Today in my county there are 250 positive cases of Covid-19 and 15 deaths. The number of people tested so far is 1616, which, if you remember last week, is the exact same number. In other words, not one more test has returned since last week. Since the county is updating these numbers daily during the week, that’s pretty pathetic. You know they have tested more people in a week, the tests just haven’t come back.
My week was highlighted by some nice, but careful, outings. Last Wednesday on a beautiful sunny day, Luke and I followed my sister’s car containing her and my niece’s family out to a location farther north that I’m not going to identify (you’ll see why) and met SIL Nancy for a hike. Nancy managed to find a spot to hike that was on private property belonging to a corporation, so technically, we probably were trespassing, but it was clear that people came there to hike.
There were four or five parking places outside a locked gate. We went over the gate and walked down a logging road to a nice meadow where Katrina, Ares, and the kids had lunch. Since there was nowhere to sit that I felt I could get up from, I just stood around at a distance. Nancy went off exploring one way, and Sue and Mischa went another. They said there was a waterfall nearby, but it sounded difficult to get to, and since I had Luke on a leash, I didn’t want him pulling me down. Sue and Nancy found a smaller path that led down to a nearby lake, and they all went down there and threw stones in the water for a while. I walked down to look at the lake but didn’t go down the last steep slope to get to it. All our family groups kept a distance, with Nancy way up ahead and me behind everyone.
It was a beautiful day and a nice walk of about three miles. When I left, they were going to go back to the meadow to look at the waterfall. It was nice to see everyone and get some sunshine. I promised everyone I wouldn’t blog about the hike on my hiking blog, because it is so difficult to find somewhere to go these days that is still open and isn’t crowded with people.
The next day, I happened to take Luke down to the orchard when Sue came walking by on her way to the mailboxes. I decided to walk with her even though I didn’t have Luke’s leash with me. This was my great experiment, because I’ve been wanting to be able to just go on a walk and take Luke without all the paraphernalia. Luke was very good. He stuck fairly close to us, although he went on ahead about 20 feet. Even when we came to Rosie’s house, and Rosie was out, he wouldn’t go up to play with her when I told him he could. Instead, he stuck with us up to the mailboxes, where we waited for Sue to get her family’s mail. Then we went back down the road, stopped to play with Rosie for a few minutes, and then walked Sue home.
Luke and I repeated the experiment two more times during the week, and it worked well, except for yesterday, when Luke refused to go down the road to Katrina’s house because a dog was playing with two girls in the yard at the corner. I tried to coax him down the road, especially because the dog wasn’t paying any attention to him, but he wouldn’t go, so we walked down the other road toward Maja’s house instead. He is very good. He comes when he is called and is used to coming and sitting next to me when a car comes by. He got so excited yesterday when he knew we were going for a walk that he bounced off me a couple of times, a practice I’ve been trying to discourage with little success. So, he’s obviously having more fun on our walks now, too.
Also on Thursday, I began working on a project that is new in a way. Over the past few years I have been thinking of an idea for a novel made up of short stories. I had started one story thinking it would be the first one, and then decided it would actually be the last, but I hadn’t finished it. Then I had written about a paragraph of a story I thought would be first. But on Thursday, I had an idea for a whole different dimension for the first story, and I sat down and wrote the whole thing in a couple of hours.
The next day, I had an idea for what I thought would be the second story, so I sat down and wrote it up. I was very happy with both stories and sent them off to a few people to read them. All of them said they were good.
On Saturday, I had an idea for another story that would turn out to be the actual second story, so I sat down and wrote that one. It more closely relates to what is now the third story and perhaps makes the third story more poignant.
On Sunday, I wrote the fourth story. I’m not as happy with that one, but when I looked at it again on Monday, I thought it was better than I remembered. I worked on it more on Monday.
Yesterday I wrote the fifth story. It’s not quite done yet. I need to write a bunch more stories, because what I have written so far would make a very short book. I only have two more in mind, but that will be my next task, to think of other situations for the other stories. It’s quite likely that my fifth story will appear later in the book, because I am going backwards in time.
With all this writing, I forgot about working on John’s book. He gave me a little nudge yesterday, so I finished another chapter of his book. This is what always happens to me when I get into writing. When I was still single and writing, I would come home from work every evening that I wasn’t teaching and work on my book. I would work on it during the weekends if I wasn’t doing something with my friends or correcting papers.
Back in those days, I still managed to keep my apartment, which was much smaller, clean. The house cleaning is pretty much going out the window this week, except for keeping the kitchen clean and doing the laundry. I meant to work on my floors this week, but haven’t had the time or the inclination.
Yesterday, I went out to pick up my grocery order. My theory that I would be more likely to get everything I ordered early in the week was borne out. Only two things got substituted instead of half the things in my last order, a week ago Saturday. However, they had no eggs at all, and I had been out of eggs for more than a week.
I stopped by Christine’s after the grocery store. We had planned it out beforehand. Usually she gives me coffee when I go there, but this time I brought my own, put on a rubber glove to let myself in through her back gate, and sat across the garden from her. It was really nice to see her. I made sure to only touch things, including Duchess, with my gloved hand. She is doing well, but she must be lonely, since she and Duchess live alone. Her older daughter has done drive-by waves, but her youngest daughter is too afraid of infecting her to even do that. I was very careful, because I’d hate to give her anything.
My last stop yesterday was at the produce market, which had eggs! Yay! Lots of eggs, so I bought two dozen. I bought some veggies and some pork chops and a bunch of spring flowers. I think they are anemones. The produce market doesn’t always have flowers, but when they do, they look like they are from someone’s garden rather than from a flower stand. I include a picture of them in my grandmother’s silver water jug for your enjoyment.
Battle Ground at this time of the year is gorgeous, with lots of flowering trees and flowers coming up everywhere. We are behind, so my daffodils are out, and in one day my crocuses all died, but our fruit trees haven’t flowered yet. Neither have my lilac bushes. In fact, they have never flowered. I fertilized them this year in the hopes that we would get some blossoms. Maybe they’re not old enough yet. I have no idea why they haven’t blossomed.
And speaking of plants, I’m beginning to worry that I won’t be able to buy my vegetable starts. I decided to try to buy them online this year, but everything I want is already gone on all the sites I can find. I understand that suddenly everyone has decided they need their own garden, but this is ridiculous. I will probably have to buy my starts at the farm store as I usually do, but I’m not sure when they will be there. I have checked online a couple of times. It seems it should be soon. I’m hoping I’ll be able to order them online and just go pick them up. They claim we can do that, but I’m not sure they’ll put the starts online.
I’ve had bad luck with tomatoes every year, so I was hoping to try a Siberian variety this year, but no such luck finding any. My niece has only managed tomatoes by having a greenhouse. I didn’t think I could afford one, but maybe we can put something together with plastic or something. Where to put it would be the question, since the logical place is by the garden, but the garden doesn’t get enough sun as it is.
Our weather has been gorgeous up to today, when it is raining a bit. A few days ago, I was sitting out under the green umbrella on the deck and decided I wouldn’t be as careful as I usually am about putting the umbrella down when I went back in. That was a mistake. On Monday, I wasn’t aware of strong breezes, but I happened to glance out the window and our table, which is a long wooden one with space for eight people, was tipped over onto some of the chairs and had clearly been dragged a few feet along the deck by the umbrella. I had to get Wayne to help me pull the umbrella out of the hole in the table, and the umbrella pole was a little bent. However, it still works, it’s just at a bit of an angle when you put it up, instead of straight. No big harm done, but from now on I’ll put the umbrella back down!
I have spotted the ducks in the pond several times this week.