Sunday, May 24, 2020

Week 10...just catching up

As hard as it is to believe, yet another week of staying at home has flown past. Some cautious forays out into the world have been necessary, though.

I worked on Monday. It was an easy day, answering phones (that barely rang) for four hours. There was almost no one else around. It's been a silent building for months now, which is kind of sad. It was never meant to be so quiet for so long!

On Tuesday morning I went to a long-delayed dental appointment to have a permanent crown put on. I'd been living with a temporary since early March. For the first week or two after the permanent one came back I was afraid to go out in public, then the office closed for a month due to Covid-19, then when they reopened I was too afraid to make an appointment right away. The temporary was holding up fine, so I kept waiting. Finally the office called and explained to me all the steps they're taking to protect patients and staff from the virus, so I decided it was time. What a relief to have that done!  I've had so much bad/painful dental work done over the last couple of years that going to the dentist has become somewhat torturous to me, no matter how minor the procedure. The temporary crown did not want to come off, and the scraping, pulling, and loosening that was necessary to make that happen had me so rigid with stress that tears started rolling from my eyes. (I wasn't in any actual pain. I think it was just adrenaline and fear). I was so embarrassed, but my new dentist, Dr. Abbas, was very kind and patient. I like him a lot, and I'm beginning to trust him. He finally got that stubborn temporary off, and the new permanent crown in place, and I'm still relieved a week later. 

Then I had a doctor's appointment with my regular GP on Thursday. I wasn't thrilled about going to her office, but I had to because I needed refills on a script that she didn't originally write for me. I wore a mask and hoped for the best--the office was taking every possible precaution, like calling ahead to check for flu-like symptoms, checking temperatures at the reception desk, spacing out chairs in the waiting area, etc. So that was okay. One funny thing: two days prior, they took my blood pressure at the dentist's office, and it was on the high side. Not crazy high, but elevated enough to alarm me a little bit, you know? But then on Thursday at my regular doctor's, my blood pressure was perfect again, just as usual. That will tell you something about my fear of the dentist!!  :)

On Friday morning I met up with two of my book club friends for our weekly date: doughnuts and coffee bought at a drive through and eaten in our parked cars while we talk. Our book club is talking about resuming meeting next month and how we can do it safely. I think our June meeting will be held on a back patio with plenty of room to space out chairs. I sure hope we can do it; I've missed that group of women and our book club nights so much! Fingers crossed.

Friday was also a special day: my little heart-niece, Carsen, turned two years old! It's hard to believe that she's already a toddler.

For everyone's safety, her creative mom and dad gave her a Zoom birthday party! They did a good job of making sure everyone knew how to access it, including Marla's parents and 90 year old grandmother. Everyone got to sing "Happy Birthday" and watch the birthday girl blow out her candles. She was sitting at a table with a huge arch of colorful balloons above her that her daddy had assembled. It was the most unusual birthday party I've ever "attended"!

After such a busy (well, busy by 2020 standards) week it almost feels like life is getting back to some sort of normal.....except not. Things seem more weird now than ever. I work for 4 hours this coming Tuesday and then I think I'm done for the summer. Who knows what school starting up in August is going to look like? I just hope we can start. It's so strange to still have weeks of staying at home in front of me after being here for 10 weeks already.

Gregg is thinking about returning to his pet store job next week--the beginning of June--barring any sudden large leaps in our local numbers over the next 7 days. He's planning to try to limit the number of people allowed to browse the aquarium aisle at any one time, asking them to observe 6 feet of distance. If the store gets too crowded for that, he'll either retreat to the back office for a while, or else come home altogether. He'll wash his hands often and avoid touching his face. Will that be enough? I sure hope so. We're both pretty nervous about it. Good information about the risk is just impossible to discern in our current political climate. It's scary and frustrating. We're all just doing the best we can, I suppose.

To end on a happier note, here is another (bad focus, but good color) photo of our male Painted Bunting. I say "our" because this beautiful bird, and a female, have been eating at our feeder for several weeks now! I'm the envy of the people at the Wild Birds Unlimited store where I buy my seed. Painted Buntings are almost never seen in this area.

The female is gorgeous golden-green color. Much more subtle than the male, of course, but very beautiful. I have yet to get a photo of her. They're shy birds that visit the most early, early in the morning and then again right before sunset. We've also had another new-to-us species visiting the feeder these days: a pair of Blue Grosbeaks. They're the most gorgeous shade of blue you ever saw, and it's been impossible to capture it on my cell phone camera. Here's a picture I lifted from the webs to show you:

All the while, we've still been seeing tons of Cardinals, House Finches, Titmice, Carolina Wrens, a pair of Red Bellied Woodpeckers, and a few pesky Cowbirds and a small flock of Grackles with fledglings in tow. The squirrels are also beyond bold at this point, which is going to end badly one of these days when Ginger or George takes them by surprise. We saw a deer the other night when we were out walking the dogs (it ran past under a streetlight) and we've seen a couple of rabbits lately, too. We're going to miss all this time at home to watch the animals and birds and the seasons change when we're finally able to fully return to normal work schedules. It's been a memorable three months, that's for sure!


  1. our lockdown will be lifted on 6/5! YAYZ! masks/6' apart will still be required, but we can go back to work!

    good on gregg for his decisions.

    a book club meeting on your porch with friends sounds nice.

    1. It won't be on my porch this time--my porch isn't big enough for between 8-12 women to safely distance. But I'm planning to try to host in September since we'll be reading The Secret History which was my recommendation. Hopefully by then gathering in the house will be okay.

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  2. What a gorgeous god-niece you have!
    And those birds- oh, honey. The older I get, the more in love with birds I become.
    I don't know about S. Carolina but here in Florida cases and deaths are only going up and up and yet, they're opening everything. I do not understand and I am so afraid of what things are going to look like in a week or two after this Memorial Day weekend.
    Be safe. Of course.

  3. As someone who works in 'essential' retail, I can tell you the vast majority of people who come into the store (and we have hundreds and hundreds) are very considerate because most people realize masks are a temporary inconvenience.

  4. We saw one painted bunting at a neighborhood feeder when we lived in Connecticut. Simply beautiful. And that blue grossbeak! Speaking of beautiful, can Carsen get any cuter?!?

  5. I understand exactly how you feel about the dentist. Such a relief when the work is finished.

  6. I'm glad your dental appointment went well and is now behind you! I have to go this week and I'm not looking forward to it at all even though it is just a checkup. I am way behind on a couple of other medical appointments but I keep waiting and hoping things will get better.

    Carsen is adorable! By the time the pandemic is over everyone will be quite experienced with Zoom birthdays and other celebrations!

    It sounds like Gregg has a good plan to be extra cautious when going back to work. I am glad his employer supports him and understands his health situation. I imagine there will be lots of surface cleaning and other safety precautions while he is there. It is smart that if he feels it is not safe due to the number of people that he will come home.

    Those birds you have are gorgeous! We have been seeing a greater variety of birds this year than ever before. I wonder if it has anything to do with people staying in during early Spring and the fact that even the pollution was not as bad for a while?

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  8. That photo of Carson in the blue dress is FABULOUS ! You must look at it when you get up every morning. Pure Happy !

  9. You have the most beautifully coloured birds. Most of our local birds are either brown or black! ( with maybe a bit of white or red on certain the robin with it's red breast)

  10. That picture of the birthday girl in her blue dress is the loveliest one I have seen of her so far, and that's saying something!
    Some of my clients are alternating between working from their homes and their actual office building; it looks weird seeing the background of their usual offices when we have our video conferences several times a day. Right now, I am not required to go to any of my clients' offices, and I am not going to go there unless they ask me to. I am glad you have had the chance to go to work a few times, but I imagine it feels weird in the silent building with so few others around.
    Good way of organising Gregg's work at the shop.

  11. I empathize with feeling terror at the dentist office, is terror too strong a word? Well, fear. I am a bird lover and have never lived where painted buntings or blue grosbeaks live, their feathers are fabulous colors, I am a bit jealous of you and your bird visitors. Will customers and Gregg wear masks? That seems like a good idea. I want to get back to a more normal life style but I am cautious.

  12. You HAVE been busy. I'm also done for the school year now, and it does seem strange. That blue grosbeak is incredible! I've never seen (or heard of) them before, but I have seen indigo buntings which are a somewhat similar color. It sounds like Gregg is taking every precaution, so his returning to work sounds sensible to me, even if it IS still understandably scary.

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