty cool! Using so many objects and such.

IMG_6189

Mine was more traditional collage
IMG_6189

Harper also has an afternoon art class called "Hidden Art." So they do things like this: Elephant...
IMG_6189

...Goose
IMG_6189

Another hidden art work.

IMG_6218

In class I found a fun wave painting project. We talked about the famous Japanese wave image (click here) and then we made these.

Here's Harper's.
IMG_6218

My own, which I quite like.
IMG_6218

We watched Raiders of the Lost Ark. Harper didn't seem super into it as she ran to get paper and pencil to draw while we watched. But this was what she was drawing:

The Staff of Ra
IMG_6218

The eyepatch guy with the monkey.
IMG_6218

Indy doing the switch on the golden idol
IMG_6218

Marian Ravenwood clearing the drinks glasses on a try and her medallion on its chain.
IMG_6218

I guess she was paying attention. But her verdict on the movie (from the opening frames!) "This movie is OLD!" I was going to argue a little but did the math and, in fact, the movie is old. 40 years!

Harper did a picture for Mom's birthday card. Including her cat Belle who is in kitty heaven, but is coming out of her grave (!!) to celebrate.

IMG_6189

FASHION

IMG_6155
IMG_6155

PLAYDATES IN TIMES OF COVID

IMG_6193
IMG_6193
IMG_6193

MISC AROUND THE HOUSE/NEIGHBORHOOD

IMG_6157
IMG_6157

New/old ice cream scoopers. (Tape for scale)
IMG_6157

This little thing has been stored for the last year. It is now street legal!
IMG_6157

 

Best of all, Kurt and I both got our first vaccine shots last week. By mid-May we will be fully vaccinated. Whew and yay!


The Corona Diaries Week 51 - One Year Later - Impatient and Antsy

I've put off writing this for two days because I'm getting so bored with it. After a year, I want to be done with Corona Diaries. (I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this.) Also, I think I miscounted weeks somewhere in there. Last week should have been 52...oh well. Time has no meaning anyway.

Part of the impatience is the anxiety that after all this time, we could still catch Covid. Not that we are changing how we are living right now, not at all. But numbers are still high in LA County and you just never know. I have been consistently wearing two masks any time I go out, and washing hands and using sanitizer, etc etc., and I still worry. We've not been doing many play dates out in the park, and the two times we have it's only been with one other kid and their parent. And both times we have gone were Sunday mornings and the park was PACKED with kids at soccer practice and all the accompanying families milling around and playing in the playground. Which is not great for Harper because then we don't let her play in the playground. Too many kids/people.

I'm a very calm, relaxed person. It's been a stressful year and I do get stressed, but I often get asked by doctors - is your pulse/ blood pressure always this low? Yup. But those Sundays, seeing the park teeming with humanity makes my eye twitch. Luckily the only place that is empty in the park is the big lawn and that is where we sit.

There is also a new restaurant* across the street with a huge outdoor patio and it is packed. And it looks so inviting...god it looks so nice. But we are not going out to eat yet. Not even out on a giant outdoor patio in sunny Santa Monica. Kurt and I even drove by one of those days and said, "Do you think we could...?" and then we both said, "Nope. Not yet."

And let's not start on going back to school. That will more than likely happen a month from now, in a modified form. But I'm not going to worry about it for now. That's for later.

One year.

One year and still more tough times to come. It is getting better - I know that. I see the infection and death rate numbers going down and the vaccinated numbers going up. But it's not fast enough to change anything yet. LA is still in the "Red" zone. There are still plenty of people who will get sick and some who will die from this. And even with millions of people being vaccinated every day, if you live in LA and are eligible, it's challenging to even find an appointment for a vaccine right now. (I looked just for fun.)

I had to pick up something at CVS the other day and the amount of hand sanitizer displayed was almost obscene. Remember a year ago you couldn't get any for months and months? And now, we are swimming in it. And we will live with it as a much more involved thing in our lives forever.

I tell you what though-and I've mentioned this before-I do not miss being sick. We haven't had a cold or anything in a year. That's been nice/amazing. And I plan on continuing the mask and sanitizing routine for a long time to come.

So. Last week. It rained! And hailed! Twice in one day!

IMG_6129

Harper had to warm her hands after collecting the hail.
IMG_6129
IMG_6129

And no, there was no snow cone creation or eating of the hail in any way as it had been collected from the dirty tarp hanging over our driveway...

Harper asked for a nail painting session to paint each other's nails. Precision is not her strong suit yet.

IMG_6137
IMG_6137

Last time it rained, a week before, the power had gone out for a few hours. Harper loved that (No school!) and so she wanted to recreate it one night and have "old time" night. We kicked it super old school with candles and a game of Sorry.

IMG_6141

Sorry is my favorite game because there is no real skill involved, but it's exciting. Things can change for better or worse at any time.

We got another check from our insurance company for all the non-driving we've been doing this year. It's a big help.

IMG_6144

I have a friend who buys vintage china. He is fantastic about it in that he actually uses most of it. It's not purely decorative. (I'm too practical for just having stuff to look at. I like it to be functional!) He also collects vintage airline dishes from first class service. I was inspired to buy one little plate myself. A United Airlines plate. I love the old school logo and United was always our airline to and from Hawaii forever. I have nostalgia for it so bought this. I'd love to have three more as it's such a good size for bread/butter or little sammiches.

IMG_6124
IMG_6124

Not much in exciting cooking last week. We had a lovely brunch on Saturday with bacon from the monthly bacon delivery Kurt gets as his Xmas gift from my mom. I love doing an all in one serving platter.

IMG_6110

In non food things, Harper has been experimenting with things in the kitchen. Flour, food coloring, spices, etc etc. She created this, uh, concoction last week.

IMG_6118

It smelled good!

And cats.

IMG_6143
IMG_6143

And now I am off to try my hand at a vaccine stand by line at the Rite Aid near me. Fingers crossed.


The Corona Diaries Week 50 - March Again

QUICK TECH NOTE: if the images don't load, but you see an image link, click it and the picture will pop up.

Just impatient. I know I'm not alone.

This week I did have some serious fears about our stupid government. Same fears and yes, I know it's a million times better than what could have been - we got the best we could get with Biden and majority in the house and senate. But oh those majorities are slim and not perfect. The fact that last year, ALL the democrats voted yes on the first aid package, making Trump look good but mostly HELPING PEOPLE. Then this year ALL the republicans voted against the current aid package. Cruel and callous and sad.

Anyway. One foot in front of the other.

Current Mood:

IMG_4422

Caught this nice gathering on Monday during a morning break from school.

IMG_6080

Monday's art was inspired by Kandinsky's color/circle study.
IMG_6080

I can't wait for school to open up again.

Harper did a card for a friend in NYC.

IMG_6085

She also got a delayed and fun valentine from Grace up north. Sweet!
IMG_6085

On Tuesday it rained. Harper celebrated thusly.
IMG_6085

Then the power went out* so we all sat on the big bed and watched it rain. Then I got the genius idea to see if power was out at the CVS down the street and if it was, would they have vaccine's going to waste and if so, could we get one?!?! Kurt leaped into action and into the car to find out. The power was indeed out! Yay! But this CVS wouldn't get vaccines for another couple of weeks. Boo! It was a great idea though.
IMG_6085

*It has rained, what? TWICE in the last 3 months? Then it rains for only about an hour and not really that hard and the power goes out. Shaking my head.

Later in the week Harper got new socks. She likes them a lot.
IMG_6085

Biscuity goodness.

IMG_0070
IMG_0070
IMG_0070

Friday night we had a friend over for social distant dining alfresco. I made Plate Lunch dinner (shoyu chicken, mac salad, rice and broccoli). It was YUM. And so nice to have a little company.
IMG_0070

Yesterday (Saturday) we went on a long walk/urban hike along the bluff above Playa Vista. There was much grumbling at the start, but we made through 3.5 miles with help from shade, some snacks and the distraction of finding two geocaches.

IMG_6099

We walked beneath the LMU letters - a vantage point I'd never had in college when Playa Vista was Hughes Aircraft and mostly dusty fields.
IMG_6099

Bird's Eye view:

HelicopterAerial1647

One of the geocaches.
IMG_6099

We neared the end of our walk and found these fabulous structures.
IMG_6099
IMG_6099

Then Harper got to play on a playground for a while - something we've not been doing lately. She loved it.

Being in this new (to us) park area was a breath of fresh air. It made me so excited about going to new places again, traveling to the Pacific Northwest and scouting potential neighborhoods to live in, finding parks to play in, all of it. I can not wait.

Impatient.

 


The Corona Diaries Week 49 - Cresting The Summit

Apologies for switching metaphors on you.

Maybe it should have been "I feel a breeze coming" or some such.

I'm starting to feel some positive stuff again. That's the main take away. More people I know are getting vaccinated, another vaccine has been approved, and summer is looking better and better. I even started looking at flights to far away places for Christmas time. I was going to say "I guess you call that hope," but I haven't lost hope, I guess I lost patience. I wanted to speed things up to better days. Don't we all.

Part of what was screwing me up was my dumb brain doing that hindsight thing. Thoughts like "Well, if you had started that last April, you'd be done by now" which is true on one hand. True in a normal year. But total BS for 2020. I mean, in April 2020 everything was still scary and weird and unclear and uncertain. How could you plan anything when the whole world felt out of balance, on fire and insane? (That orange guy was still president and it was not clear if he would be reelected or not!)

The old monkey brain, the bullsh*t talking brain was trying to make me feel like I had failed. Failed what? So I reflected back on the last year and am proud of the things I've accomplished:

  • Kept the household running smoothly
  • Cooked good dinners most nights (we eat together at the table almost every night)
  • Learned how to make Japanese milk bread (better make some more this week)
  • Put on an amazing array of summer camp activities for Harper last year (this one is HUGE)
  • Worked my ASS off during the fall with election volunteering/texting. YOU'RE WELCOME AMERICA.
  • Went camping (well, that was not wildly successful! but we sort of did it...)
  • Had a getaway to the desert in November
  • Completed one manuscript for a short novel
  • Started another manuscript for a short novel
  • Kept a group of friends connected and supported every week (every single week)
  • Started running jogging trudging again. Okay okay, I'll give myself "jogging". (It is definitely not running!)
  • Gained only five pounds this year. Amazing, honestly.
  • Schooled Harper in all the Marvel movies.
  • Taught Art class almost every week for Harper's third grade glass. (Extra challenging over zoom, let me tell you!)

That's the list that comes to mind as I sit here on a Sunday morning. Please feel free to tell me what else I've done/accomplished this year.

Swords08This past week has been a really good one in terms of attitude shift. And not just my attitude with the pandemic, the anticipation of things getting so much better, but with the longer future, my own path, where-to next in my life. Like the seeds I planted a few years ago, which have been growing into small plants, are now finally showing signs of flowering (which will then bear fruit not unlike the strawberry plant in my kitchen - see below).

Ms. Eight Of Swords over here has been a running theme so far for 2021 and I revisit her message often, especially the reversed position. Don't let that image fool you, there is good news within.

Now onto the weekly recap. Let's start with cats.

This guy.

IMG_6048

I wake up before the sun to get very quiet, very focused creative time to myself. First stop, go potty. Mr. Biscuit usually follows me in. Sometimes he jumps up on the sink. But last week? Well. I don't know what to tell  you other than I'm glad I had my phone with me.

Just trying to pee here, Mr. Biscuit. Could you give me some space?
IMG_6048

Also, on one morning last week around 4am, he jumped on my little nightstand (something else he never does) and KNOCKED MY GLASS OF WATER OFF THE TABLE. Grrrr. Nothing like being up at 4am mopping up water in the dark. Cats.

This was a big week for Biscuit as he killed his first bird. Eek! Apparently he brought it in the house and was playing with its lifeless body in the hallway. Willoughby needs to teach him leave it at the door, like she does.
IMG_6048

But he's so pretty.
IMG_6048

Kurt and Willoughby shared a moment.
IMG_6048

Blood orange was the theme at Trader Joe's this week. Make their blood orange cake and bought some of the actual oranges which turned into a cocktail. But the cocktail needed a touch of sweet (That is salt on the rim.)

IMG_6042
IMG_6042
IMG_6042
IMG_6042
IMG_6042
IMG_6042

Ate some lovely fresh greens and purples.
IMG_6042

Baked our favorite no-knead olive bread which literally sits for 8 hours, then you flop it around a little more, let it sit for another hour then bake it.

IMG_6056
IMG_6056

Burned myself in the process AND it was under-baked. Fack.
IMG_6056

Saw a new doctor, new GP, and did the fasting all morning before the appointment (to get the blood tests done). Special treat was picking up a chicken burrito from Poquito Mas for lunch. Haven't been there in ages.
IMG_6056
IMG_6056

Harper helped me with a birthday card for her cousin Matthew.

IMG_6060
IMG_6060

I met an old friend in Sierra Madre and we walked to a coffee place next door to a cleaners. PANTORIUM! It just made me laugh. "BRING YOUR PANTS TO THE PANTORIUM!"
IMG_6060

The aforementioned strawberry plant. I got this as a thank you gift last summer when I sewed masks for a friend. It came as a packet of seeds and a little ceramic planting pot with dirt which I planted and keep in our kitchen window sill.

IMG_6073

They grew, then I split apart the tiny plants and put half in a bigger pot. And this week I noticed tiny flowers with wee little strawberries forming! There are about four on the plant. I can't believe it. I'm so pleased and proud. Add this to my list: Patience and nurturing of my strawberry plants.
IMG_6060

Patience and nurturing. We all need that more than anything this year.


The Corona Diaries Week 48 - Ever Drifting

Sums it all up:

IMG_6002

Mockingbird here to mock me. Because what I need is more mocking. As if my self-loathing is not enough.
IMG_6002

Made an egg salad sandwich on white bread with lots of salt. It was yummy.
IMG_6002

Marinated ribs kalbi style.
IMG_6002

Then grilled them up. Also yummy.
IMG_6002

Prepped science class items for Harper.
IMG_6002

Monorail Biscuit.

IMG_6018

Harper wanted to go to the windy hiking spot again. So we did.
IMG_6018
IMG_6018

Our neighbors with the amazing winter garden stopped me on my walk the other morning and said to please pick a big handful. So I did.
IMG_6018
IMG_6018

Went to the park today with one friend from school. They have a 3 month old baby.

IT WAS SO HARD NOT TO REACH OUT AND GRAB UP THE BABY TO SNUGGLE AND SMOOCH.
IMG_6018

It was nice to see friends in real life.

I'm really really really really really fucking tired of this shit.


The Corona Diaries Week 47 - Drifting

Still drifting.

It's Wednesday and I've barely been able to get up the enthusiasm to write this blog post.

I was thinking of The Long Winter in the Little House series. They are trapped in their house with no food or trains or supplies. Day after day as the blizzards came and went, they ground wheat in the coffee grinder to make bread. That was literally all they had to eat for months. I know, we are not starving and it's not even cold. But the image of the daily grinding grinding grinding is feeling familiar to me. Along with the monotony of the weather here. Look. If I have to be stuck in my house every damn day, it could at least be raining. But no. (And I am not trying to be insensitive to all the people in Texas, etc, who are literally freezing without power and heat right at this moment. That is brutal and it's going to be a tough recovery.) I'm just going a bit f*cking crazy with the sameness day in and day out.

So here we go.

Harper attended a zoom birthday party on Super Bowl Sunday afternoon for her friend Violet. First there was the birthday girl stopping by to drop off the party things (and pick up her gift).

IMG_5897

The bag held cupcakes in these cute boxes.
IMG_5897

As well as decorating items - toppings, sprinkles and frosting made ready in a piping bag.

IMG_5897
IMG_5897

Then the virtual party and decorating.

IMG_5897
IMG_5897

Harper's card to her friend.
IMG_5897

The birthday girl's dad is a professional photographer so he put this together of Violet dropping off party supplies for all the guests. I feel like it is such a succinct image artifact for this pandemic era. (click for bigger if you want.)
IMG_5898

Later that day was the Super Bowl, which I barely took notice of. But! I made a pot of chili and some cornbread.

63442504981__61B07547-DC5F-4FA4-BF5E-659ADE9AE532
63442504981__61B07547-DC5F-4FA4-BF5E-659ADE9AE532
63442504981__61B07547-DC5F-4FA4-BF5E-659ADE9AE532

We did a grid. Harper and Willoughby were the big winners.
63442504981__61B07547-DC5F-4FA4-BF5E-659ADE9AE532

In the middle of all the...fun? Our kind neighbor with an incredible veggie garden stopped by with this handful of greens. It was so pretty I just stuck it in a vase for a day or two, then got around to chopping some up for a salad lunch.

IMG_5902
IMG_5902

Later in the week I tried making this recipe. I only had frozen tuna, but what the hey. I had finally gotten a hold of miso paste so I was ready.

63470301232__23E50787-BCBA-4728-90A0-CA8F66CB8CC7

It got a bit um DARK.
63470301232__23E50787-BCBA-4728-90A0-CA8F66CB8CC7
63470301232__23E50787-BCBA-4728-90A0-CA8F66CB8CC7

It didn't cut well and frankly ended up looking like cat food. (Tasted fine.)
63470301232__23E50787-BCBA-4728-90A0-CA8F66CB8CC7

Willoughby was fine with it. I was just annoyed.
63470301232__23E50787-BCBA-4728-90A0-CA8F66CB8CC7

Mid week monochromatic lunch for Harper. Healthy, but one simple color palate.
63470301232__23E50787-BCBA-4728-90A0-CA8F66CB8CC7

Cats are nice.

IMG_5993
IMG_5993
IMG_5993
IMG_5993
IMG_5993

Did I include this in my last post? Probably. But I still love it and want to frame it.

IMG_5867

Took the girl out for a trash collection walk one morning.
IMG_5867

We found LOTS of caterpillars in our garden.
IMG_5867
IMG_5867

Last year I signed up for the NIH (national institutes for health) study about covid. It's all totally anonymous and so I don't know what they do with or discover about my blood. But I sent in a blood sample last year and there was a follow up sampling last week. They send you about 4 times the amount of supplies that you will actually need.
IMG_5867

Also got a mobile knife sharpening guy to come over to sharpen our knives along with scissors and our swiss army knife. Can't wait to pack that little knife on our next trip to Europe. Swiss Army knives will always make me think of Europe.
IMG_5867

Tom dropped by with some treats - including three "Goose" the cat mini figs for Harper. We watched Captain Marvel again that night for fun. We've also been watching WandaVision which is crazy and good and there are three episodes left and we are waiting with bated breath!

IMG_5953

Are class last week was about making Valentine cards.
IMG_5953

Harper also wrote cards for Grace and Gammo with sweet images of HUGS.
IMG_5953
IMG_5953

Clay class was also Valentine Themed.
IMG_5953
IMG_5953
IMG_5953

Last Saturday I forced everyone out of the house again for a walk in nature. It's kind of like pulling teeth, honestly. But I'll keep doing it. We went to Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. It was pretty busy/full, but luckily it's a LARGE park.

IMG_5958
IMG_5958
IMG_5958
IMG_5958
IMG_5958
IMG_5958
IMG_5958

Harper said she LOVED the windy spot the best. And there were many birds of prey to watch swooping and floating.

IMG_5964

Found one geocache!
IMG_5964

Then there were birds to feed and chase.
IMG_5964
IMG_5964
IMG_5964
IMG_5964

IMG_5958

IMG_5964

Then it was Valentine's Day. We all gave each other chocolates and cards.

IMG_5995

Did my best/worst heart-shaped pancakes for brunch.
IMG_5995

Then swedish meatballs and mushy peas for dinner. Random.
IMG_5995

On Monday - a holiday - I did a big tidy up of my clothes. Pulled all the clothes out...
IMG_5995
IMG_5995
IMG_5995

Then sorted them into "give away" and still to deal with.
IMG_5995
IMG_5995

It felt good to do I guess.

And now it's another week. Grind grind grind.

 


The Corona Diaries Week 46 - Still Stuck In The Doldrums

Still here. Still in blah mode.

The mom guilt reared its ugly head this week and while burning this candle was nice, it didn't help with the guilt.

IMG_5855

Harper has not had enough physical exercise at all lately and she needs it. I need to force myself and her out the door more often. Or at least make her do some online dance/fun stuff. It's hard enough to commit to MYSELF to exercise enough. Ugh. I do go out every day and walk or "run". But that's my ME time, my time out of the damn house, my time to listen to podcasts and be alone. I do well when I exercise in the morning, then can come home, shower, start the day. And that would be the easiest time to get Harper out, but then when do I go? I have to stop being so precious with my time I guess. Just get over it.

It's not like I have to get dressed and go into an office. I could be sweaty and stinky all day, it doesn't matter.

Whatever.

She's mostly doing fine, thank the gods/goddesses.

63405926725__25C32C14-C346-4FB1-9DCE-2ACD724F8A1B

She enjoys digging out and wearing my cowboy boots.
63405926725__25C32C14-C346-4FB1-9DCE-2ACD724F8A1B

And the occasional VR Game. (that's like exercise, right? Sigh.)
63405926725__25C32C14-C346-4FB1-9DCE-2ACD724F8A1B

I'm constantly recruiting her to draw pictures in cards (as you've seen). This week she did a card for Gammo Jane...

IMG_5835

...and a friend's daughter's birthday.
IMG_5835

And in art class (taught my moi) we did snowperson perspective drawings. One kid on the zoom said "This is my favorite art project so far!" That made my cold heart warm up a bit.
IMG_5835

In clay class they made little foxes and a nature scene.
IMG_5835

And this is...uh...weird. One doll wrapped in a ribbon, another covered in goo. Cool cool. "ART"
IMG_5835

Food this week was also kind of blah. I was working on eating out of our freezer, trying to clear it out, so the dinners were not very exciting. I did make spinach pancakes for lunch again one day.

IMG_5871
IMG_5871

Also we got a delivery of Girl Scout Cookies. Half of these will go into the newly cleared out freezer...
IMG_5871

A smattering of images to represent my week.

IMG_5842
IMG_5842
IMG_5842

This was a small thing - a bit of tidying up that I'd been putting off for ages (this plus another inbox full of paid bills and other paperwork), but oh it felt nice. There is still a medium size stack of things to actually go through, but mostly it's all clean and NICE.

IMG_5865
IMG_5865

In all the cleaning out, I found these from a while back. Both make me so happy.

Family portrait.
IMG_5865

Mr. Biscuit's adoption day listing!
IMG_5865

Then. Just to mix things the F*CK UP - I went to give blood. Grace had mentioned she'd just gone and I thought- YES! I could go do that! So I went to the UCLA Blood and Platelet Center, where I've gone for years. But it had been six years since I last gave. Way too long between donations. Normally I'm 100% doing it for the good community spirit. This time, I'll admit I did it also for the free Covid Antibodies test you can get. I'm pretty sure it will be negative, but cool to find out. That will take about 3 weeks.

IMG_5875

When I took off my bandage a few hours later, surprise! A slip of the needle left some blood in my arm.
IMG_5875

Which now looks like this today. Doesn't hurt, just looks wacky.
IMG_5875

I've made another appointment to donate again in April. I will do better about donating more regularly.

There is talk out there in the media about opening schools again soon. I'm content to wait until all the teachers and staff and most of us parents are vaccinated. I don't expect school to really go back in person until the August start. (FINGERS CROSSED SO HARD FOR THAT!) but if they were able to go back in May even for the last few weeks, that would be so wonderful. Hard to know right now, though the signs are good. By the time I donate more blood, we'll know for sure, right???