Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Coronavirus Diary - May 16th - 27th

May 16 Saturday 

I ran 10 miles this morning, 6 at marathon pace. This time I committed to making the pace for the marathon pace miles. At first I was using a run/walk ratio of 90/30 but that wasn’t near enough running for my rather ambitious goal, so I went to 1:15/30 instead. This worked, although for the last two miles even that wasn’t quite enough. But there is a law of diminishing returns. Eventually too much running will slow me down. It’s very possible that my current goal is too much. But with San Francisco cancelled, I’m not even sure that I will even run a virtual marathon at the end of the training period. So what the hell, I’ll keep trying and just see how it feels. It’s going to get harder, more miles, more fast runs. We’ll see how it goes.

The rest of the day was lazy, watching the rain roll in. Most of it seems to be going slightly north of us. Too bad. So strange to think how crazy wet last year was, and this year we have to water.

May 17 Sunday

The rain is swirling around us, being pushed by a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico, up the Mississippi Valley, and around Minnesota. We got over 2 inches of rain last night and I won’t be surprised to find out that we got another 2 inches, or more, today. It has been raining, hard, all day long.

FaceTimed with Daniel and Sarah (and Kirby) today. We were talking about states entering “phase 2” and how our actions would change, if at all. The biggest changes for us are still several months away. Sarah is talking about trying to find a nanny when she returns (remotely) to work. How that would work within our bubble remains to be seen. They would have to give up their place at their daycare, but there is no other way to do it, unless we take up watching children full time. (Note: as of June they are planning on sending the kids back to daycare in the fall and we are watching them full time from late July until September. Stay tuned!) Travel that involves planes is not likely this summer, so Daniel and Kelsey will probably not be able to come, although maybe by fall it will be safer. (Note 2: they are coming, but they are driving, and they're going to stay for a couple weeks, working remotely.) Lee’s musings about business travel are unlikely as well. Daniel said that his office has said to plan on working from home for the rest of the year. And depending on how long this goes on he and Kelsey might decide to leave SF,  because if they can work remotely, and they don’t have to commute, and all the things that make a City fun are unavailable, why pay the exorbitant rents for nothing?

In the meantime Lee and I talk about fun things to do. The brunch meal we got from Bellecour was so delicious that we think we might try dinner from them sometime too. And Sarah says the bbq from Tennet was really good. I’m skeptical since we have yet to experience good bbq in Minny, but it’s worth a shot.

May 20 Wednesday

A friend in New Hampshire told us today that one of her husband's co-workers has tested positive for covid 19. He had a heart attack and had to go to the hospital so he was tested. Both my friend and her husband were tested. Her husband is positive, my friend is not, so far (Note 3 - she had 3 tests and never tested positive). Everyone is asymptomatic. They have been socializing distantly with other friends (outside, 6 feet apart) so now they need to be tested too. Its such a bummer. They are not sure how her husband caught it. He rode in the car with his coworker several times and although they were both wearing masks its a small space to be in together. Someone probably touched something and then inadvertently touched his face. 

Lots of fun hanging out with Leo (and then with Sarah and Kirby too) on Monday and Tuesday. On Monday Leo and I cleaned the bedrooms. Leo went on a walk with his tricycle (that has a handle so an adult can push him as needed) and grampa. We also made bread, which he thoroughly enjoyed. He poured a little salt from one measuring cup to another and helped to form the loaves. Then when it was finished he had a piece with butter and jelly. AND he took a loaf home with him to mom and dad.

On Tuesday Leo and I made chocolate cookies. It was messy and delicious. Those cookies are the best, I have to ration myself or I’ll eat them all. Sarah and I and Kirby (in a snuggly) and all the dogs went for a walk during nap time. Nap time was unsuccessful for Leo. Lee bought Leo a little nap pad with a built in quilt and pillow but it was far too exciting for sleeping. And he pooped mid nap. After a clean diaper they gave up and set up the packnplay but by then he was too worked up for sleeping. I’m sure he snoozed in the car on the way home.

It was a beautiful afternoon so we sat out on the screened porch. We let Leo take off his shoes and socks and go barefoot in the grass. We showed him how he could get the screened door open all by him self and he had a great time going in and out. We’ll work on not slamming the door some other time.

May 21. Thursday.

Well that was stupid. A young police officer showed up around 5:30 pm to do our multiple dog owner inspection. We had asked that he wear a mask and he did, as did we. I asked him to take off his shoes and he did that also. The dogs were very good, waited politely for him to come in. He wanted to make sure we had a fence in the backyard, he didn’t care at all that it’s a temporary dog fence. He wanted to see where we fed them and that they had water. That was it! What a waste of everyone’s time, and an unnecessary exposure to someone outside our bubble.

The only dog that cared about getting petted was Cosmo, and the officer did pet him quite a bit. I had told myself before the visit that I would sanitize anything he touched, but didn’t think about sanitizing a dog! “Could we spray him with Lysol?” Asked Lee. Uh, no. But we had some peppermint scented hand sanitizer so we sprayed his fur with that and rubbed it in. Now Cos smells delicious!

May 23. Saturday.

I ran 14 miles this morning at what’s called a “long run” pace, which is a little bit faster than my easy run pace. It rained on and off and my stomach was upset, but other than that it was a pretty nice run. I chose a hilly route so it was sort of challenging. I ran part of the way on Minnewashta Parkway, but turned around too soon, so I ran up and down a few side streets on the way back to add on the 2 miles I was missing. Made for a math workout with a tired brain but it came out almost exactly right in the end.

Yesterday I dug out a border along the rain garden/vernal pool/pond and planted some of the new plants we bought. Still have more to do but now I’ve got to wait for the rain to stop and things to dry out a little.

May 25. Monday, Memorial Day.

I worked on the pond border some more yesterday. I planted some red twig dogwood on the opposite side of the pond. They are just little twigs now but hopefully soon they will come out of dormancy. So many things are starting to bloom, including all kinds of wildflowers along the rail trail. I saw columbine and phlox this morning. I’m making mental notes of things I’d like to eventually add to my wildflower garden. 

May 27. Wednesday.

Monday afternoon we went over to Sarah and Erik’s for Memorial Day. I went to set the alarm system as we left and I couldn’t. The keypad was dead. I checked Simplisafe and apparently it died back in mid-April. I don’t think the 2 of us have gone anywhere together in a long time! All I had to do to fix it was change the batteries.

Yesterday was a Leo day. Lee made him a sandbox and that was a big hit. Scooping and digging. But in the morning Lee was outside laying pipe for our homemade irrigation system and that was a lot more interesting than the sandbox. I had to come outside and supervise Leo so that Lee could get something done while Leo helped! Lee also took him up into the new pontoon boat which is sitting in the gravel driveway right now while Lee does a little work on it. Leo was seriously into driving it. Just wait until its in the water!

Leo ate lunch and then went upstairs for his nap around 12:45. He slept a little bit but not very long. Around 2 pm we started hearing loud thumping noises and then “MEEMAW! MEEEEEEMAWWWWW!!” When I went upstairs to get him he had knocked all the books off of one of the book shelves. “I put them back,” he offered, and he did, after a fashion. He also said, “Its ok!”  Well no, not really Leo, but you are so funny I could hardly be angry! Grandchildren are so much fun!

We hung up the hummingbird feeder before I took him home. We also showed him pictures of hummingbirds. I hope one comes to the feeder sometime when he is here!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Coronavirus Diary - May 7th - 15th

May 7

I’m not writing in here as much since we started babysitting for Leo. There are plenty of other things going on but I still feel like I need to be circumspect. I finished all my masks and dropped them off at a hospital. I felt uneasy and curious just being anywhere near a hospital. I put on my mask. There was a tent outside that I think was where people could be tested, although it was unoccupied. As I entered the designated entrance there was employee in full protective garb sitting in the entry. I handed her my plastic bag full of masks and left. No big deal. 

I’ve been weeding in the front wildflower bed. Its in much better shape than it was this time last year. There are even some strawberries with bright pink blossoms that are already blooming. We’re going to get a frost or two this weekend and early next week. I hope things don’t get damaged. It doesn’t sound like its going to be a hard freeze so it should be ok.

On Monday Leo came over. Lee had a project to do with him, making decorated totes for Mother’s Day. It was Leo’s job to use his hand prints to make petals for the flowers on the bags. At first he didn’t want to, but then we bribed him with Reeses and then he was very willing! He also painted a bunch of pictures using different colors and brushes. He had a great time and made an immense amount of art.

In the afternoon we went on a short walk. He collected a lot of rocks, and dirt, and finally large pieces of asphalt. 

On Tuesday I went over to Sarah’s for the day because Lee had a day long conference call. We mostly just hung out, admired Kirby, who seems very strong and advanced for a one month old baby! He works hard in tummy time, just keeps trying to push up, even though he’s not really strong enough yet. And if he’s on his back, and awake, he kicks and twists and turns and has actually turned himself on to his side! He’s such a good baby, it seems like he only cries if he’s hungry, although that is quite frequent!

Sarah wanted to make the crackers in the Paul Reinhart bread cookbook. They came out really good, although we could have rolled them out a little thinner. She made a double recipe and I ran out of counter space!

Now Leo is calling Lee Peepaw, at least sometimes.

May 9

Yesterday Sarah wanted to know if we would like to go to a park and take a walk after Leo’s nap. Lee couldn’t go cause he had to work, but I went and took the dogs too. The dogs were very excited to go on a walk in a new place. Poor things, I know they get bored going on the same old walks. Sarah wore Kirby and Leo walked. He found sticks and dug in the sand, looked at flowers, got mad cause the rule is he has to hold our hand when we go past people. it wasn’t too crowded. Leo walked Heather for probably half the walk. She likes to go slow and is very compliant, so there was no worry that she was going to run off or anything! The only time I took over is if we saw another dog. She usually doesn’t react but I didn’t want to take a chance.

He calls all dogs Mika, but by the end he was calling her Heather. We worked on the correct commands (don’t tell her to stop if she’s not doing what you want. Tell her to do what you want her to do. So, say walk if you want her to walk, or come if you want her to come). He understood, but its hard to remember that in the heat of the moment, I know!

May 13th. Wednesday.

We had Mother’s Day at our house on Sunday. Suzanne and Kris came over. That’s the extent of our bubble. Leo gave all the mom’s the totes he made. He gave us cards that he finger-painted. We had a wonderful brunch with homemade bagels, vegan chorizo hash, fruit salad and Bloody Mary’s or mimosa’s. 

On Monday we watched Leo for the day. It was fun, as usual, but he didn’t take a nap, so I took the long way back when I took him home and he slept in the car for a good hour. 

Yesterday Sarah came over for the day. She had some work to do so we watched Kirby as well as Leo off and on. He is such a good baby, but he’s not taking a bottle yet. He’s only 6 weeks old. She had a call from 10 to 11 and another from 11 to noon. He slept for the first hour. Then Lee had a work call too and I was on my own with the two kids for an hour. For the first half hour it was easy. Kirby slept in his portable bassinet while Leo played. Then Kirby got hungry and woke up. He really was good, but he was getting increasingly sad. It was hard to comfort him and keep an eye on Leo too. But Sarah rescued me before things got too out of hand.

Its lots of fun to just do mundane things around the house with Leo’s help. We put mineral oil on the soapstone counter together. He had his own cloth and worked hard on rubbing it into the stone to make it pretty. Then we fed the sourdough starter. He loves anything to do with cooking. THEN we emptied the trash cans. I gave him his own bag and he was very into that too.

Lee made Vietnamese meatballs, rice and a salad for lunch. Leo loved the meatballs. He ate two of them right off and then wanted another but I told him he had to eat some rice first. So he kind of made a mess of pretending to eat some rice. The kid has a sense of humor! I think some of it actually went in his mouth so he got a third meatball out of the deal. 

And he took a very good nap too. All in all a nice day, although again by the end of the day I was trashed. That could have had something to do with waking up at 4 in order to have enough time to run, however!

May 15th. Friday.

The past few days I’ve been on a few easy runs, weeded my wildflowers, peered at the bluebells that are starting to come up. We got 3 trees from the City of Shorewood that were delivered yesterday. We put them in the shade on the side of the garage until our landscaper comes and helps us decide where they should go and plant them. A willow that will go near the rain garden. A choke cherry, and a river birch that I would like to use a an accent tree somewhere in the front.

Its absolutely beautiful out, highs in the low 70’s, sunny.


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