November 2020 Recap

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Since starting to wrap up my business activities in October, my November has seen the end of them: I no longer have even a bank account in the name of Playfully Grownup Home. Just the tax return next spring, and then it’s all gone.

Speaking of all gone, I sent my overseas Christmas cards really, really early – and most of them have already arrived, too! Because I’ve been hearing that package deliveries are likely to be delayed this year, I made little handmade presents that can be mailed in an envelope, like these colorful heart bookmarks:

I’ve continued our home projects from this summer. Here’s a work-in-progress photo of one:

The two refinished bookcases are now waiting for the paint to cure, then we can refill them.

Fortunately November did have a number of warmer than average days, so I was able to paint more than I thought. For instance, I was able to finish doors for the china cabinet I did in October. As soon as the cabinet body and shelves cure – plus the doors, of course – we can reassemble it, too. That means we should have a functioning dining room again well before Christmas. Yay!

I had a couple of misses in my reading pile this month. Could be I was just in the wrong mood for the two books? Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple stories, however, were for some reason especially satisfying; I guess because she always gets the perp(s)?

And these new-to-me novels, T. Kingfisher’s A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking and Helen S. Wright’s A Matter of Oaths, were just delightful each in their own way.

Our resident chipmunks have clearly retired to their nests to hibernate; we haven’t seen any of them in a few weeks. Otherwise, Mother Nature did bless us with very colorful fall foliage:

I just love living in the woods. πŸ™‚

Towards the end of the month, the next World of Warcraft expansion, Shadowlands, was released. Husband and I’ve been playing it quite a bit in the evenings. We got our first pair to level 60 in less than a week – not too bad considering how busy we’ve been this fall.

WoW Shadowlands Maldraxxus NElf Sword Gained

Hope you and yours are well. Please continue to be considerate. Keep a safe distance. Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Stay safe. ❀

October 2020 Recap

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Well, October 2020 was the month I shut down Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy. Bittersweet? Oh yes! But it’s time to move on, and I still feel good about the decision overall.

I do have a number of backend tasks to finish, like inventorying so that I can take care of my tax obligations so that I can close my PGH bank account.

I’m well on the way, though, despite good weather that tempts me outdoors and/or to paint.

We seem to have a very colorful fall this year. I’m glad; it’s another little everyday thing to enjoy.

As I mentioned earlier, Husband and I started some furniture refinishing this summer, which is new to both of us, so we’re working slowly but steadily, doing research when needed. In hindsight I should’ve left whitewaxing (which I did in July, August and September as well as October) for the latter part of the year, since the wax is very, very low odor and easy to clean, so I could’ve done it more easily after the weather turned truly seasonal than paint projects.

Anyway, in addition to the smell and need to ventilate, the pieces we’re painting are more problematic to schedule, since we both need nice weather for our respective tasks (sanding out on the back deck and painting inside with the windows open). We’re making do, but the progress has been spotty, especially with the drying times between coats. The house looks like a huge mess, with piles of supplies and partially or fully painted shelves and other pieces drying in between coats or curing. Oy vey! But that’s what it is; at least we’re finally starting to see results from all of our hard work.

For example, refinishing this china cabinet is almost done.

After sanding, I applied 2 base coats of white (leftover wall paint; this photo is partially through the first coat) followed by 1.5 coats colonial blue chalk finish paint.

This is my first time using chalk finish paint, so we’ll see how it turns out. The directions say no sanding needed, but I can’t quite trust that, so we did. Plus, because of the very knotty pine, I wanted the two coats of white. If I were after a truly opaque finish, I would’ve painted on a third coat, but I actually quite like the slightly transparent effect. I only have the glass doors to paint, then wait for the paint to cure.

I’ve also done a little sewing (a table runner and a quilt repair) and translating, plus hung two black and white photo posters I had made from our Hadrian’s Wall vacation a number of years ago.

Gamingwise, since the World of Warcraft: Shadowlands prepatch dropped, I’ve re-mogged almost all of my toons. This is my current favorite: Blood Elf rogue.

Dealing with my chronic conditions has been a bit more challenging this month, but at least one of them seems finally to be settling down again. Also, fortunately, our home town covid-19 numbers have remained reasonably low even with cases on the rise around us.

I’ve felt a little better after both of us had a flu shot, partly because so many other people clearly are taking advatage of the vaccine even though it can only create partial immunity against SARS-CoV-2. We’re still staying home apart from necessary errands, and not planning on any holiday visits this year.

Speaking of errands, one day as Husband was taking care of business and I waited in the car, I happened to turn my head to see in the car next to us… a goggie nose at the window! A sleepy goggie nose at the window! A content, sleepy goggie nose at the window!

Awww! Little things like this keep me buoyed through the trash fire that is 2020. (It will pass, it will pass, it will pass…)

Hope you and yours are well. Please continue to be considerate. Get a flu shot. Keep a safe distance. Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Stay safe. ❀

September 2020 Recap

Ahem Ahem!, Newsletters

This month, in addition some smaller projects, I custom-made two new table runners, designed to be either used alone or layered with each other.

Two New Table Runners in Fall Colors

I’m in general not big on seasonal decor, but these I think are nicely fall-ish. Since the stripy runner has dark green, burgundy red and gold as well as brown and orange, it’s also usable at Christmas time – versatility is even better.

After a lot of thinking, I’ve come to a decision: I will close down Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy on Wednesday October 14, 2020. You may remember that last month I was wrestling with the timing. It’s now decided, and, as sad it is to end something longstanding, I feel good about my decision.

The absolute last day to order anything via Etsy is, therefore, Tuesday October 13, 2020!

I will turn the shop off on Tuesday the 13th, at 9 p.m. EST, and only turn it back on briefly on Wednesday to mark orders as sent through the Etsy interface so you can track your orders.

Unfortunately, as much as I’d love to be able to offer a going out of business sale of some kind, I cannot since Massachusetts regulations are too strict for me to comply with.

I will keep the Playfully Grownup social media accounts (Twitter and Tumblr) at least for a while and continue to blog here, but less often. I will likely also continue sharing photos on my Flickr account.

At the home front, we’ve had a bit of a covid-19 scare. I developed mild symptoms during one weekend. Fortunately, I was able to get tested that same day and results the day after. (Negative!)

The downside to my corona scare was having to re-schedule both my dentist’s and flu shot appointments. The next open ones were almost a month away (oddly both on the same day despite being by very different providers and in opposite directions). The good thing, however, is that people are actually taking advantage of the flu clinic. A sincere Thank You!

The Massachusetts covid-19 numbers seem to have started downwards (the graph plotting new confirmed cases for the past month peaked on Sept 08), so we’re probably just past the consequences of July and August summer gatherings. Unfortunately, despite that, hospital admissions, ICU cases and intubations are all up, including admissions at our local hospital.

I find it stressful, but have come to grips with the fact that I can’t change the behavior of others, only mine (which I have). To spare myself some grief, I’ve limited my news intake and doom scrolling, and am concentrating on other projects.

For instance, I finished my basket-weaving project: I made 8 bins out of recycled brown paper bags.

Baskets from Recycled Brown Paper Done

They look quite handsome even if I say so myself, certainly for a first try. I also whitewaxed a wooden bowl and painted a step stool.

I also started painting a basket and rearranging a couple of rooms, but haven’t finished yet due to busy. Some days are like a death by a thousand papercuts, but I manage. At least the library just announced they’re moving into phase three of reopening, with many, many more curbside pickup hours than before!

The weather has definitely turned more fall-ish, even though some day temps still rise to summery readings. And there are still flowers! Just one reason to love wild flowers – they’re adapted to the local seasons.

Unknown Pink Flower Plant

We don’t know what this plant is, but it probably came to our yard as a transplant thanks to some birds or ground critters. It’s pretty whatever it is.

Husband and I also had an absolutely wonderful family event (and I’m not talking about myself): we had CHIPMUNK BABIES!!!

Our resident chipmunk (whom we named Chipper and headcanoned to be female) is a mother! Chipper herself is missing from this photo, but we saw her earlier returning to the hole and the three babies with her cheeks full.

Chippers Three Babies2

And later I was able to snap a few photos of Chipper herding her brood:

Chipper and Baby

We absolutely did not know Chipper was female. At best it was a guess on the basis of how careful she was whenever she was about to leave her hole. Mostly, though, it was a fervent hope amidst the trashfire of 2020 that was based on her maybe perhaps if-we’re-very-lucky and I-could-be-wrong-but-doesn’t-she-look-a-little-thicker-round-the-middle because it-would-be-so-fabulous-during-this-awful-year.

Babies would explain the change in her behavior we observed late this summer, too. The kids are all gone now, and even Chipper seems to have abandoned her hole. (Chipmunks do rotate their territories every few years, so this seems normal.)

Never did I ever, EVER think I’d end up living anywhere where this was a possible life event! And it certainly couldn’t have come at a better time.

Hope you and yours are well. Please continue to be considerate. Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Stay safe. ❀

August 2020 Recap

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Unfortunately, Massachusetts reopening was put indefinitely on hold due to an increase in confirmed covid-19 infections. We’ve therefore remained at phase 3 since mid-July. I’m worried – the numbers have remained steady at a higher level for at least a month now, with no change in sight.

If we’re lucky, it’s just the fall weather…

Sunset with Clouds

I had labwork plus my annual physical this month. They had to be rescheduled from spring, and although I thought I managed well with the additional protective measures at the doctor’s office, I felt utterly worn out both after the bloodwork and after meeting with the GP. (In no way is it due to the staff or my GP; all of them have been absolutely wonderful through this pandemic. I couldn’t be happier with my doctor!) Clearly I personally am suffering from some sort of a second wave of coping difficulties.

I’m also struggling with my work. I’m going to be honest: sales have been terrible for a long time. Due to that – plus an upcoming major life change – I’ve known I’ll have to close down Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy some time during 2020; just the exact timing has been undecided. Now I’m wondering whether it should be sooner rather than later…

At the homefront, though, things are much better. Husband and I did a whole slew of home projects, and all of the prep work from July really paid off. We hung a wall shelf, updated our backsplash, moved some furniture around and refinished a few small tables plus an old desk. For the latter, we used pulls and handles saved from Husband’s family’s old camp up in Maine before they tore it down.

Hubby Old Desk Finished

It’s great to be able to keep a little piece of his family history with us and give it new life. (That yellowed bench to the left is also going to be whitewaxed as soon as I get around to it.) We’re currently in the middle of refinishing another table, and building a low-profile wall shelf out of a 2×4.

I also moved some plants around and learned how to weave baskets out of recycled brown paper bags following Ananda’s tutorial at A Piece of Rainbow.

Basket from Recycled Brown Paper

And it works! By that I mean that even I can do it! πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€

My tester basket had a few problems, but it was enjoyable and fast enough that I made more. I did add a handle, also recycled from a commercial bag. The idea was I can set up a row of these on a shelf and pull them up (or down) when I need to access the contents.

There was also good food, and a lot of it!

The Claw

Local(ish) lobster has been quite cheap, so we’ve splurged a couple of times. This one lobster literally had a claw as big as my hand.

Also, this year we got to actually enjoy our strawberries. Usually the resident critters get there first…

Strawberries and Bunny Pellets

…as you can see from the photo above. (In the background, our first strawberries. In the foreground, bunny pellets.) I’m astounded that they did NOT eat the strawberries, having sat this near!

And wild flowers keep blossoming, like these Asiatic dayflowers:

Asiatic Dayflowers Closeup

Hope you and yours are well. Please continue to be considerate. Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Stay safe. ❀

July 2020 Recap

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As Massachusetts covid-19 recovery progressed nicely, we moved into phase 3 of reopening in mid-July. Due to our town’s guidance, the local library cannot yet open for browsing, but curbside pickups have been increased and the interlibrary loans are operating again. That’s awesome!

Sadly, due to the 4th of July holiday, people were apparently getting together, and we’re seeing the increased statistics now. I’m kinda dreading the next three or four weeks, since we’ve had a couple of heat waves recently that reportedly (for I wasn’t anywhere near them for sure!) drove people to beaches in large numbers without proper precautions in place… Egad! The virus hasn’t gone anywhere, nor is it likely to any time soon if this kind of irresponsible behavior goes on.

With regard to Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy, I’ve had some time off since summer is always a slow season. Lately, though, I’ve pondered on having a Back to School sale, but that just feels crass at best, cruel at worst. What would you say about a Getting Ready for the Fall sale instead?

I’ve continued home projects indoors: I’ve sewed two sets of cafe curtains and a table runner, plus whitewaxed a wooden kitchen cart worktop and several small drawer units.

Whitewaxing Kitchen Cart Top

Husband and I painted half of a bathroom and are currently in the middle of painting another one. Next month we’re scheduled to paint a wall in the kitchen, so we’re definitely staying busy and safe at home.

We haven’t seen many wild turkeys this year, but apparently there are a few around.

Turkey Mamas and Chicks

These two turkey mamas may have joined forces with another one since this photo was taken, for one day we saw a gaggle of three adults with eight chicks.

And, oh my goodness! Our resident chipmunk really loves sitting on the gastank lid, either observing the nature around, or just loafing, or scritching itself thoroughly, or eating. But this – I have no idea what’s going on here!

Chipmunk Yoga

It sat like that for minutes, so the pose wasn’t a part of a quick stretch or anything.

An interesting viewing project Husband and I did was to go through the whole of the U.S. Civil War documentary by Ken Burns, and added to it a number of both fictional and documentary films on President Lincoln. Funnily enough, it all started after I found our library had a copy of the movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. (It was, as expected, not great, but still surprisingly good for a bad movie.)

Speaking of the library, I’ve also gotten a delightful amound of reading done. The loveliest read this month was Aditi Khorana’s standalone fantasy novel The Library of Fates in an Alexander-the-Great-meets-India -inspired world. Highly recommended!

Current Reading The Library of Fates

As always, be considerate. Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Stay safe. ❀

June 2020 Recap

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Massachusetts covid-19 cases went down enough so that we moved to phase 2 of reopening this month. Yay for less death! It meant e.g. that restaurants could open their patios and non-essential shops were allowed to open with restrictions and safety measures in place. (I haven’t gone yet myself.) The best is that we were able to get our first curbside pickup of library materials. The process is slower than browsing shelves yourself, of course, but I’ll take it!

If all goes well, as it still seems, we might be starting phase 3 early to mid-July. That would mean opening movie theaters with moderate capacity. Movies and dinner out afterwards are things I miss most (now that libraries are available), but I confess to being over-careful; I can’t decide yet when I might feel safe to go.

I continue to deal with mild respiratory symptoms on and off. Namely, it’s a cough that comes and goes, but it still seems to be merely asthma-related. My allergy symptoms have, thankfully, subsided for now. I am usually due another bout at the end of the summer, so I’m going to take full advantage of these coming weeks when I don’t have to deal with plant reproductive matter. Ahh, life is good when you can smell the summer!

I’ve heard of people having many more nightmares this spring – no surprise there. A bit inexplicably, I still haven’t had a single one. In fact, the other day I woke up in the middle of filling the dishwasher. It’s a β€œYou know you’re middle-aged when” moment, I guess! πŸ˜€

In any case, fingers crossed (U.S. way) and thumbs up (Finnish way) that people continue to behave in ways that will repress the virus!

I’ve had energy to plan and do crafts again. In May I made a piece of heart wall art in rainbow ombre. An in-progress photo is below, but you can see the finished piece at my Flickr account.

Ombre Rainbow Heart Art WiP3

This month I have, among others, made a smaller heart art piece as a gift, refreshed two photo frames, whitewaxed a small wall shelf and ordered lots of materials for other projects and updates.

Whitewaxed Wall Shelf3

Foodwise, we’ve had a good month, including this amazing floral focaccia made by a friend:

Flower Focaccia

She did a bakeathon to raise money for Black Lives Matter and other good causes. Our focaccia is not just beautiful but so tasty – quite possibly the best I’ve ever had.

This June we have also been treated to not one but two baby bunnies visiting our backyard with some regularity. It’s amazing – I’ve never seen wild rabbit young live, let alone on my yard. Earlier they looked very much like plushies – a fluffball topped with another fluffball for a head…

Baby Bunny by Raspberry Bushes

…but by now they’re starting to look like big bunnies:

Baby Bunny Starting to Grow

They’re still Very Smol. What a treat! ❀

We also may have a cardinal nest somewhere nearby, for we keep seeing both a male and a female cardinal around. And another visitor we don’t see every year is a snapping turtle.

Unfortunately, June in our corner of the state has been abnormally dry. It’s also been so hot that apart from sneaking in yardwork on some mornings, a lot of the time we just skip all except the absolute musts. Husband has given up on trying to plant a garden this year, and we may have lost a crop of grass seed, as the rain that was supposed to arrive a few days after sowing never materialized. I feel so bad for the crunchy grass, wilting plants, birds and small critters. (At least, if I’ve got it right, grass has evolved to withstand bouts of drought.) We actually set a shallow dish outside this year under the shadow of a rosebush to help the little critters stay hydrated.

Be considerate. Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Stay safe. ❀

P.S.: Note that due to the 4th of July holiday, I will have another short blogging break. Happy Independence Day to my readers in the U.S.! See you back again the first full week of July.

May 2020 Recap

Ahem Ahem!, Newsletters, Thumbs Up

At the end of the month, Massachusetts moved into the first stage of gradual opening. Accordingly, I’m happy to announce that Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy is open!

2019 Nov Dec Green Blue Collage

Please note: Due to the difficulties and delays in shipping internationally, at this point I will only deliver orders to the USA.

(I’m very sorry to have to do this, but as long as it’s impossible to tell how long shipping will take – or whether an order is going to reach its destination at all! – I can’t in good conscience inflict that kind of stress on my customers.)

From May 25, the first non-essential businesses were allowed to open, as long as certain precautions were in place. I have to say that, of all the business-related paperwork I ever expected to have to fill out, this wasn’t on the list: Massachusetts state Covid-19 Control Plan template form.

Covid-19 Control Plan Form

Fortunately for me, since I operate a one-person microbusiness, the procedures were really easy. I did write an outline of how I work during the covid-19 pandemic. If you’re so inclined, please have a look and let me know if you have any concerns.

Also during May, the Massachusetts confirmed cases finally, FINALLY, leveled! It took about 2 months, a month later than originally predicted. The hospitalizations graph had been trending down for longer than that, though. We’re not out of it yet, but I’m so happy and relieved we’re seeing definite signs of improvement!

The mild symptoms I mentioned in the April recap are unfortunately still with me, plus my eyes have started to itch. As far as I can tell this means they’re allergy- or asthma-based, so I’m not too worried, only inconvenienced. Other people are also reporting a bad allergy year, so it’s not just our neck of the continent.

May is also when the nature here absolutely, definitively moved on to spring: we’ve seen so many critters and birds come out to enjoy the sun, including this wild bunny hiding amongst tall grass:

Bunny Hiding in Tall Grass

We’ve puttered around the garden since it warmed up and finished some long-running outdoor projects. (And mowed for the first time.) My latest one is trying to transplant some wild violets into what I hope will become a natural bed by the backyard flagstone landing.

Violets Transplanted

I love our violets. You can’t really see it in this photo, but there are both white and purple ones. They’ve been especially welcome this spring, as are the other flowers. The best thing about them, though, is that the violets came along for a ride with some raspberry canes we got from Husband’s grandmother, who is no longer with us.

Foodwise, we’re managing with 2-week grocery runs, although at times it means ex tempore solutions and trial and error. Husband experimented with store-bought puff pastry and unsweetened apple sauce. Voila – an apple puff pastry loaf with pearl sugar on top.

Apple Puff Pastry Loaf

It was as delicious as it looks – instead of just sugar, you could taste the ingredients. This will be a keeper.

Stay safe. I know it’s more difficult now, 2 months into our new covid-19 world. My urge to go out to eat, go see a movie or visit the library like in the Before Times comes and goes. Mostly I’m okay being at home. I’m missing the ease of getting physical media from the library most of all. Maybe soon! ❀

April 2020 Recap

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Still hanging in there? I hope the answer is yes!

Husband and I are still sheltering in place, for the Massachusetts stay at home advisory is still on; the next reassessment date is May 05, 2020.

April 10 marked a month from Massachusetts’ declaration of emergency, and covid-19 cases were predicted to peak around the 20. (I still haven’t seen statements whether they definitely did or not.) It has been exhausting, and I’ve slept more than usual. This past week my mood has settled, though, which tells me I’ve moved on to adaptation. I’ve even felt quite happy at times, which feels odd in the middle of a pandemic.

I continue to be thankful that we ended up in Massachusetts and that we found this fantastic house in the woods; having a lot with trees keeps me sane. Some people are ocean / lake folks; I’m a tree gal.

My concern is I’m currently having mild symptoms. I’ve spoken with my doctor, and got advice and info; I also know where to go for testing if the symptoms get any worse. For now, though, we hold.

Workwise, I’ve only been able to do the absolutely minimum Etsy paperwork. And blogging, that seems okay (not easy but okay), but I haven’t touched fabric in what feels like ages. It’s a really peculiar, feeling a block stopping you from doing a particular type of activity but not others, and I’m even able to partly look in from the outside and analyze my reaction. I haven’t solved the block yet, though.

Instead, I’ve switched to home projects to keep active and engage my mind. For example, Husband and I organized some of his bookshelves. Here’s a blue section…

Shelves in Blue

…and a study in scarlet:

Shelves in Red

Below is an example of a lovely, colorful bean mix that became very yummy baked beans.

Colorful Bean Mix

The weather has cooled down and is supposed to stay below typical till the end of April. We even had a mid-month, middle-of-the-day snow squall, and a few days after that we woke up to a white ground.

Apr 16 2020 Snow

You can’t quite say that we saw more snow during the first half of April than the whole of March, but it’s close. This seems to be the last of it, though, but there’s a lot of rain in the forecast. Bummer.

We’ve nevertheless been able to do yardwork and go for walks in our neighborhood when it’s nice. Puttering away in the yard reveals all sorts of details you don’t pay attention to in the winter. Like an old bird’s nest in a rose bush:

Old Birds Nest in Rose Bush

Our backyard friends are back, too. Here are two bunnies enjoying the new grass:

Backyard Bunnies Are Back

Trees are really starting to put out leaf buds, and spring flowers are finally out in force!

Apr 2020 Flowering Pear in Bloom

Our flowering pears are absolutely loaded with white blossoms. Ahh, I just love spring! πŸ™‚

Stay safe. ❀

March 2020 Recap

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What a difference a month can make!

I’m referring now mainly to the covid-19 epidemic that has finally reached Europe and North America, although here in our corner of Massachusetts the saying usually also applies to the weather and nature.

I’ll first address the former.

Please be aware that even if I continue to post about casual, light topics, I am acutely aware of the human tragedy associated with the situation. I am not lacking in compassion; on the contrary, I am protecting my risk group family and neighbors while actively taking care of my own mental health. (And worrying about family members who work in health care, but I have to keep a really tight lid on that in order not to panic.)

I turned Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy off until April 06, 2020, because both Husband and I are at elevated risk for severe illness and because Massachusetts Governor Baker issued a stay at home advisory. On April 07, after hearing from the authorities again, I will reassess the situation. This way I both follow the Massachusetts recommendations on physical distancing and protect myself and my customers from inadvertent exposure.

I’m very lucky to be able to do this, and I realize others may not be. Husband and I have, accordingly, spent a bit more than usual in our local food joints when getting takeout and placed mail orders online. (The latter I hesitate to do much, however, to reduce the risk to postal workers and other transportation employees.)

Speaking of risk groups, we have also checked that our elderly immunocompromised neighbor has people to check on him, but are keeping an eye out, too, just in case. (Everything is, thankfully, fine.)

I am noticing more stress than usual, but I wouldn’t really say I feel stressed out; that feels somehow too big a statement. At the same time, I’m having a really hard time working, so I’m allowing myself to hang out on social media more than usual and not beating myself over not being as productive as on a normal day.

Thankfully, observing physical distancing doesn’t stop us from socializing online or over the phone. Connecting with my family in Europe has helped so much; even us introverts are social animals. πŸ™‚

Overall, March continued the mild weather we inherited from February. There was very little snow, mostly in the beginning. On the last week of the month, we were even treated to the first turkey tom mating display of the season, a little ahead of the usual like so many other things this spring.

First Rose Leafbuds

Very typically of this winter and spring, too, and funnily just after posting on the blog about signs of spring, snow happened. We got about an inch, but it didn’t last beyond three days. Since then, just about all the leaves are about to come out, and the first flowers have!

First Coltsfoot 2020

First Tiny Wild Flowers

At the moment I’m concentrating on home projects, physical activity that allows me to keep a safe distance from others, planning, and activities that support my mental health. I’m especially heartened by how people are pulling together, organizing help, supporting each other, volunteering, donating. And, of course, by cute animal videos! Here’s one of my current favorites:

Harlequin Baby Bunnies Days 1-25 by Emma Grey on YouTube

Stay safe. ❀

P.S. Please, for the sake of everything that’s holy, treat others like you would like yourself to be treated – kindly. Including Asians!

February 2020 Recap

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If there’s one thing I’d rather NOT recap, it’s being sick. Sadly, that’s exactly what happened this February: the whole first half of the month was cough-y and achy. And I was tired; so tired.

Sick in Munchkin Terms

I’m so glad flu shots exist, for this bug was hard enough without having to deal with the full force of a nasty virus.

Despite being wiped out, I was able to return my first tax document of the season. It was a week later than planned, but still very much on time, thank goodness! (And this is exactly why I prefer to start on my paperwork ridiculously early!)

Tax Time Prep

The two-week flu pretty much threw everything off sync. I’d just caught up when I got sick again after Hubby (who was also sick) was well enough to go back to work. Understandably, my sewing was almost non-existent, just a little mending for myself. I certainly wouldn’t want to inadvertently mail this virus (these viruses?) off to anyone else along with my products.

I was able to watch several new-to-me series and movies while sick, so that was a plus. One definitely worth recommending is the HBO miniseries Chernobyl. Excellent, excellent acting, writing and filming; such high stakes and drama almost entirely without guns or violence, and certainly completely without the disgustingly thoughtless gunplay so prevalent on U.S. television.

On the wild life front, we had a fox visit our yard one day. We’ve seen one now and then over the years, but always from further away and only in passing. This time, though, Mr. Foxy took a couple of laps around the house, stayed right outside our kitchen window to enjoy a scratch under its chin, then loped off across the road to visit the neighbors.

Grey Fox Visiting

It was fascinating!

We’ve also had turkey visitors come round the latter half of the month.

Two Turkeys Visiting

These two were a part of a flock of three. The next day we had twelve(!) and the day after that six or so. They’ve clearly been somewhere else for the early winter. I wonder whether we’ll be seeing more of them from now on?

Among my minor home organizing projects, I inserted tension rods vertically inside one of our narrow lower kitchen cabinets to make slots for the big cutting board, the baking sheets and the splatter screen et al. not in the picture).

Tension Rod Cabinet Organizer

It’s so fantastic not to have them fall around the cabinet anymore. πŸ™‚

I really hope you have been well this February!