Gosh, it’ll be nice when I can stop mentioning the coronavirus statistics every week, but I thought it would be good to have a record, week to week. This week is looking slightly more hopeful, because we are only up about 150 cases for the county versus 200+ last week. Hope that is a trend. So, the total number of cases this week is 2121 with 42 deaths. I think it is interesting that more and more people in the area seem to be behaving as if it is all over when actually all the statistics have gone way up. Just this morning, several people on the local Facebook page were berating someone who was trying to tell people that their children weren’t supposed to be playing on the playground equipment in Lewisville Park and trying to remind them that they could be taking the illness back to their grandparents. One person’s succinct reply was “Shut up,” while other people told her to mind her own business. Well, that is exactly what she’s doing. People don’t seem to get that. I don’t know where the idea of civic spirit went. Anyway, to continue my statistics, 36,605 people have been tested, and the rate of new cases per 100,000 is back up to 88. It seems to go up when cases have gone down and vice versa.
Wednesday was my day to water the orchard, which I wrote a bit on last week. I found that Wayne had continued to make my task a little more challenging. Having taken care of the hose issue, I found that he had moved all the watering buckets. Usually, I put them inside the fence of the wolf pen, but he locked them inside the little shed in the wolf pen, about a football field’s distance from where I usually leave them. (The wolf pen is big, as it would have needed to be to house wolves.) It’s true that someone stole all our buckets two years ago, but that was from the orchard, which is right next to the road, and moreover, I think it was a prank. The little jerks would have to have a lot more nerve to go across the orchard and open up the wolf pen to get them. In any case, I am moving them from that shed as I use them and just leaving them where I used to. If he wants to, he can move them back, and they’ll go back and forth all summer. We can put them in the shed at the end of the summer to store them for next year.
Thursday night my class met our new art teacher, a young man named Ryan. He showed us some of his work, which was really good, especially his portraits. He said he’d been working in animation until recently but quit because he wasn’t finding enough time to work on his own projects. Now he is working as a commercial artist. I learned two new things from him just that first night. I have been painting hairs on my pigs for weeks, something I started doing before the virus and am still doing, but they are too thick, and I didn’t feel as if I knew what I was doing. He showed me a different brush to use and a way to make them thinner. I guess I will continue with the class at least for the time being.
I was supposed to go hiking with Maja on Thursday but first she postponed it a few hours because it was raining, and then she cancelled altogether fifteen minutes before we were supposed to leave. I think it’s rude to cancel unless there is some emergency, but on the other hand I didn’t really feel like going. If we had left when we planned, we would have been outside when it was pouring rain.
That was the only day of rain we had, and now we are alternating back and forth between really pleasant temperatures and hot ones. But the evenings are getting quite cold, so I feel that fall is coming on even when we are in the month when summer is usually hottest here. So far, the last weeks of July were hotter than August has been.
Luke and I dropped by to see Christine and Duchess on Friday after picking up groceries at Fred Meyer. While we were there, her friend Renee dropped by. I liked her a lot. She had just gotten back from a short trip to Anacortes, and her description made me want to travel.
On Saturday, Wayne and I had to go load and move a bunch of firewood. First, we had to borrow a trailer from my niece’s husband. When we found the house, we saw that the wood, although good, was in much larger chunks than usual, so we’ll have to split it several times. In addition, loading and moving that much wood is a lot of work. It took all afternoon, which thankfully was quite cool. We were supposed to buy two cords of wood from that guy, but on our first trip home, we saw that the guy we bought firewood from last year was selling it again. He not only supplied really good wood, but he delivered it, it was cut to the right size, and it cost just about the same. So, we just took one cord from the guy on Saturday and put a call in to the other guy for two more cords from him. Wayne’s plan was to try to stack the firewood as we unloaded it, but because it isn’t in shape to be stacked, that plan went out the window.
It’s a strange thing about Wayne. You can’t make any suggestions for doing something differently than he has planned, or at least I can’t, or he’ll get very angry. Before we left, he tied straps on the sides of the trailer, planning to strap the wood down. I was reflecting that I’d seen people driving all over the county with loads of wood and none of it was strapped down. While we were loading our first load, I mildly suggested that the wood was heavy enough that we didn’t really need to strap it down, at which Wayne got very heated and told me we were doing it the way he planned it. Then, about ten minutes later, as if I had never said a thing on the subject, he remarked that he saw no need to strap down the wood. I don’t know if this is just his normal reaction to me or to anyone. I have to say that he is normally very kind to other people, just not to me, but on the other hand, other people aren’t usually doing projects with him. Whenever I try to help him with anything, it seems, I get yelled at. Sometimes when he does that I just walk away and let him finish by himself, but I couldn’t have done that under these circumstances. This from the guy who once told me that everything in our house had to be done my way. I’d like to know just what that everything is.
On Monday, I went over to my niece’s house to pick raspberries as she had told me that they were done picking and wanted other people to come over and get the rest. It would be nice to have my own raspberries, but I know that they always get so many berries that they don’t know what to do with them. On the other hand, I often miss raspberry season because I don’t know when they would like me to come pick. I got about half a basket of berries that day, but it was very hot out, so I didn’t stay long. When I am picking, I always think about people whose job it is to harvest fruit and get every ripe berry off the bush. I don’t have enough attention span to do this but pick sort of haphazardly. Every time I move, I see different berries in the same area where I thought I had taken all the ripe ones. It would be a hard job.
While I was picking, I heard my niece’s chickens begging for raspberries from their pen on the other side of the fence, so I occasionally shot a berry or two over the fence at them. One of them actually sounded like the horn on a little car. He (I think it was a rooster) kept beeping at me.
The other picture I took this week was of the tomato I picked a few days ago. It isn’t large, but it’s the largest one so far out of the ones I’ve been growing, and all I can say is, at least I am getting tomatoes this year. Last year, I only had one and it had a hole eaten in it before it got ripe. The year before, I got a whole bunch of green tomatoes just in time for frost. So, the idea of putting them on the back deck has worked out, and I just need to figure out what to do to make them larger. Maybe I need to water them even more than I have done. Here is a picture of my largest tomato, which is about half the size of the kind in the store, and two of the tomatoes from my other plant, which seems to be producing cherry tomatoes even though it’s not a cherry tomato plant.
I have finished the first draft of my novel, but my friend Claire, who is a historian, came up with a bunch of sources on a topic I couldn’t find much on, so I am reading that material in order to make sure that my final story is accurate.