Sunday, April 26, 2020

I went to the supermarket twice today. The first time with Matt, who is having truck trouble.Upscale, yuppie store. Most people wearing masks except for men older than 60. I don't think a single older man was wearing one. A topic for anthropologists to study. Or psychologists.

The second store was the usual one in my neighborhood. I went to buy gift cards for the non-profit staff members being laid off (they will make enough on unemployment to match their part time salaries). There I saw less interest in basic common sense. The woman with three kids, none wearing masks. The little girl who gave me a weird look. The people who can't follow the directional signs. The people TOUCHING things. That isn't appropriate.

I'm back at home safe and sound. I made vanilla pudding, shared it with Doug and Birdy. Chatted with Matt on the phone. Having a salad with 1000 Island dressing (my favorite). Watching some British teenager tv show. 

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Today I did chores. Swept floors, vacuumed, scrubbed the cat bathroom, laundry, bleached the kitchen sink.

Several times I sat on the porch and threw the ball for Ruby, who loves to play fetch. SO MUCH. The ball gets slobbery and dirty and unpleasant to throw.

Throw it!

Meanwhile, Snowball sits in the living room. Shedding everywhere. 


I finished puzzle number 3. This one had many plain parts which took a while to find.


I sat at the desk and watched music videos from the 1980s. Snowball came and sat with me and got combed and nails trimmed. 

Slightly cross-eyed pussy.

It is about 100 outside and my house has decided to be warm. I am sweating. I made chili and cornbread and I really didn't feel like eating.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

When I was four or five my parents gave me a play set for Christmas. It had a plastic mat with roads and railroads on it, and a set of wooden blocks with images printed on them, roofs, chimneys, church spires, trees, cars, trucks, railroad engines, and railroad cars.

I had them stored away in my bedroom but they disappeared in the move in 1996 when the house was emptied out. Occasionally I would think about them, and the other night I typed in "wooden play set" in Ebay and a miracle occurred, there was a duplicate, minus the plastic mat.


It came in the mail today, the blocks pristine, amazingly complete.


I showed it to Jody the office manager, she agreed that it was cool.

Civic buildings.

I came home from work and carefully laid out a village on top of my china cabinet. The colors are bright and cheery, I especially like thw whimsical trees.


As a child I spent many hours playing with this toy. I liked plastic animals too. I have a few of my other toys- the house trailer, its furniture, some Pee Wee dolls, my GI Joe (I had the black one, I also have my brother's blonde one), and most importantly, my Smokey the Bear. Sometimes when I am sad I still pull him out and he is a comfort.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The pandemic continues. Yesterday, over 2,600 people died.  The death toll in Arizona is now 208. The Navajo Nation is badly affected. The Tohono O'odham Nation has so far been doing well, they have blocked entry into Sells to help keep people safe.

I wander around my yard looking at flowers. The cacti should be blooming soon, they have started elsewhere.

Prickly pear at the 1929 Pima County Courthouse.

I have potatoes and some sort of melon or squash growing in my compost area, next to the nectarine or peach tree, which does not have any fruit on it this year.

Birdy has moved to a tent in the backyard, set up a little camp for himself. He seems very happy there. My dining room is almost back to normal, but no dinner parties will take place for a while. I have started on my third puzzle, this one has birds.

Doug re-glued three of the chairs, which I put back after this photo was taken.

I gave myself a haircut yesterday. It looks okay, I didn't make a mess of it.

Should pay myself $25.

I made two more loaves of no-knead bread. One was raisin cinnamon and the other cheese. The raisin one was quite good, although I put it in the oven a few hours early and it did not rise as much as it should. The cheese bread looks pretty amazing, but is just sort of mediocre taste-wise.

Cheese no-knead bread.

I'm sending some more money off to my Amish brother. His group is returning their stimulus checks. He says they don't really understand about social distancing- still holding church, but shorter services, as if that will somehow ameliorate things. The Amish don't pay much attention to the outside world and this is going to cause a lot of problems if his community gets infected.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

I find things to do. Genealogy projects, cooking, getting fat, puzzles, water colors. Obsessing.

Buddy Cat judging me.

Ruby demands I play fetch with her. As I type this I am throwing her stretchy toy.

I went to the supermarket yesterday. In these times it has become a stressful event. I needed to pick up prescriptions and to buy groceries for a friend in need. So I donned my mask and black latex gloves and used my alcohol-rich wipe on the shopping cart handle. Inside all of the Safeway staff wore masks, which seems like they are making an effort. Perhaps 1/3 of the customers were. The people who weren't don't seem to be taking the pandemic seriously. They bring their kids to the store. They touch things. They don't follow the directions and come up the aisle the wrong way. They get too close. I wonder if those few who are unlucky and get the virus will be surprised when it happens, 'Why me?"

At home I walk around my yard admiring the pretty flowers. It is in the 80s now, soon summer will be here and they will wither and fade. I hope the virus does the same.

Another cosmo.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Pandemic update. Life continues on, except for over 2,000 people who died in the last 24 hours. It seems crazy that this is happening. I cannot stand to hear the orange thing's voice. The moment I hear it on the radio I immediately turn it off. I hate him. I wish only the worst for him, the first bitch, and his three oldest brats.

Anyways, this is where I have been attempting to work. I finally gave up and decided to go to the office. I am only one of a handful of people there (archaeology is considered an essential service because we clear infrastructure projects). I am very careful to use paper towels soaked in 409 solution to open doors. Usually no one else is in my office.

Buddy cat being helpful.

Springtime continues. Miniature sunflowers are blooming in the front yard.


In the backyard California poppies and cosmos are blossoming.


Ruby enjoys all of the extra attention.


I've been doing genealogy research, newspaper transcriptions, baking bread, getting fat, having Facebook tell me off, and doing puzzles. 

Leaf puzzle underway.

National Parks puzzle, this one had odd shapes.

On Egg Day I made potato salad, bread, asparagus, baked beans, and macaroni and cheese. Birdy and Doug came over and shared lunch. That morning Matt showed up and gave me a bag of things including some decorations and dog toys.

Because our governor has refused to shut things down, the peak infection day keeps getting farther away. It was April 23, but now is projected to be April 30. And now the Republican mantra that people should be willing to die so that rich assholes can make more money is getting louder and louder. I hate them too.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Matt surprised me by stopping over after his work ended. We sat on the porch and talked and then I took him into the backyard to see the flowers that are blooming.


We were amused and somewhat horrified to see a jumping castle up the street. But I think the father got it for his two kids for something fun to play in during this wretched time.


My desk for working at home. I find it difficult to do so. So today I went off to the office for a few hours.

Buddy not really helping.

I had to go to the bank to deposit dollars. On the way I stopped at the Safeway gas station, where I used my banked dollar off. I filled the near-empty tank for less than $10.


At the bank I had to wait for the pneumatic tube thingy to deposit. Took me a half an hour. 

After work, I'm back home. Grumpy. Facebook warned me to stop telling racists they are fucking pieces of shit. Probably time to take another break from that website, which does not tell racists and homophobes to stop their bullshit.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Third batch of no-knead bread. This time I added parmesan cheese. Below is what it looks like after fermenting for 12 hours.


I put it in the red bird dutch oven that Mother gave me for Holiday years ago. First I heat the oven with the dutch oven inside at 515 degrees, than after 30 minutes take the lid off and bake for another 15 minutes. My kitchen smelled so good.


Birdy and Doug both had a slice and declared that it was delicious. I ate the rest. I am going to be so fat, again.

I got to go to Oracle State Park to do some work. Amid the ranch buildings were hundreds of white irises. So pretty and they smelled nice too.

White iris.

I had never been there before. Beautiful view to the north, with a huge area of undeveloped land. I hope it stays that way.


At home the FedEx man dropped off the four masks I ordered. I gave one each to Birdy and Doug. Will take the fourth to Robert.

Mask for masc.

I will be wearing this the next time I step inside a store, along with the latex gloves. Afterward it will get washed and hung up in the sun to dry. Safety first in this time of pandemic.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Yesterday almost 2,000 people died from Covid-19 in the United States. Here in Arizona, 2,575 people have tested positive and 75 have died.

I had to go to the office today. About six people there. Such a weird feeling, avoiding coming close to people. Everyone skittish. I finished a piece for the company blog and came home. I didn't feel like I accomplished much.

I finally had a Covid-19 dream. So strange.

I am making another batch of no-knead bread. I also have some strawberries to use up so I cooked them down, will probably make some muffins with the puree.

Someone I know living in Florida has it. He is running a fever for days between 101 and 103. I hope he gets better quickly.

And so on. We are 16 days away from the peak here in Arizona.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

I am experimenting with making no-knead bread. I followed the directions on this video. You mix the ingredients, let it sit for 12 hours, and bake in a really hot dutch oven. The resulting loaf came out rather dense with a very hard crust, but it was tasty. I ate almost the whole loaf- Doug and Birdy each got a slice.


I met Matt at Sweetwater Wetlands for a Socially-Distant walk and lunch. It was mid-day and the birds were mostly hiding.

There is a cinnamon teal in this picture.

In the stream there were hundreds of small fishes, congregating in two areas. I wish I knew what they were and how they got there. I think the eggs may arrive on duck feet or maybe they get pooped out.

The fishes are to the left and above the white rock.

Not many people there, we did see one group that was behaving stupidly. Matt and I were good at being socially-distant. I filmed him reading a poem to post on Instagram.

Matt and Homer.

One of the research topics I have been interested in is the epidemics and the pest houses in Tucson. I was contacted by Henry, a reporter for the Arizona Daily Star, about the Spanish flu. So I ended up reading through about 1,000 death certificates and collected information for him. Turns out about one percent of Pima County's population died in a period of about six months from the influenza between 1918 and 1919. The article appeared today.

It is still spring time here. Many flowers are starting to bloom. These cosmos and a California poppy are next to the guest house.


The heating element in my dryer has died. I can still use it to air dry things. For heavier things (blue jeans, sheets) I have strung up a pair of clothes lines. Reminds me of the house at Buckley where Mother used to hang the laundry on the front porch so everybody driving by could see our underwear.

Clothes line.

Today I am transcribing newspaper articles from 1907, putting together a puzzle, doing some more cleaning, probably take a nap, and otherwise keeping myself as busy and sane as possible in these horrible times.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Time seem strange, my routine is different hiding out at home.

I drove over to Matt's workplace and he gave me a box of gloves. We stood and talked, he still has to go to his office and people there are not behaving correctly. He is very worried.

I took the gloves up to Robert to wear at the convenience store. We stood and chatted for a while, standing on opposite sides of the car. He is also worried.

Afterward I came home and did things. Don't ask me what they were, they just seemed to run together.

Now I am watching episodes of Gilligan's Island to make me forget the fact that about 1,000 people died in the last 24 hours.

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