This time last week I was looking forward to getting out of this house – the one we’ve been sheltering in place in since mid-March for a week-long trip to a BnB in the Flint Hills.
My original plan included dusting off my telescope in the hope of some dark sky observing, only I forgot to check the moon phase calendar before booking the cabin. Full moon occurs this week (tomorrow if I remember correctly).
But despite all the stress of participating (as a team lead) in a hackathon (and placing second), escaping our home however briefly just wasn’t in the stars.
Terry’s health has been a problem for several months now, including a trip to the hospital last month for a few days (that turned out to be a bad drug reaction and interaction). The hospital food also did a number on his digestive system and he’s still suffering weeks later. So at the last possible moment, I cancelled the trip (rescheduled it for the new moon in mid-April 2021) and resigned myself to a week of home improvement and maintenance projects.
First project arrived in the middle of the much hyped and super stressful hackathon event (Friday the 25th). Fedex delivered my husband’s desk, which had been back ordered for months. He left it on my front steps despite explicit delivery instructions stating I wanted it placed in our garage. I had to chase him down and get his assistance to relocate the heavy package to the garage.
Six hours of Saturday devoted to assembling and we’d only barely reached the halfway point of the steps. My back ached so much I opted for a soak in the tub. Sunday we finished the assembly faster and with frequent breaks to spare my back.
The second project occurred outside. The onset of autumn brings welcome relief from summer’s heat and humidity but encourages our large oak tree to start shedding leaves and acorns. I rearranged nearly everything in our storage shed to unbury our nutpicker accessory to the riding lawn mower. This attachment is a back saver (for me) and a time saver. In a matter of minutes of driving around and around the oak tree in the front yard, Terry can collect several pounds worth of acorns and leaves into the bins of the nutpicker, which I can then empty into yard waste paper bags.
We relocated to the back yard and exchanged the nutpicker for the dethatcher. I pulled out the push mower with the bag attached to collect the thatch. Tomorrow, we’ll seed and arrange our sprinklers to encourage sprouting. Although, just a few miles north of us there is a frost warning for Friday morning (north of US 36).
Today, we smoked beef short ribs (all day long) and planned a trip to Home Depot for supplies for the next few projects. Also the office chair protective map arrived via UPS and included a warning to carefully, very carefully, release the plastic wrapping keeping the mat rolled up. Terry suggested using two tie-down straps, which did the trick. We installed the mat under his office chair at his new desk.
The ribs were finally ready around seven o’clock. After dinner, I uncovered the telescope and observed Jupiter and Saturn plus M13 (cluster in Hercules) and m15 (another cluster barely visible over the roof of my house. The temperature started falling rapidly around nine o’clock so I parked the scope and retreated inside to polish a newsletter and schedule it for publication after midnight and join the latest session of Mythgard Academy discussing Morgoth’s Ring.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time enjoying movies checked out using Hoopla. I have 20 checkouts from one library alone, and if I had used those all up, I have more than 20-25 more checkouts through two other libraries. The best of the eight (8) movies I checked out include The Professor and the MadMan and Metropolis (the one with the restored footage discovered in Buenos Ares in 2008). I also watched a documentary called They Came to Play which was quite interesting. Somewhat disappointing was the Masterpiece production of Northanger Abbey starring Felicity Jones. I liked her better in Rogue One. Interestingly, I recently watched Austenland which also starred JJ Feild.
Tomorrow, October begins on a Thursday, the same way it did the year I was born. On Friday, I’ll be celebrating, at home, my 20,455th day, or nearly a half million hours, or nearly 30 million minutes and mindbogglingly about 1.8 billion seconds. What’s most interesting to me, though, is the fact I was born on a Friday and this year, this crazy unprecedented year, my birthday again falls on a Friday.