Gardening, Life, Pets, Work

Sunshine, Sadness, and Social Distancing

June 17, 2020
For all of my self-professed craftiness, I stink at making masks.

2020 continues to be a gigantic mirror maze. When we’re finally comfortable enough to move forward a few steps we run right into a pane of glass.

New Jersey is slowly ‘opening back up’ because our transmission rate has fallen so much. Yay for everyone who’s going out. Me? I’m staying home as much as I can. I didn’t go to any BLM protests because I do not want to catch COVID. I’m cycling through all sorts of guilt about that.

TNP has us all working from home until after Labor Day. I cried a little bit at the news, because I crave normalcy and I miss everything about my job in Philly. And then I bought some more leggings for my new WFH life. I took next week off of work because I have too much PTO to roll over until next year, and who knows what next year looks like anyway? WM’s school wraps up next week, but seriously, how many students have REALLY been giving their all to remote schooling anyway?

storm damage
our fallen branch and wires, mom’s destroyed cabana, my lanterns from Michael’s finally being of use, and general tree damage

Two weeks ago today we had a derecho rip through in the area that resulted in our electric being out for 3 days (RIP, fridge food) and our Internet being completely out for four days and sporadically out for a week after that. The tree branch out front fell and completely sheared the Comcast cable from our house. And then, as we and our neighbors were surveying the fallen wires, some jerk driving more than 25 miles an hour up our street drove INTO the wire that was drooped across the street and snapped it in half.

Unfortunately for him, a giant fallen tree blocked the end of the street, so he had to make a u-turn and come back us all. I gave him a mighty NJ salute. We are two weeks past and there are still piles of branches and overturned tree trunks waiting to be dealt with.


My mom’s dog Chipper passed last week, after a triumphant 14.5 years on this earth. Our vet was kind enough to euthanize him at Mom’s so we wouldn’t have to stress him out by taking him into the office. You can read my first post about Chip here. He holds the record for the longest-lived of our dogs. The rest of them died at 13.

BTW, Ollie turned 13 on the 5th of June, and his cough came back. We have a vet appointment for him on Monday. WM’s going to take him because I have 100% faith that we’re going to get bad news and I … I just can’t. Ollie and Murphy are doing fine otherwise. We are spending our long evenings outside. I read and tend the garden. Ollie lies next to me. Murphy keeps running.

This morning was my followup mammogram/ultrasound from the big ol’ breast cancer scare in October. Everything looks the same as it did in October, which is great. I don’t have to think about my breasts for six months. Having a mammogram in a mask was not as bad as I thought it would be.

I’ve opened my ‘isolation bubble’ to Mom. We take maskless walks now, and basically sobbed all over each other when the vets were taking care of Chip, so I hope I don’t inadvertently kill her with COVID.

They look like they’ve been here forever!

WM built GORGEOUS built-in bookshelves for our upstairs living room. You can tell these were for me because they are painted instead of stained. He prefers wood that’s colored like wood. I prefer wood that’s painted. I love him and them.

There will be grass on the front half and shrubs on the back half. It’s too sloped to plant grass the whole way back.

And finally after five years here in the House on Literary Lane, we have taken steps to kill the backyard ivy and reclaim some more of the yard. We covered it up with black sheeting. In the fall (or spring) we’ll take it up, get rid of the dead stuff and plant grass.

Is it too soon to look forward to next spring?

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