Thursday, December 30, 2021

Wednesday, December 29, 2021, MN

I met Ben and the girls at the theater this morning and we saw the movie, “Sing 2”. We all thought it was a great kids movie but I couldn’t believe the awful condition of the theater - leftover trash in my cup holder, the floors hadn’t been cleaned, and it just had a trashy feel to it - probably another example of staffing shortages. I offered to pay for popcorn and water since Ben bought the tickets (1 bottle of water for the girls to share + 2 regular popcorns = $23). GULP!  The twins wanted to come over to my house after the movie, so we drew pictures and they ate (it’s what they do best these days).

I heard from Pat and his Covid symptoms have gotten a little worse on Day 3 - headache and real tired. A coworker who also has it cannot stop coughing and has lost his sense of taste. My fingers are crossed and I’m praying that he overcomes this without it getting worse. 

Monday, December 27, 2021

Monday, December 27, 2021, MN

According to my dear friend and avid follower, Pat - I have been remiss and my journal has not been updated in well over a week, so here you go Pat.  There’s always plenty of ‘life’ going on, nothing exciting but since this is a journal of life events, I will try to reconstruct.

Last week was a busy one, the week before Christmas and finishing up on last minute activities.  I met Mavis for lunch on Monday at the Yankee Tavern so we could exchange gifts and catch up. That is a convenient meet-up place and I had a delicious burger.  

The grandkids were out of school and parents were still working, so Camille and Norah had a sleepover on Tuesday night and Charlotte on Wednesday night.  She and I went grocery shopping on Thursday so I would have what I needed for Christmas. We kept busy with crafts, making fudge, eating, watching movies and other shows and games.  I just love having them over, but am ready for quiet when it’s time for them to go back home.

This is one of the projects that Charlotte and I worked on. On a past visit, she bought fabric at JoAnne with the intention of making a dress. She designed and measured the dress, had it all marked out on the fabric - wanting it to look like the Aphrodite character in one of the books she has been reading.  I didn’t make many modifications other than increasing seam allowances and it turned out just like she intended.

I was quite surprised when I got a text message Thursday night from my old friend, Elaine, who reached out to see if I was still around and doing ok. We met back in 2007 while working at San Francisco RV park in Pacifica, CA - Mike and Gail worked together doing maintenance and Elaine and I worked in the office. Both couples were there to be close to sons who lived in San Francisco.  We became friends and hung out quite a bit, doing some siteseeing on our off days, going for walks, and having meals together. When that gig was over, Mike and I continued to travel around the US and they moved back to Southern California and settled in El Cahon. Gail had developed Alzheimer’s and Elaine took care of him until he passed away in 2020.  I last saw them in 2015 when I took a road trip with the Hoovey’s to San Diego. It was so nice that she reached out and I’m sure we will stay in touch after this.

Ben’s family, Jill’s parents, and I all decided that we should test for Covid before gathering for Christmas and we all tested negative that morning. I spent a good part of the day on Friday cooking and on the phone with Christmas wishes. I offered to make my traditional Cranberry Cake with Hot Butter Sauce for dessert on Christmas Day and also Chili for Christmas Eve.  I’m just such a klutz these days and managed to spill at least 2 servings of chili on the kitchen floor as I was preparing to load up my car.  I then wondered if there would be enough servings, so I added a few ingredients and some additional seasoning and we ended up with just enough to go around.  While cleaning up that mess, I managed to spill Chili all over my bathroom rug and bath mat and misplaced my car keys. Grrrrrr! The keys were later found in my overnight bag - they must have dropped when I was scrambling to recover the hot pan of Chili.

Christmas Eve day was in the mid-40s and dropped down to a high of 23° for Christmas Day.  The holiday events were enjoyable and everyone had fun opening their gifts. It was so nice to see Lois and Dennis again - the poor guy has gone through the loss of his 94 year old mother, a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma cancer, the start of a treatment regimen and a 5-day hospitalization with Covid-19 complications.  He is feeling much better these days and we all felt so fortunate to be able to gather together.

This morning, I was saddened to hear that Patrick has tested positive for Covid after a night of chills and fever. I pray that he doesn’t get severe symptoms and doesn’t spread it to others.

The news lately is all about the massive numbers of Covid cases that are leaving hospitals overflowing and a shortage of tests, unusual December weather (horrible tornado damage in KY and TN and MN had 7 tornadoes touch down last week - the first in history), and today, there were over 1200 flight cancellations due to staff shortages because of Covid, leaving holiday travelers stranded in airports. When will it end?

Yesterday, we warmed up into the 30s and had some rain, that was followed by about 2.5” of snow topped with more rain/sleet that caused a crunchy layer on top of the snow, slick conditions and a challenge to scrape the ice off of the car this afternoon. There is more snow coming and temps will be dipping down under 10° in the forecast for this week. Brrrrr!

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Sunday, December 19, 2021,MN

Last week we got dumped on with about 20” of snow and then early in the week, the temps rose and we had mid-50s by Wednesday and all of the snow disappeared except for the huge piles that are left behind from the snowplows.  Thursday turned bitter cold with temps in the 20s but high winds. In fact, there were warning about possible power outages and tree damage. I believe we also made history (first December tornadoes ever recorded) when several tornadoes touched down and did some damage - not to my immediate area, but within 50 miles or so.

Since it was so nice and warm on Wednesday, I thought I would take my car through the car wash and get the salt off of it. That turned out to be not a great idea because any residual water in the locks, hinges, etc. froze the next night. Yesterday, I opened the rear hatch (it crunched and resisted, but opened) to get the brush to clean off new fallen snow, and it wouldn’t latch because it was frozen. I ended up going to Ben’s today, putting it in his garage, warming the locking mechanism with a hair dryer and that freed up the hinge so it would latch once again.  I’m going to be more careful about car washes in the future - lesson learned.

Family news this week was that Jill’s dad wasn’t feeling good last Saturday, had shortness of breath, Lois took him to the ER last Saturday and found out that he has Covid, they ended up keeping him there until Thursday because there were no hospital beds available anywhere. Finally, they moved him to a hospital on Wednesday and released him on Friday. He is on the mend and starting to feel better.

I’ve been working on finishing up with Christmas gifts and getting everything wrapped. It’s a good thing because the girls will be having sleepovers this week as there is no school and mom and dad are both working.

We had a Christmas dinner here at Penelope this afternoon.  It was nicely attended by about 20 people and we had turkey and all of the trimmings and some nice, friendly conversation.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Saturday, December 11, 2021, MN

We had a small amount of snow on Monday and it was light and fluffy and made everything look like a winter wonderland.  This is my view and I just love looking out at the trees every day.

My week was good.  I got together with Mavis on Wednesday and we went to the Como Zoo and Conservatory, as there was a holiday floral exhibit going on.  It was very pretty, but just seeing all of the tropical plants in the Conservatory was worth the trip.  The smell was delightful, then I have always love the earthy smells that came along with gardening.

When we walked through the Primate exhibit, this guy was in a back corner when we got there and he came right up to the window, anxious for some contact with humans, I think. He was actually eating the cardboard box that the food came in and had all of this green powdery stuff around his mouth. When we walked by to the next exhibit, the young Orangutans were playing in sheets, covering up with them and rolling around and having a ball. I got a big kick out of that and couldn’t help laughing out loud.  They were like silly little kids.

I also had a repeat cleaning job yesterday with one client from the condo complex across the street.  All went well until I backed into a plant stand and it tipped over and hurled potting soil all over the white carpet.  In a panic, I tried to clean it up with the new vacuum cleaner that she had just bought and got wet dirt in that.  I ended up contacting her to let her know what happened and had  to leave the mess until it dried out. I didn’t take any pay when I left and I offered to try to finish cleaning it up or to cover the cost of professional cleaning. Now, I wonder if she will ever want me back, as she texted me this morning and offered to mail me a check, even after I offered to come by to pick it up and to clean up the mess that I made. We shall see, I guess.  What a disaster and I feel terrible about it.

Well, this is what my world looked like this morning when I work - the word is that we got 20” yesterday.  It took at least an hour to shovel out my car and to clear the snow off of it. Fortunately, I have a sunup space to park, so that helped to melt the snow off.  This is not my car, but it looks just like mine did:

Monday, December 6, 2021

Monday, December 6, 2021, MN

We had some wintry weather here on Saturday night, waking up to a covering of snow on the ground yesterday morning.  I walked with Kathy, adding an extra layer to my clothing and we got in almost 3 miles in spite of the biting wind occasionally, depending on the direction we were headed.

Ben dropped Norah and Camille off on Sunday morning and they spent the afternoon with me. I took them to their Gymnastics class that is just a short distance from my home. They helped me to decorate my Christmas tree and they wanted to learn how to make the cards that I’ve been making (it turns out that they are a little complicated for them yet) but got bored with the process in a short time.

Speaking of cards, here is a sampling of what I have made.  I like that it gives me something to do with my hands while I watch (sort of) TV in the evenings.  For those of you who read this journal, your Christmas cards won’t be a surprise.

I went over to Ben’s house on Thursday afternoon to hang out with Camille who is coming to the end of her quarantine and she is bored being on her own most of the day, although Ben is there but he is working.  We took the dogs for a walk and since it was a balmy 40+ degree day, this is how she dressed for it.