Gardening, Life

Angry Man Farm 2020

May 4, 2020

(celebrating one year of success!)

In the middle of all of the abnormality and fear, the days grew longer and springtime returned. It seemed weird planning for a future in a world that seemed so dire, but I’m not going to prematurely lay down and die from an virus that may not even kill me in the first place. Thus, we’re gardening. (insert quiet good-humoured resolve) This post is photo-heavy, so I’m going to pop a more tag after this gratuitous shot of a filthy, tangled gardener and her outdoor-loving dog.

kim and murphy
Murphy doesn’t have the attention span for selfies.
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Will it ever feel right again?

May 1, 2020

The outside world, that is. States are (foolishly, imo) opening up again. Not NJ because we’re still throbbing with illness and death, with our long term care/nursing homes being hit hardest. For months now I’ve been watching the cases creep further and further south in the state.

a turkey wandering my neighborhood. is this some sort of omen?

With a tentative return-to-office date of June 1, I have no idea how I’m going to switch from “stay in or else you’re going to spread death” mode back to “don’t forget your id badge byyeeee” mode. I don’t think I could wear a mask all day at my cubicle. Will I feel comfortable getting back onto the train? I felt fine commuting on March 13th but now? Eeesh. Yet, spending $17/day to cross the bridge and park at work isn’t very appealing either.

beer can in front of a laptop
the virtual networking happy hour after my virtual conference

If you’re into webinars and continuing education in your field, this is a fantastic time to build up hours. I’ve been attending webinars weekly and a large meeting that I would loved to attend in DC last month went virtual AND free. I’m considering pursuing a certification in my chosen field. Who knows…I have the time.

84 day crossword streak screenshot
When will it end?

My New York Times crossword streak is still going. 84 days and counting. Every day I’m beating my time average too!

bird feeder on the outside of a window.
window feeder. I keep the curtain closed so we don’t spook the birds.

I put two bird feeders out this week: one for hummingbirds and one that suctions to the window for the rest of the birds. This will prevent my birdseed eating-and-pooping pup from getting into it.

I’m starting to read again too. I tell myself to muscle through one chapter and then I can stop. I always end up going longer, which is good. Reading is a muscle and I don’t want to let it atrophy like the rest of my muscles have been.

Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 73 degrees and I am HERE for it. April was COLD. I’ll take pictures of the garden. I’m fiercely proud of the new raised beds that WM built.

Welcome May. Please be kind.


Entertainment in the time of … ugh whatever

April 19, 2020

When you’re living in a time where all sporting events, concerts, and performances have been cancelled, and bars, restaurants, movie theaters and stores have closed how do you pass the time?

Videoconferencing for fun

What would we do without the Internet? One of the great things about living in 2020 is that the prevalence of smartphones makes it easy to see faces.

screenshot of the Kast app, people incredulously watching Cats.
Cats was awful.

One of our friends started using the Kast app to screen movies. We pop in, share cameras and audio, and watch together. So far we’ve watched Cats, Jojo Rabbit, and Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Facetime screenshot of my mom's dog.
Facetiming with Mom’s dog, Chip.

Nephew A turned six on Thursday. We couldn’t get together but we did the next best thing and sang Happy Birthday via Zoom.

screenshot of birthday party held via Zoom
He seemed to enjoy it!

Video games

stardew valley opening screen
The 32 bit style makes me happy

Of course. I have not re-upped my World of Warcraft subscription, I bought Stardew Valley a few weeks ago to fill the time and it scratches the itch. It’s a few years old. You’re a farmer in a town with a bunch of eccentric people. There is the BAREST of plot but you don’t have to engage with it if you don’t want to. Arranging and rearranging your plot of land is soothing, and gameplay is easy. (Other than fishing, which took me a while to master with a mouse — I’m sure the mobile version is a nightmare.) A highlight is Friday nights in-game, when most of the town gathers at the saloon. People, hanging out together. How quaint!

I also bought Minecraft, which isn’t as easy to play as I was led to believe. I’ll get there.

Livestreaming concerts

Jimmy Buffett Cabin Fever Tour
Fins up!

I’m a baby parrothead who was tickled to see that Jimmy Buffett is running a “Cabin Fever” tour featuring older recorded concerts streamed on the Margaritaville YouTube channel every Wednesday and Saturday nights. We saw Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood live on CBS a few weeks ago, and every night, DJ D-Nice starts an Instagram Live stream called “Club Quarantine.” My 80’s heart is LOVING the nightly music.

DJ D-nice screenshot
Celebrities also pop in and out of the IG Live. So far I have “attended” with Oprah, Halle Berry, Jody Watley and Donnie Wahlberg.


various corona-themed memes
If any of these are yours, let me know.

Thankfully, people are still managing to find humor in all of this.


Baking has its own post. Since then, I’ve baked a failed banana bread (forgot to to add sugar), a great banana bread, and Easter bread.

easter bread!
I made two loaves and gave one to Kristen and the kids.

And the garden – which deserves its own post.

Things that are not entertaining me right now:
Books, puzzles, crafting. It sucks, but I’m not going to force myself into anything.

We received a “stimulus check” from the government, ostensibly to pay bills or spend at retailers. I bought a pair of Birkenstocks, we made a donation to a food bank, and the rest went into savings for if/when the price of chicken goes up to $25/lb.

We are very fortunate. We are still both working fully from home, fully paid. Many many MANY are not. NJ’s Governor Murphy says schools will reopen on May 15 but given that TNP isn’t having us go back in until June 1, I just don’t see that happening.

The Queen of England (Elizabeth II) gave a speech a few weeks ago. And although I’m obviously not the audience, this sentence hit me:

That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country.

Queen Elizabeth II, April 5, 2020

(ooo, nice quote block, WordPress!)

I am trying to not mourn or grieve this “lost” time with family, friends and iced coffees, but to get through this with quiet good-humored resolve. Be well, stay home!