Days 334-341: Back to Normal

We spent the past seven days settling back into our normal routines. Dean working long hours, me puttering around the house. There were a few delights though:

  • Getting texts from Clare on her westward train trip — the photo at the top is from her trip from somewhere in the Midwest.
  • Hello Fresh meals. The buffalo chicken was really good.
  • Atypical — we really like that Netflix show and [gasp!] sometimes watch more than one episode a night!
  • Weeding the wildflower garden. I finally figured out what was a weed and what was a wildflower and pulled up the weeds. Unfortunately I accidently pulled up some phlox so I put it in a small bud vase (actually old medicine bottle) and took a photo of that. I also cut some black-eyed Susan. (photos below)
  • Organizing — I seem to be in an organizing groove and have gone through a few boxes that were cluttering up my study. I think this will last, as long as my languishing stays away.
  • Sleep — I’ve gotten some really good sleep lately and only twice neglected to sleep through the night.
  • This blog — after this post I will be caught up.
  • Making arrangements to visit people on our trip to the Midwest — I’m lunching with two favorite cousins, we’re meeting up with family friends (and showing Alex the alpacas) and visiting with our nephew, Danny and his family.
  • Talking to Clare on her actual birthday.

Day 262: Catching Up

Spent today getting delightfully caught up on the delights of the past week or so and posted them here.

I also sent two thank you notes and prepared two packages to be mailed. One was a songbook that once belonged to my Aunt Nancy. Because her daughter, Michelle, and I have been talking on Facebook, I decided to send it to her. The other was a photograph of my Uncle Dick when he was in the Army. I sent that to my cousin Debbie, having promised to do so months ago.

Day 136: Kitchen & Mingus

I spent the entire day in the kitchen. While that might not sound delightful, it was delightful to me. I’d been meaning to clean out the fridge, so I did that. In addition, I organized a cabinet to better hold my fermenting equipment. I also made pita bread and that cottage pie I raved about a few weeks ago.

I also played with Mingus, who is staying with us while Andrew and Alex are in Atlanta. He has a toy that he adores. Our house has a center staircase, so you can go in a circle around the center part of the house: living room, hall, kitchen, dining room, entryway, back to the living room and sometimes I walk around the house pulling his toy behind me so he follows. I usually double back and surprise him as he stalks his toy.

Today I did that again, only he’s the one who is doubling back now — this time I did it in the kitchen around the island. The video below is not exactly what he’d been doing, but close enough. Made me laugh.

Day 134: Cosy Blogging

I spent today blogging on CCL — nothing exciting, just more memories, this time about books from my youth that I barely remembered.

This evening I made tentative plans to have a Zoom cocktail call with close friends who we’ve not seen since last January.

Basically I did nothing today, which was delightful.

Day 108: Rearranging the Kitchen (aka Procrastination Day 2)

V. boring — tl;dr: I rearranged the kitchen appliances and bookshelves and was delighted with the results.

I’m still putting off the trip to Costco to buy cheese to mail to Clare. I really thought I would go today, but just didn’t want to so I looked for something productive to do that was not cataloging books.

We have a very nice OXO coffee maker that makes very good coffee. But neither of us use it except very occasionally; in fact, we have not used it in several months. I mostly drink tea, but if I make coffee I use another OXO product — a pourover coffee maker. Dean uses an AeroPress (that I bought for myself but he took it over and it’s always full of grounds in the morning when I wake up and I want to start out with a fresh device for my coffee don’t get me started on that).

I’ve been thinking about moving the electric coffee maker to the basement, but I wanted to keep it relatively handy for the rare occasions that we may need to make more than single cups of coffee. I once tried to put it on its side and put it in our largest and most empty cabinet, but water leaked everywhere, even though it was empty and I turned it upside down over the sink.

Anyway — I ended up emptying the largest and most empty cabinet, rearranged the height of the shelves, then slid the coffee maker into the back of the cabinet. The coffee maker is quite tall, but not very deep and I had plenty of room for other appliances so I put our 6qt Instant Pot in front of the coffee maker and our pasta machine next to that.

The place where the Instant Pot used to be was now empty so I pulled the appliances out from the skinny broom closet that I hated to get things out of and put them where the Instant Pot used to live.

Finally I pulled out the Nespresso machine (that Dean uses daily) from another inconvenient place and put it on the counter where the OXO coffee maker used to be. Now there was room for the bread in the more inconvenient (but not inconvenient for bread) place where the Nespresso machine had been.

Later this afternoon I tackled the cookbook bookshelf and moved the wine to the top instead of at the bottom. The design of the bookshelf is a pain since books hid behind the decoration. Now there is wine behind the decoration and the cookbooks are easily available.

Oh, I also attended a neighborhood Zoom meeting about winter birds. I knew all the birds that the presenter talked about, but didn’t know everything he shared such as millet is fine to feed birds and some of the differences between male and female of the same species. The presenter also had a very loving way talking about yard birds. I’ve followed him on the Maryland birding list for years but have never met him despite the fact he lives only a few blocks away.

Day 107: Cataloging Books (aka Procrastination Day 1)

It has been brought to my attention that I need to go to Costco to buy a whole bunch of cheese to send to Clare. We also need toilet paper. I hate shopping at Costco because 1) people, 2) pandemic, and 3) I always buy things I don’t need.

Even though it was not on my original “to do when retired” list, I had the sudden urge to update my LibraryThing list of books to correspond with the books we actually had in the house. I knew this would be a long undertaking because we have lots of books.

Today I finished the living room bookshelves. It took all day but was actually delightful. Next I will tackle the bookshelf in our bedroom but probably not tomorrow.