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April 11, 2021

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.

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I donated blood.

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And we prepared for Easter fun.

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What happens when you leave food coloring out on the counter...ugh.
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Next morning, the hunt was on! Harper doesn't think there is an easter bunny, but she sure loves to look for eggs!
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It took her a while to LOOK UP. (click for bigger images of eggs in trees!)
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Easter Breakfast with cinnamon "rabbit" rolls. (which look more like snails, let's be honest)
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And one deviled egg.
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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.
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Then return to school life and life life. Life with Willoughby.
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And my strawberry plant is making a wee strawberry!
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Eating more healthy yummy food.
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Thank you to Gammo for her easter card and $$
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Neighbors on my walk have this cute canned ham trailer and she's called "Myrtle"!! Love.
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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.
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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.
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Biscuit making friends.
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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.

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

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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.

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

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Harper redesigned one of her toys:

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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.")
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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.
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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.

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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.
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As always there are books to be read at Betty's.
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Waking up in our own beds!
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Cute pup in the coffee line.

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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
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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.

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The cookies, as always, were YUMMY. Betty is a fantastic baker.
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Always time for more reading.

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Fun with Mr. Bean.

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Then we walked around the lovely garden outside Betty's house. Harper played in the dirt while Mr. Bean looked on.
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Later it was time to go back to the hotel for a swim. Critical Spring Break activity.
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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.

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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.
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Harper wrote a thank you card to Betty.
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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.

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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.

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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...)

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

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Meeting some horses.

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Going to the lovely little garden near our room.
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Harper told us to stand in the giant stone thing, as though we were getting married.
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And we had to kiss, masks and all.
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That evening's adventure: Drive In Theater!! We picked up some food and snacks and went to see a movie the old fashioned way.

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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!

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

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Next morning - donuts!
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Then off to a boardwalk trail through a nature preserve. Harper was thrilled. (But she got into it later...)
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The view of Morro Bay was SPECTACULAR.
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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.
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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.
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Harper leaving her offering.
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I put mine next to hers.
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We found sushi and took it back to our wonderful room (#sarcasm) and feasted.
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Then for dessert - champagne cake from the bakery at the Madonna Inn. Our favorite. The three of us only ate 1/2 of it.
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The next morning we packed up and had a small detour to our trip.