Days 334-341: Back to Normal

We spent the past eight 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 228: Inside, Outside

Inside

Delightfully Fast Computer

As mentioned in an earlier post I bought a refurbished desktop computer for my study. Today I upgraded the memory and can multi-task a lot easier than before. It is still an i5, but now it has 32GB of Random Access Memory instead of 4GB which means I can have more than one application open and the computer does not slow down. It might be overkill, but whatever. It does mean that I actually spent twice as much on the computer than I’d planned (it was only $150 from Woot but the memory cost about the same). Still, not bad for a new-to-me computer.

Outside

Peepers and more

Dean texted me a week ago or so to tell me he heard spring peepers on a bike ride with Andrew. I was surprised, thinking they only sang at dusk. Today he wanted to show me where they were to hear for myself. Sure enough, once we got close to the ephemeral pools in an area of Rock Creek Park I could hear them sing.

Possibly even more exciting were the many spring wildflowers. It reminded me of a fieldtrip to Trout Park with my college botany teacher (including Dean’s sister Debbie who was also in that class). I could just see Mr. Steinbock trembling with excitement as he pointed out trout lilies, trillium, May apples and skunk cabbage.

Days 206 – 227: ~21 Days of Delights

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s day is my favorite holiday only because of my last name. We made corned beef with braised cabbage, carrots, and mashed potatoes

A Murder on the Deck

The crows are back. While there are always a few around during the winter, they mostly hang out at a local roost. They’re back now though, and remember our deck for the treats I’ve provided in the past.

Range Fixed — Sort Of

The repairperson came out from ABW and fixed our lemon of a Bosch range. He was able to fix the heating issue (the heating element was burned out and cracked) but the door still does not close all the way. At least we can use the oven. The door issue is temporarily solved with strong magnets.

Artwork Up

We’ve been given a few pieces of art in the past year and we’ve finally hung them on the walls. Dean’s reluctant to hammer nails in the walls, so this is an absolute delight.

St. Patrick’s Day v.2

Andrew and Alex came over for dinner the Sunday after St. Patrick’s Day. I made a vegetarian shepherd’s pie for dinner and a raspberry trifle for dessert. Alex made a Guinness cake. Alex also showed us her juggling skills. Also I picked some Lenten Roses.

Books, Books, Books

I think my lack of writing was a direct result of my nose being stuck in a book (metaphorically since I read on my phone) 24/7.

  • Finished listening to The Shipping News by Annie Proulx (Delightful!)
  • Read all 4 books written by Abbi Waxman (Delightful, delightful, delightful, delightful)
  • Finished Stealing Home by Sherryl Woods (not delightful, but not dreadful) (I read it because I watched the Netflix series based on Woods’ books and wanted to know what happened next)

Quilt from Kevin

A while back my brother, Kevin, asked if I wanted any of the blankets in a photo he sent. I said I wanted the quilt and he said he’d set it aside. It turned out that he sent it and it arrived on March 26th. I don’t know which of my ancestors made it, but I’ll try to repair it and then store it.

More Alone Time & Sewing

Dean and Andrew went biking and I stayed home. Delightful.

I did use my alone time wisely though and tackled a project I’d meant to do for a while. See, we have a down quilt with a duvet cover but the quilt never stayed at the top and ended up bulging out of the bottom like a hernia. I’d tried to convince Dean to agree to get a new quilt and duvet cover with ties and loops but he never saw the need. So I dusted off my sewing kit and repurposed some shoelaces as loops and ties and now the duvet cover stays on the quilt and the quilt no longer herniates out of the cover. (I sewed the shoelaces as hoops to the corners of the quilt and as ties to the inside corners of the duvet cover and connected them when I replaced the quilt in the cover. Delightful!

Sunshine and Raindrops

The setting sun through raindrops on the window looked like fairy lights.

Serviceberry Trees!

My Serviceberry trees were planted! The last image is more recent — and today all the blossoms are full.

Vaccines

We became eligible for our vaccines during this time. Dean was able to secure a spot for a Pfizer vaccine at the mass vaccination site but due to a computer glitch, I was not. Later, when the glitch was resolved, the provided dates didn’t work out for me but I was able to secure two dates for Moderna about an hour and a half away.

My first inoculation was on April Fools’ Day. I stopped at Wegman’s on the way back (delight!).

Clouds and Flowers and Zoom, Oh My!

I bought some tulips at Wegmans and they are truly delightful.

Our bookgroup discussion of Such a Fun Age was quite delightful, although I didn’t remember a whole lot about the book (which was my choice).

Just before the meeting I took a photo of clouds as the sun was setting.

Lilacs and RAM

Yesterday I noticed that our lilacs, which have not bloomed in two years, have at least three sets of buds. Delightful!

I bought a refurbished desktop on a whim a few months ago but it is sluggish because it only has 4GB of RAM. I’d read that it can take up to 32GB so I ordered 4 8GB RAM and will install it when it arrives.


The delightful image at the top of the post is my gift to Dean for Easter. A Dr. Fauci bobblehead.

Day 98: Another Walk

Not too far from me — walking distance — is a delightful pocket-sized wetland that I rarely walk to. Because I am lazy. Alex had never been, so we walked there today. I remembered my camera! We were surprised and dismayed to see the cherry trees blooming, but Alex looked them up and apparently they often take advantage of warm fall weather to bloom a second time. That does not reduce their likelihood of blooming again in the spring.

I’m planning on walking there once a week starting in January just to see the changes each week. Alex suggested I read Braiding Sweetgrass. We’ll see if I actually venture out on a semi-long walk in January. It might be delightful. It might not be.

When Andrew and Alex left, Andrew wanted to take a photo on the front porch so we did.

Day 97: A Walk and More Games

The four of us took a walk along the C&O Canal this afternoon. It was delightful. I wish I’d brought my camera though. I did get a decent photo of a Great Blue Heron, however.

This evening we played Scattergories and an online drawing game called Drawful. The kids think they’ve turned us into “game people”. They are delighted.

Day 10: The New Camera (mostly)

Still struggling with odd feelings of not-quite-rightness. Possibly with a little ennui tossed in. For instance, there are things I normally do on weekends — feed the sourdough starter is one, make bread is another, however I have no desire to do either, even though they must be done if I want to keep the starter alive and if we are to have homemade sourdough bread in the house.


The camera is turning out to be a true delight. Today I tried out the long lens (I am sure it has a better name — telephoto lens perhaps) and it took some decent photos. I’m still learning. Dean even gave it a go and remarked on how light it was. He was still not very enthusiastic about it, but at least didn’t complain about it.

Other delights today:

  • Reading and commenting on Lali’s blog again. I’d missed the entries from the beginning of the pandemic. Her writing is soothing.
  • A phone call from my SIL asking about my first (true) day and a half of retirement
  • More backyard birds (blue jays, northern cardinals, Carolina wrens, hairy woodpeckers, ruby-throated hummingbird, fish crows)
  • The return of the spider — it seems it likes the kitchen door in the late afternoons — I’d already taken out my contact lenses so didn’t try to take a photo this time.
  • The walk around the elementary school with Dean at lunchtime
Dean’s photo of a squirrel