Saturday, March 28, 2020

Weather causes mood?

Yesterday was nice. Wearing a heavy jacket, cleaning out some of the garden beds, even making a tiny start on cleaning the chicken coop. Today, back to winter coat; cold, rain, wind - all around yuck and my mood went crashing down to borderline depressed.

I can only hope the weatherman is right and tomorrow will show up with some sunshine. Just give me an excuse to go outside and muck around in some really ripe chicken shit. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


Three days since my leave from the hospital started and I'm already so much more relaxed.

I've been keeping an eye on work emails; funnily enough, although there were many attempts to guilt/shame me for inconveniencing them, now they are asking for volunteers to take time off.

The weather can't decide if it wants to rain, sleet or snow; so today it did all three. Definitely a good day to spend inside.

Not going to the store makes me very frugal with perishable foods. I picked through every grape to see which could be salvaged into a fruit salad. I also chopped up the last of the store-bought lettuce. I'm afraid there will be a sizable gap between eating the last of that and harvesting what I have planted so far.

One of the first things I did in my time off was to get out the hair clippers and try them out. I figured if I made a disaster that would give it more time to grow back before I returned to public. :) I learned it is very hard to cut the hair on the back of your own head and around the ears is tricky too. It looks a bit odd, but hopefully not too scary.

Other than that, I've been dreaming of the future garden, crocheting, reading and keeping an eye on the news.

Thursday, March 19, 2020


I'm feeling a bit off today as I transition back to sleeping at night...hopefully. Lol

I was lucky that it was just rain and fog when I came home so I didn't have any trouble with the roads. It's gotten colder now and, yes, the world is white again. Sigh. I tried to fill the bird feeders this afternoon but they were iced over and I had to bring them inside to thaw off.

Three more evenings working in the ER, then I suspect I will spend the first week just decompressing from the stress. I can not wait to be able to casually visit my parents, sit in the living room and just talk. I wish they had a couple nice cats though; it seems strange to sit without something warm and furry sprawled across my lap.

This morning after work I stopped at the grocery store; first time this month, but I figured since I'm already at risk at work I might as well go one last time before I start isolating. I dropped some fresh produce off in front of my parents' house knowing they will wash it thoroughly. What is this world where I wipe down each banana with disinfecting wipes???

Some of the produce was low in stock but others were plentiful. About normal for a small-town store. The bread aisle was half empty; I prefer homemade bread, but it did look strange to walk past. All the frozen items seemed to be there, so perhaps there hasn't been the panic buying here? I was too tired to bother taking a close look at anything else.

I wish I had looked for pepperonis; homemade pizza sounds nice.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Cheerier thoughts

A visitor earlier this year.

An early start on the lettuce.

Pansies for my mom.

I started the broccoli way too early, so they got moved to the basement.

And my support team, "Don't worry, Mom. I've got this."

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Is Leap Day/Night like a full moon?

The ER was borderline crazy tonight. It would have been handy to be Beeblebrox with the two heads and an extra pair of hands would be ok too. After the late afternoon rush, the on-call doctor said he hoped not to see me again today. That didn't work as more patients appeared and he got called back in. Ah well, hopefully tomorrow night will be tranquil in comparison.

Then, on the drive home I saw TWO raccoons on the edge of town. That's bad when the town is only three streets wide. I took the flashlight and carefully felt my way down the hill that has turned into an ice ramp to make sure the chickens were ok and locked up for the night. It's starting to resemble a mud pit in their pen. I'll admit to smiling about the mud though; it's a necessary stage to get to spring and gardening season.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Masks, gardening, life

A friend at work yesterday asked me about masks because her sister was in a panic and willing to pay any price to get some N95 masks. I explained that those are supposed to block out 95% of a virus with a perfect seal around the edges (no facial hair), but the infection could still get in through the eyes. Where they are really useful is when sick people wear them (without the valve, of course).

I suggested her sister invest in one that is rated 100 with replaceable filters; either a full-face version or a half-face with goggles, but her best bet is to avoid people.

One question she brought up is why do the Chinese all wear them if they aren't that helpful. My opinion is they are already used to wearing masks because of the high pollution rate in the cities, they are good at obeying orders (if everyone wears them that includes the sick), and it will help them stop touching their faces, which is very important.

Oddly, being concerned about the coronavirus has made me more aware of the good things. I've started seeds for the garden and each unfurling leaf brings me delight. I take more interest in what I'm eating and have lost a little weight. As the snow slowly begins to melt, I watch little pieces of ground emerge from the edges. No matter what happens, spring will come and hopefully, we will all be ok.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Good grief

Colds that linger are so annoying. It is funny how people react, drawing back in horror; because nobody wants it. I read that there are approximately 200 different cold viruses which is why we never seem to get ahead by becoming immune to one. Still, it's better than influenza by a mile.

I've been watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on netflix. Still fun and I've always found Dick Van Dyke to be delightful, but there's a lot more singing than I remember.

The best news of late is that the chickens are laying again! I wanted to give them a chance to be more natural this year so didn't even run the extension cord out to supplement the light. There were a couple months with very, very few eggs, but now I know that mid-February is when they get enough sunshine to kick in the start of springtime laying.

I also got an email that my seed order has shipped - a sure sign of SPRING.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

I made it!

I worked 8 days in a row so I could have a 4 day weekend. It wouldn't have been so bad except I picked up a very bad cold half way through. I'm still shaking off the last of the symptoms, but at least I'm no longer miserable.

Of course, the weather continues to be 'interesting'. Since I worked last weekend, we were destined to have a snow storm and we did. Then, this week brought a fast-moving cold front (which most of the country probably felt). I got a text from my wood guy that he received three calls from customers that they were out of firewood and needed some that day. It was the coldest day of the winter for us. How could a person not notice their wood supply was getting low?? He thanked me again for getting my orders in early. :) Two loads delivered already for next winter.

I did find out what was keeping the birds away; there's been a hawk hanging around. :( Now, I love hawks and eagles, but not so much in my backyard. It hasn't bothered the chickens yet, but I still hope it moves on after it cleans out the rabbit population.

On a more serious note: I've been keeping an eye on the developments around the novel coronavirus, aka covid-19. Since I work at a hospital, I asked around a bit to get other impressions. Not surprising, the nurses ask about travel both in the ER and the clinic. I suspect eventually there may be a sign put out directing people to mention foreign travels like there was during the Ebola scare. As to individuals, it seems to run the gamut from very concerned to 'it's no worse than the flu'.

I've heard that comparison to the flu from a number of sources. My issue with that is in China's response. Why would a country of over 1.3 billion people cripple their own economy and open themselves to global commentary because of something that might cause a few thousand deaths? There is no logical explanation that I can think of which makes me suspect it could be much, much worse than anything we've seen thus far.

Personally, I'm taking a cautious, middle-of-the-road stance. I won't quit my job and lock out the world, but tomorrow will be my last visit to a store until I have a better understanding of what will happen. I don't really eat out anyway, so nothing has to change there. I'm also taking food/supplies to my son so if he is exposed and told to self-isolate at home, there won't be any shortages to worry about.

I am sincerely hopeful that this will blow over and be a false alarm.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Fickle feathered friends

I get a great pleasure watching the interactions of the birds at the feeders. Which ones will flick the food out onto the ground, the flitting in one at a time and the whoosh of a mass departure.

A couple weeks ago, I had a surprise visit by a small group of starlings; they checked out the food options, then left. Sadly, all the others left too. For a week and a half, not a single bird came by; the feeders swung, full and lonely. Then, two sparrows returned and had the place to themselves for days. Finally, one morning I looked out and everyone was back! Bluejays, finches, woodpeckers, a junco and masses of sparrows. Where did they go? Why do they travel in mixed company?

This morning was quiet on the bird front; even they don't like -13F. I'll be spending as much time inside as possible today. Brrrr.

Friday, January 10, 2020

It only takes a moment

Have you experienced that instant when, just as you do something, you realize it was a mistake? I've only been getting one or two eggs a day so I pop them in my pocket while doing chores. Today I noticed the door hadn't latched properly so I leaned into it while closing and the moment I did I said "Well, that was stupid." Now my coat is hanging in front of the stove so the pocket can dry. Sigh.

I woke up with a headache thanks to the new weather front moving in. Cloudy, temps dropping and snow expected. But if I can just get through today I have the weekend off.

Why is one crabby person more exhausting than a crowd of pleasant people? There weren't many patients last night, but one I would have traded for twenty normal people.

On a cheerful note, I picked up some cabbages on sale at the store last night. There are some very happy chickens in my coop this morning.