As of today, our county had had a total of 393 cases of the virus and 24 people have died. Only 6,286 people have been tested. I guess I should be happy that the number of people tested finally seems to be going up by about 1000 a week. The map showing our zip code now says that we have up to 40 people in our area with the virus, but the corresponding chart says N/A for our zip code, so that’s confusing, as if they have no data. If they have no cases, I’m not sure why the zip code isn’t shown in white like it used to be.
I reported that my best friend in Illinois thought she had the virus. She seems to have it, because she gets recurring fevers and headaches, but it also seems to be a mild case. I’m hoping that soon she’ll stop getting sick just when she thinks she is well.
This week, Christine came over to our house for social-distanced dog activities. My original plan was to have coffee at either end of our outdoor table so that she wouldn’t have to come inside, but she was worried that Duchess, who is very small, might slip under the deck rails and fall to the ground. The deck is one floor up, so we didn’t want that, plus the slope is right under it, so a falling dog could fall quite far. So, we had coffee inside, which might have been a bit risky, but then we took the dogs down to the wolf pen so they could run around and chase each other, and took them for a walk on opposite sides of our road. It was a nice time for her to come, as several of our trees were flowering. The azaleas had also just started to come out but aren’t fully bloomed yet.
On Friday, I caravaned with my sister and her family out to a road we have hiked before, north of Cougar. It is a seven-mile walk along an old logging road that runs next to Yale Lake. However, this time we took some side trips and discovered a couple of nice, unoccupied beaches. Since the state had opened its parks, we wanted somewhere that wouldn’t be full of people, and on this walk, we only met two other people. The first trail off the path led down through bright green forest to a narrow green ledge next to the Lewis River, just before it goes into the lake. It had a large rock next to it where the kids enjoyed playing.
We returned to the road and took the next right, which led us down to a broad sandy beach. The kids hadn’t wanted to leave the green beach, but they were delighted with the sandy beach. We saw another couple there, who came up in a kayak and landed but then got back into their kayak immediately and went on. It was a bright, windy day, and at one point we got blasted with sand. The kids and Luke were especially having fun.
It was a very nice day. The only other outing I have made this week was my usual Monday morning grocery pickup and stop by the coffee booth. This time the owner was not there, so she finally managed to hire a helper. Just before this all happened, she was telling me how difficult it was to find someone reliable.
On Saturday, Ares, my niece’s husband, came over with wood and built my planters, which he told me he would build three years ago. Because all of our land has rocks underneath it, it being artificially formed after they dug into a hill to build the house, I have had nowhere to plant ornamental plants except for a few things I put into the orchard. In Texas, despite my difficulty keeping things going in the heat, I used to plant annuals every year at minimum. The original plan was to have two 4 x 6 x 3 beds, but when he finished the first one, he suggested that it was too tall. I had not wanted to do much bending, which was why I asked for three feet high, but I could see it didn’t look right. So, he nicely took it apart and told me he had wood to do three 4 x 6 x 2 beds. So, that’s what he did! Now I am waiting for my garden soil to arrive, which is supposed to happen this afternoon. Then much dirt moving will ensue. And finally, the fun part, going to the nursery.
I had assumed we would make the boxes out of cedar, but Ares researched this topic and found that only the old-growth cedar, which is no longer available, lasts much longer than pine. He said my pine boxes might last one year less than cedar but would cost a lot less. He also put them together with screws so that it would be easy to pop out a rotting board and replace it.
Today and yesterday were cold and rainy, but leading up to them we had some hot days. Just last week I stopped wearing the two shirts I began wearing every winter since I got here. Then suddenly, I needed a short sleeve t-shirt for a couple of days, and now I’m back to two shirts.
If you are wondering about my title, I have also been receiving attempted spoofing messages this last week. I got a message purportedly from a seller on Amazon about the toaster I bought a few months ago. I had given this toaster a bad review, because two months after I bought it, I put the lever down to toast a piece of bread, and it broke right off! Although Wayne says the break looks like metal fatigue, to me it looks like the part, which feels and looks like metal from the exterior, is just plastic. We had been using the toaster for two months, so I just gave it the bad review, thinking we wouldn’t be able to return it.
Anyway, I received this message offering me a gift card if I would remove the review and telling me how to do it. This message also had buttons at the bottom that said “Yes, I Agree,” or “No, I Don’t Agree.” The message looked really fishy to me. First, the description of the product I bought was in Spanish, while the actual product description on Amazon was not. The links to my purchase were clearly Amazon links and they were to my purchase, but the email addressed itself to my great niece, who is only 11. Finally, there was no company name on the emails, just a person’s name. I ignored the first message but I kept getting them, and each time they offered me more money.
I thought it could not be from the seller, because they would only have the information I used for the sale. There was no way they would know my great niece’s name. At one point, I was ready to push the button, because I couldn’t see what anyone would gain by asking me to remove a review, but of course, it was the buttons they wanted me to push. I did not and finally reported this to Amazon, and they are assigning it to their fraud team. However, I am concerned, because these people must at least have gotten into my buying history and my address book, and I’m not sure I conveyed that very clearly to Amazon.
I have been mentioning our ducks now and then, but I don’t think I mentioned that one time Wayne said they were too big for ducks, they were geese. However, the next time I got a look at them, I looked them up in my bird book and they were mallards. (Keep in mind that I see them from the house, which is far up above the pond.) Then, on Friday on their way over to caravan for the hike, my niece and sister reported that they had seen two Canada geese and three goslings coming from our pond. So, I thought, gee, how could I have mistaken geese for ducks? Well, just yesterday while Wayne and I were sitting on a bench by the pond, a female duck landed in it, so apparently we have both a duck and a goose couple staying in our pond this spring. In fact, if we hadn’t gotten the spoofing messages, which I thought was more interesting, I would have named this post “Duck duck goose.”
Lately, too, we have seen a lot of the rabbits and the chipmunks in our front yard, the chipmunks usually under the bird feeder. They are driving Luke nuts!
Finally, a discovery from the depths of the basement. Quite a few years ago, I put together a small collection of turn-of-the-century (20th) boys’ books by W. H. G. Kingston. I had only read one of them and was meaning to read the rest but never got around to it. Then during the move they were misplaced. Wayne finally found them in the bottom of a box of his unpacked books. I read one, and it wasn’t as good as I remembered, but it’s nice to have found them.
And that is about it for this week! I hope everyone is well.