July 26, 2020

All right 2020...can we call for a truce?

As we are all, painfully aware, 2020 is not going well on the COVID side of things, but really...it's SO unfair that other awful things are going on at the same time.  Actually, it would be REALLY GREAT if we only had to deal with ONE crisis at a time.

(I know - this is life, and life is never really fair, is it?)

In the past two months, in addition to COVID, we have had our hot water heater die.  Granted, we knew it was on its last legs from the beginning.  When it began to leak copious amounts of water, we smugly said, "AHA!  We have a home warranty!" - so we called the warranty people.  They are very swift in their responses and had someone out here rather quickly.

He signed the death warrant for the water heater.  The warranty people okayed the new water heater...and then informed us that we would need to pay $800 to bring all the connections up to code.

I'm not going to lie - this infuriated me.  It seemed to me that the connections should be grandfathered in but, apparently, that is not the case.  It did appease me when we realized that if we didn't have the warranty we would have had to spend $800 on the water heater that was installed in addition to the $800 for bringing the connections up to code.  This, of course, brought me to my senses...and I was again grateful for that home warranty.  I just hope when the AC dies (and it will, it's original to the house) we won't have to bring anything else up to code!

Not long after that, we noticed ants.  In the kitchen.  Obviously, this will just not do.  So we called a pest control company.  They came out and declared that we had an infestation.  An infestation...lovely.  They sprayed the house and recommended that we order a service that would spray the yard in a 25 foot radius around the house.  We readily agreed.

Probably two weeks after they sprayed the yard I noticed a bevy of ants on the front walk.  Since we were within the 30 days of the spraying, they came back out to spray again.

Fast forward to yesterday.  I walked out to the back porch to enjoy the evening where I immediately noticed lines of ants marching back and forth across the porch.  *sigh*

If I'm not mistaken, we are still within that 30 day window.  So, obviously, they weren't kidding about the infestation.  Pest Control is coming on Monday.

What else are you planning to throw at us, 2020?  Should I expect locusts next? A hint would be nice.

I will say this.  The ants are kind of fascinating to watch.  All day long they have marched, back and forth, along the same route.  Occasionally, three or four will branch off in a different direction and I will think, "Have they gone AWOL?  Why have they defected?"  Only to note, that eventually, they come back to the original route, while another two or three will branch off to the different route.

At this point, I'm assuming those are the scouts doing recon.

It's painfully obvious that I need to get out more.

July 21, 2020

Grab a drink, pull up a chair...I have SO much to tell you...

Hahahaha...as if...

Not much has been going on around here, I suspect the same is the case for most of you.

We did have a scare in that the friend two doors down had to be tested for COVID-19, luckily it turned out to be allergies.  Other than that, life around here looks pretty much like it did the last time I posted - consults calendar - almost two weeks ago.  Wow, time really DOES fly when you are stuck at home!

Man-Child came for a socially distanced visit for my birthday - also almost two weeks ago - and caught sight of one of the last finished samplers from my project, "Learn To Cross Stitch" that was in the "Going To Goodwill" box, promptly fished it out and proclaimed that he wanted it.

Color me shocked.  He WANTED a stitched sampler?!  Apparently, yes, he did.  He thought it would be perfect for his kitchen.  So, I offered to frame it for him - which he readily accepted.

I ordered the frame and mat from Michael's for curbside delivery.  As I sat in the parking lot waiting for the delivery, I people watched.  All of the customers entering the store were masked, which I - and I'm sure, the employees - greatly appreciated.  But I also noted, I was the only customer taking advantage of curbside delivery.

Based on subsequent curbside deliveries, I'm fairly certain I'm about the only customer taking advantage of it at most stores.  Why?!

I imagine that the employees at Michael's and other stores, NEED to be there for the income.  But I also imagine that those same employees would rather we, the germ carriers, didn't come in if we don't have to.  I know that if it were me, I'd rather deliver the merchandise to a waiting trunk than to watch many people wander in - masked or not - touching ALL.OF.THE.THINGS!

But I digress...

I framed the sampler for Man-Child - which I still don't quite understand why he wants it.

I realize that I can see the errors that I made and they are, most likely, not noticeable to anyone who didn't work on the pattern.  But I am pretty happy with the way it turned out.

In fact, based on the way that one turned out, I turned to the more ambitious project that I had set aside, after ripping out ALL the stitches twice.

This is the third set of stitches that had to be ripped out.
Frustrating...to say the least.
I'd say I'm a third of the way through this one.  And here's what I have discovered - after ripping out ANOTHER set of stitches - odds are good that your original stitches are fine.  Look to the most recent stitches for the error.  I discovered this AFTER the fact, of course.

Also?  This may be my last sampler for a good long while.

The learning of patience was a lesson I needed - but I also find that an unfinished project finds me spending time on that project even though there are other things need my attention...like house cleaning, laundry, etc.

July 8, 2020

Just call me Gladys...Gladys Kravitz

*Before we begin - does everyone know Gladys Kravitz of Bewitched? If not, click here and, if you don't, it's entirely possible that you are too young to be reading this anyway.*

I am ashamed to say I have inadvertently become the local Gladys Kravitz.

Luckily (or not so luckily, depending on your preference for sunlight pouring into your home; more of which, I would greatly appreciate), we only have one window that looks out the front of the house.  Well...that's not quite true.  We have the one window in the kitchen that looks directly at the front door of our neighbors across the street.  We also have have sidelights on our front door that give a slightly different vantage point for the same neighbors.  There is also a window in the bathroom and in a closet - but those blinds remain closed...for obvious reasons.

So, see above regarding as much sunlight as I can get into this house, all the blinds - except for the closet and bathroom - are opened every morning.  And while I DO enjoy looking out into the backyard to see what is blooming (currently, only two scraggly day lilies that I need to replace.  With what?  And?  Who, me?  Go to a nursery right now?  Not happening) - while trying to ignore all the things that need doing (see previous sentence) - there are many times that I find myself standing at the kitchen window gazing vacantly across the street - because honestly - where am I going and what else am I doing these days?  I should note here, that I'm never actually at the window looking for the local dirt.  I'm usually just killing time.

These neighbors aren't bad neighbors by any stretch of the imagination.  She and the girls seem lovely.  He, on the other hand, is a little odd but seems nice.

What has recently captured my attention across the street is their landscaping choices.  Not that I should dare to presume how one should landscape their own yard.  Because, really, it's none of my business. 

But, it IS there and I DO see it, so...I have to wonder about some of their choices.  Before they moved in, the landscaping was fine.  Conventional even.  Lovely, but nothing to talk about.

And then one day, out of nowhere three random bushes appeared near the street.  Just bushes.  In the middle of the yard.  Not in a bed.  Three random bushes that need to be mowed around somehow. Three bushes, placed far enough apart that will take a million years to grow together and be a random hedge...if that is what they are hoping for.  Which, would also look odd, come to think of it.

My husband would throttle me if I disrupted his mowing by throwing random obstacles into his path. 

Then a crepe myrtle appeared.  Right next to the mailbox.  I had to ask The Husband, "Who would place an actual TREE next to a mailbox?"  He didn't have an answer.

Yesterday, a random tree appeared in their yard.  Right in front of their front door.  Why?!

I can only surmise that they have witnessed my vacant staring from the kitchen window and are trying to find a modicum of privacy.

July 5, 2020

So...what's new?

It's been a minute, I know, since I last posted but in my defense...I'm going to blame the virus - because why not?  And, since I'm not leaving my house and I sit here alone during the week, there is nothing new or exciting to report.

I imagine it's the same for a bunch of us.

The only "fun" thing happening around here is that I have, somehow, come to the attention of some kind of spam bot who, for a while there, was pinging away at the blog thirteen or more comments at a time.  So for now, I've enabled comment moderation - which I hate to do but have no choice at this point.  I'm still getting hit but the number has dropped so hopefully that will go away soon.  (And right after I typed that - the number just jumped up...kinda like NC's COVID numbers are jumping *sigh*)  What's exceptionally irritating is that the "comments" come from the same "person" that I have reported repeatedly.  What gives Blogger?!  What's the point of reporting if you can't stop them?

Also The Husband has started a new project and pulled me in as his assistant and resident IT person.  I'm happy to do it for him - especially since he's enjoying this little project SO much -but it seems to take up a lot of my free time as I'm learning on the fly and he wants it done NOW (only because he's SO excited to see the results; not because he's bossy and demanding).  While he is very appreciative of my efforts and understands that I am learning on the fly, that does not translate into me teaching him how to do any of it.  It turns out he has NO interest in learning the stuff that I've been doing - so until he bores of this new project, I am on duty.

Working from home continues to work out surprisingly well.  I was in an email conversation with a colleague who is still at the office (there are usually only three people on the floor) and she has informed me that she is not mentally ready to have everyone come back  (she has actually mentioned this several times, so much so, that now I don't pop in during the week at all; I only show up when no one else is there.).  But I can't say that I blame her.  I'm not mentally ready either.  Based on a tele-meeting with our team a week or so ago, it looks like we won't be going back for a good bit (thank goodness!), particularly as the numbers continue to go in the wrong direction here.

And when I drive by local shopping centers they continue to be packed.  I know that people are tired and ready to get back to normal...but just because we are tired of it that doesn't mean the virus has just *poof* disappeared!  The whole thing is disheartening.

So much so, that I'm finding myself being even more cautious than I was at the beginning of all this.  As our state started opening up, I began to notice that more and more people were ignoring all the precautions and engaging in risky behavior and I knew I just did not want to be out and about with those same people.

For God's sake, stay home.  Wash your hands.  Wear a mask. Is that really too much to ask?

I find it curious that colleges and universities are planning to open next month.  How?  No, really - how?!  At this point in the game, I really don't see how colleges or any other school can open next month.

I know the colleges, particularly, are itching to get back to their "money makers" i.e., sports (aka football)...but I just don't see how that is feasible at this point.

Man-Child's high school team has started "training" and it seems to be social distanced.  When I voiced my concern, he said that they needed to do it because in the unlikely event that they were able to have a season, the kids needed to be ready...particularly for those kids that weren't doing any kind of training during the lock down.  Which makes sense, I suppose.  You can't expect kids to run out onto the field, cold, and play ball without some serious consequences.  But if this thing continues on - as it appears to be doing, I cannot see there being a football season this year.

Okay.  Well, that would be a dismal ending to a post.

Instead, let's end with this.  The world is on fire both literally and figuratively (again...not so upbeat), but there have been some benefits to *waves hands wildly* all this.

I read an article in the paper the other day about some of the positives from there being no visitors at the local zoo.  Apparently, the lack of visitors have given some of the more reticent animals a chance to reproduce.  Which is good - particularly for those that are endangered.

So - there's that.