Monday retrospective (health, cooking, night watch)

I used the NYTimes recipe for Green Okonomiyaki to inform my cooking for lunch. I used the lingering mustard greens and pea shoots from the bottom of the fridge. It was interesting, although without the zucchini i am sure it was nothing like the recipe. I hadn't paid enough attention to see how long it took to cook and ended up with basically a green mush fro lunch. Today i will use a much bigger pan and not do the "inch thick" layer.

First tick of the season yesterday (Monday). I'd wondered when i'd see one. When i mowed yesterday i did not do the pants in socks thing.

I mowed the moss and went with the lawn mower. I did scrape moss off a few places, but capturing all the cuttings and getting leaf litter off the moss is worth it. Anything on the moss keeps it from growing.

Last night's moonlight was delicious. Carrie and i stood in the shadows, listening to the woods. I am sure deer were walking around: distinct sounds of steps and the occasional twig breaking. Some moonlit night i want to use the drone and get above the pines to see the wider landscape. The sound of the drone though, oy, it will break the quiet.

(I forgot to post)


Monday Monday Monday! (Covid-19, mom and caa, garden, critter watch, watching notes)

This weekend I pretty much avoided email and only realized what I pile of personal messages I had at hand this morning. I also overslept this morning.

I will admit that reading your links and concerns and angers about governmental response to COVID-19 was depressing. Not that I have any disagreements, particularly. I think the reality is slowly sinking in for me between all the distractions of immediately urgent concerns (work, sorting out Meeting worship, various household troubles).

I continue to have some resentment of people who find themselves with time to reflect and refresh as i feel exhausted. I say this to acknowledge the place i am in, not to imply any one speaking of how they are using their time to slow down is in some way wrong. It’s to acknowledge a feeling of jealousy, knowing intellectually that many in that situation have significant concerns about how they will support themselves and the slowing down is part of coping with significant uncertainties.

All my thinking seems to be the way people describe chess moves: considering five moves out. Work is all about tracing impacts of decisions. As Christine and I discussed an electronic way for my sister to pay us for her half of a ham gift for my parents, she noted she is amazed by the complexifications entailed by these circumstances. No task seems to be free of analysis.

Meanwhile, news that a number of Bronx Zoo tigers have COVID-19 (one tested positive while others are similarly sick) depresses me.

That feeling when you blow your nose in a sheet of toilet paper. Oops.

On the other hand, I found an N95 mask and refill filters in the garage, protected from mouse droppings. Huzzah.

Mom may have something wrong with her kidneys: the UTIs may have either traveled or something else is going on. I am trying to let that weigh light on me, much as i was able to hold concerns about her lungs. Overwhelmingly, my concern is for her and Dad’s quality of life, and the kidney issue is a small part.

Saturday and Sunday evenings i heard a very busy pileated woodpecker. I saw them on Saturday night after following the sound to bark falling from high in the pines. Sunday i assume it was a woodpecker and not a human in the wooded parcel. There were also deer-like sounds of walking around. It wasn’t consistent enough for a human but hesitant like a critter. The evenings have been lovely with the long shadows. Moon light was obscured by clouds last night, but perhaps to

Watching a carefully selected set of Babylon 5 season 1 episodes, based on the guidance at The 80’s come back to mind (i was under a rock during the 90s, so i really cant track how much is 90s styles.)

Notes from the garden: Collapse )

I’ll sign off here. I hold my thoughts that you all may be safe and free of fear, with the capacity to find joys around you.


(no subject)

I spent six hours yesterday trying to sort out how to share management of Zoom meetings without paying $190 a month. It was hard because the user interface shows the controls for the business style set-up even while they are not functional. And the error messages and direction are just fuzzy enough that the difference of control based on license is not clear.

Oh, and Zoom is making security changes today so who knows how that will play out.

Anyhow, that was exhausting, and some part of my mind was all, "when is the meeeee time?" When The Secret Chapter came free for me to read midday, i snapped it up and plopped myself down, and read the whole thing. I spent a little time in the yard -- finally planting the magnolia and a mystery tree that have been in pots for a year. I should have planted them in the fall. The mystery tree is NOT a persimmon. That's what i was told when i bought it as a bare root in the 2018-19 winter Mellow Marsh farm sale at Country Farm and Home. I think, also, the arrow wood i bought was mislabeled. It's leaves this spring look more like the witch hazel from this year's order. Fortunately the arrow wood i bought from another source is doing well (i'd given up on it last fall).

I'm not sure what to do today with not-Meeting time. So much backlog of so many sorts. We're looking at ten days of no rain, so making a soaker hose comes to mind.

Meanwhile we are having network issues again. ... Ah, reboot resolves.

Work has been intense, parents are coping, sister and her family seem to be doing fine.


(household, garden, cats, dawg, critter watch, mom and caa)

HVAC: fixed -- there's a condensation drainage pipe with some sort of trap that was clogged up (not our maintenance fail) and once cleared, all was well. I know a few reassuring details such as yes, the external sensor should have two wires for one thermostat.

Mom pitched another fit about me coming over and, since there was HVAC anxiety, i stayed home and video chatted some with Mom. Now in a fit of calling my dad every thirty minutes to get him to follow up on his worries about mom - either calling her primary care provider or doing the home UTI test. Ideally both.

Last night fireflies flit in the tops of the pines while the waxing crescent moon cast my shadow on the drive. Today is overcast: we are promised rain soon. Afterwards i hope the air will no longer be green with pine pollen. I also expect a good rainstorm will determine the fitness of the Carolina wrens' latest construction before there are wren eggs to drown in the rain gutter.

One of my tiny pawpaw trees has a pawpaw flower bud! A lupine has sprouted near by: i wonder if it is a seed that lingered after last years seeding or a plant that survived last year's weed pressure. I spend the lunch hour walking around the yard with my hoe, chopping off the flower stalks and the rosettes of Oriental False Hawksbeard -- except for one day last week when there was an odd screaming sound and i was able to rescue the juvenile rabbit from Marlowe and Carrie.

The first three questions on the county news paper's FAQ about the county stay at home order: "Why", "How long", and, number three, "What gives the governor the authority to do this?" I can just hear, "He ain't the boss of me."


Things weighing heavily on me (mom and caa, covid-19, bread notes, 354, f&f)

Collapse )

 I'm rising bread on the deck. I guess i should have refrigerated before the rise per random internet advice for yeasted wheat bread. It should be "done" "rising" in another hour (my rye starter doesn't seem to have that much strength when mixed with all the seeds and the packet of "cheating" yeast i'm using expired in 2015). I can't decide about turning on the oven until it starts cooling off, and should the dough go in the fridge then or can it just sit inside? Choosing to make all rye bread without a raft of Nordic contacts for advice has been ... well, so very much like what i do.

I think i'll call Mom and Dad now....

--== ∞ ==--

Monday morning

The 2 hrs plus rise in a WARM place seemed to actually go well: it was 90°F in the shade yesterday. I guess i will try to create warm spaces next winter. Baked at 360°F for 2 hours and let cool in the pan (as the instructions say). Next time i will let it cool in the air: the loaves were damp when i took them out of the pan, so i let them dry out overnight. The Pullman pan loaf (without the cover on) looks wonderful. I may buy another of those pans. It occurs to me another writer described leaving the loaves covered to bake: i'll do that next time. Getting there.

Dad is set up for Zoom but desperately needed someone to talk to so just he and i chatted.

Christine's home safely. There are crazy people out there: open carry folks at Best Buy, more Confederate flags and Trump (??) flags.

HVAC guy called at 7:30 am, trying to do triage on his 11 calls. He doesn't really want to come in the house. We don't blame him. And don't really want him to come in. Maybe i'll volunteer to do the work if he'll talk me through things.

Daily "stand up" messages between my sister and i, Collapse )


Day of REST (household, covid-19, health, weather)

I offer up Christine's second chapter of [syndicated profile] soundtrackofnow_feed. The ten minute composition is available on Soundcloud as well. I am so glad she's put aside the efforts she thought she should be making (building websites for others who do not appreciate her work but would be satisfied with WIX and kin) and is putting her work for her out there.

Both Christine and i have been wingeing off and on about not feeling well for months: i maintain well before community spread was occurring in North Carolina. (I distinctly remember yet another wave of the feverish malaise on the way home the day i canceled my travel to Ohio in February.) Thus, Christine's long lingering cough and the slight fever i was running yesterday afternoon are filed under That Winter Malaise And Then The Ridiculously Early Pollen Season. I am not delighted to have been measurably feverish, but happy to have a thermometer that seems reasonably consistent.

I have been pondering where i picked up who is so and so when they are at home? and assume it's too much Midsomer Murder.

It's crazy warm outside and the daffodils will likely all melt. I went out and picked a nice bouquet. It's warming up inside, too,(our summer temps are ten Farenheit degrees higher than the winter temps) yet also still a high relative humidity: i am glad to have the humidity readings and the dehumidifier to assist in dealing with this time before the air conditioner is needed.

It took Christine a little time (and reading an article in the Washington Post) but we are now in agreement about not having our cleaner visit. We're paying her, because we can. I hope her other clients are, but i suspect they may not. On the other hand, she's more like an aide to some elderly and so her assistance may be needed to cope.

Just ordered toilet paper via Amazon, with the suspicion it may be only a slight step up from the one-ply "state park" toilet paper we have had as an emergency fall back in a high shelf of a cabinet. After buying it a year or so ago, it was unpleasant enough we promptly replaced it. I felt it wasn't too silly to keep it: i am glad i have. However, the absence on market shelves is causing a little anxiety for Christine so i placed this order. It's a two giant roll pack for a seemingly ridiculous price. I assume they are the rolls used in gas stations or fast food restaurants. You can also buy toilet paper with the poo emoji wishing you a happy birthday for a variety of decades and with pictures of Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. The absence of Trump and McConnell options is not surprising.

Also in absence on shelves, what has happened to cardboard boxes filled with automatic dishwasher powder. What's with the stupid pods in plastic tubs. REALLY WORLD? So a large box of Cascade apparently for restaurants is also ordered. I think the co-op has powdered dish detergent by bulk: when this order runs out i'll see how that's handled.


eBooks from Internet Archive (recommended)

If your public library doesn't have good ebooks,


Your public library likely has a fine portfolio of e-resources beyond the easy offerings of Overdrive or Hoopla. NC Live -- a collection of e-resources many NC public libraries access -- has a number of ebook resources beyond Overdrive.


(354, mom and caa)

To a colleague who also takes care of a mother who has had a stroke, last night:

[Yesterday 5:23 PM]
Well, i was able to give Dad a break. Mom didn't let me help her to the toilet (hopefully she just didn't need to go or to be changed). She didn't let me do a shower or exercise. But i made a lunch that delighted her -- she's bored with Dad's cooking i think. So i guess those are small wins.

To the folks who make our router:

Subject: Unterminated 100' ethernet causing WAN DHCP issue

Recently we got a 100' ethernet CAT6 cable to use for my work laptop as the wifi signal to the room wasn't optimal. This works great, until i unplug my laptop and leave the line unterminated. Immediately, the DHCP setting for the WAN disappears and nothing can connect to the internet through the router.

Type: dhcp
Mac-Address: B0:BE:76:43:DB:68

We have demonstrated all is well when the line is terminated by a laptop or when the line is removed. Does this behavior make sense?


In NO i don't need more stress (cats, 354)

As i was settling in to go to sleep last night, Marlowe stood next to me and began to piss. Why? And -- after getting linens in the wash and new linens for the bed -- when i settled back in bed, the wifi connection was down. The weird behavior with it the past week seemed to be coming and going so instead of troubleshooting i went to sleep.

It never came back and Christine spent hours trying to sort something out. She didn't set it up so i don't know how much she understands of how i have it configured. She managed to get very frustrated and she came to bed at 3:30 am. I woke and couldn't fall back to sleep. I did have a strategy to try with the network, so i got up around 4:30 to give it a go. Also, i needed to get the bedding in the dryer.

While working on documenting things and preparing a fall-back configuration, i determined that the router works when my laptop is plugged into ethernet (which we set up some time last week) and then stops when i unplug my laptop. This explains a certain amount of the intermittent failure as my work laptop is generally plugged in, but not always. The longest outage was when i went to work on the deck last Friday. Usually my work laptop just sits on the desk plugged in, so usually the wifi was working. I occasionally swapped out my personal laptop with the work laptop to do video at my desk, so that would have created some "outages". And when there was an outage, i was using the ethernet connection to bypass wifi to simplify trouble shooting and everything started working again. No wonder i felt gas-lit.

So, i've turned off the router, and set up one of the two wifi signals on the modem to use the same SSID and password as the router: most systems should just switch over to the modem's network with no effort. The other wifi signal i've given a clear name and that can be used when i turn the router back on to help troubleshoot.

OY. Now to go care for Mom and get Dad a break.