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Sciread77

Adventurers of the Lucky Vale VIII

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I’m gonna call it a good weekend. 
 

The kids spent the night with their grandparents Saturday. Jessie and I dropped them off and immediately went out on a date; we’ve not been on one alone since our anniversary in October. Too long. 
 

We had an early dinner, painted pottery, did an escape room with our friend Marinara (and watched funny videos until he showed up), then met his girlfriend for a late dinner afterwards. We got to really talk. It was a good time and was quite needed. 
 

We just hung out today until about 2, then met my parents to get the kids. We went by Home Depot, got a Linden cherry tree and a honeycrisp Apple tree along with soil, fertilizer, and the like and spent until 15 minutes ago replacing 2 of the dead trees and wrapping the survivors and the new ones in deer netting. I still need at least one more cherry tree, and I’m hoping a plum tree and maybe a pear tree?

 

We’ll see how it goes. We got the first round of stuff in the ground a lot earlier than last year and we’re planning to go more often and make smaller purchases this year, with the goal of planting and protecting whatever we buy the same day. 
 

Jessie wants a raised vegetable bed and I want a living wall of veggies and lettuces. 

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On 3/4/2020 at 4:48 PM, Sciread77 said:

I’m getting the homesteading/gardening/farming bug again.

 

Perhaps the elimination of one source of stressful uncertainty is giving the unconscious part of your brain space to remind you of what it is you really want?

 

17 hours ago, Sciread77 said:

I want a living wall of veggies and lettuces

 

Oh, my, this would be amazing... You MUST share pictures if you do it. And you should totally do it.

 

17 hours ago, Sciread77 said:

I’m gonna call it a good weekend. 

 

I'm going to have to agree with you. Some grownup time, some fun socializing, and FRUIT TREES? That's not good, that's awesome :) Congratulations! 

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Just now, oromendur said:

 

Perhaps the elimination of one source of stressful uncertainty is giving the unconscious part of your brain space to remind you of what it is you really want?

 

Probably so. I mean, the other job would have been great in a lot of ways. But even talking about it this weekend, I think I more wanted to be able to say no than I actually wanted it. I think that, combined with Jessie having an interview for a close job that would eliminate a substantial amount of her stress and time commitment and absolutely beautiful weather really got me going. 

 

 

Just now, oromendur said:

 

Oh, my, this would be amazing... You MUST share pictures if you do it. And you should totally do it.

 

I definitely will someday. I’m sitting here doodling plans right now and calculating yields right now. I’d really love to grow most of the stuff we eat regularly minus perhaps stuff like beans. 
 

I had a garden with spinach and romaine when I was younger and regularly ate them in salads. It was actually easier than buying it because it was always ready and super fresh. My design includes an anti-frost tarp and the conversion of  the underside of our deck into an additional room of the basement. Right now it mainly harbors mosquitoes. 
 

The project will be fairly expensive so it will probably take a back seat to others this year. At the very least we’re planning to build raised boxes for a veggie garden.  

 

 

Just now, oromendur said:

 

I'm going to have to agree with you. Some grownup time, some fun socializing, and FRUIT TREES? That's not good, that's awesome :) Congratulations! 


It was an awesome weekend. I wish almost every weekend was like it. 

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So they declared a state of emergency here on Friday the 13th. Yay!

 

We have just about everything we could want. We’re a little short on milk, but that’s basically always the truth because we have  3 child milk fiends and neither dairy cows nor milk goats. I also need some cabbage for a complete St. Paddy’s day meal. 
 

I’m working from home today as part of a business test. It’s going ok. I miss my multiple big screens but it’s nice being out with the dogs. If it were a little sunnier it’d be perfect. 
 

I’m really not in much of a mood to go out anyway. I kinda just want to stay home and clean and work in the orchard. I think I’d enjoy a few weeks of working from home at the moment. 

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Well, just before midnight last night they announced a change. Looks like I will be working from home since I’m a high risk case for COVID-19. The written policy was actually an addition 14 days/3 weeks of PTO, but I requested to work from home instead. My team is short-handed and going into the busiest week of the month on top of having a massively higher workload due to the effects of the coronavirus. I have no desire to make everyone even more miserable than they’ll be. 
 

I went to the doctor and to stock up on medications today, I’m maybe going to a set build with Jessie tomorrow (the only weekend one) and then I’ll be staying at home until sometime in April. It’s just a handful of people building a few things and I won’t have to be close to anyone. 
 

Our biggest concern is that Jessie’s school is this far still going on, and both Woody and I are varying degrees of high risk due to our asthma. I also found myself attempting to explain immunosuppressive medications in both English and Spanish, which probably are an even bigger factor for me. 
 

In any case, nothing official has gone through HR but I probably won’t be going into the office again until April. The kids are on Spring Break next week and Jessie is the week after that. 

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13 hours ago, Sciread77 said:

The written policy was actually an addition 14 days/3 weeks of PTO, but I requested to work from home instead.

 

Could you request to work from home as well so you can use that PTO later? It's good of you to sacrifice your energy and time for the good of your team in the moment, but you should be rewarded and not punished for doing so.

 

10 hours ago, Sciread77 said:

Guess it’s just me and the homestead for a few weeks. 

 

This sounds like it could be much worse :) I hope you're able to enjoy it as much as can be expected.

 

I mean, I'm such a hermit these days that, setting aside the once-or-twice-a-month social dance, you don't need all ten of your fingers to count the number of people I physically interact with in a normal week anyway. With all of this 'social distancing' talk, I'm like, well, don't throw me in that briar patch -- that's just Tuesday :D Some quiet time and considered energy spent on really connecting with your homestead story might be just the thing you need right now.

 

Have you seen sarakingdom's thoughtful thread on sensible precautions over in the Monk's guild?

 

Good luck and stay safe!

 

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28 minutes ago, oromendur said:

 

 

Could you request to work from home as well so you can use that PTO later? It's good of you to sacrifice your energy and time for the good of your team in the moment, but you should be rewarded and not punished for doing so.

 

Well, the HR email notes that it is time off in addition to regular time off. I’m basically volunteering to work when policy says I should get paid for doing nothing.

 

This time last year I might have taken it like that, mainly because our work levels were relatively low and we had a full team. This year we’re really short handed and heading into a super busy time. It would put a completely unnecessary strain on my team so I’m asking to work remotely instead of take the time off. 

 

Before the email Friday night, people would basically have been punished for doing the responsible thing. Which is why I think it’s going to get worse for a while before getting better. 

 

28 minutes ago, oromendur said:

 

This sounds like it could be much worse :) I hope you're able to enjoy it as much as can be expected.

 

I absolutely agree. I’m not upset. I’m actually feeling completely rejuvenated at the thought of not going anywhere and working on the suburban homestead. It really needs it and at this point I hate the thought of going places and it takes extra energy even though I enjoy actually being there. 
 

28 minutes ago, oromendur said:

I mean, I'm such a hermit these days that, setting aside the once-or-twice-a-month social dance, you don't need all ten of your fingers to count the number of people I physically interact with in a normal week anyway. With all of this 'social distancing' talk, I'm like, well, don't throw me in that briar patch -- that's just Tuesday :D Some quiet time and considered energy spent on really connecting with your homestead story might be just the thing you need right now.

 

97% of my socializing is online. Most of my friends moved all over the world so that’s how it is. And I met friends all over the world via the internet as a kid. I do struggle sometimes with loneliness but frankly, I’m better adapted than most to deal with the social distancing. 

 

28 minutes ago, oromendur said:

Have you seen sarakingdom's thoughtful thread on sensible precautions over in the Monk's guild?

 

Good luck and stay safe!

 


I have not but I’ll take a look. 
 

Thanks, you too!

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How is everyone holding up? Well, I hope. 
 

So yesterday was the first day of the extended work from home and I think it went pretty well. I got a tremendous amount of work done. In fact, as much as I usually do in 3 regular days at the office. It’s good because the virus upheaval has created a lot of work for us, but never underestimate what you can get done alone with a soundproof booth and a cup of coffee. 
 

I even took close to 2 hours for lunch.  
 

Not having to even think about going out has been a major boost to my energy levels. We did go out yesterday; Jessie ran in the grocery store for milk, creamer, and that cabbage we needed for today. I stayed with the kids, who don’t get social distancing, and we all went to a bunch of Poke Stops and did a gym raid. 
 

We also watched the Wizard of Oz with the kiddos and it was a lot of fun. 
 

Jessie has to go to her school to get her laptop so they can begin remote classes. I think this is harder on her and my little extroverted children because they’re used to constant daily social activity both in and out of our family. The moratorium on seeing grandparents is particularly tough, though we’re taking steps. We have video chatting with them and have scheduled a video chat with one of Bo Peep’s godmothers this afternoon.

 

I also talked to my sister yesterday, who is due with baby 2 in less than a month.  She’s at home with her kid and asked for advice on making it without help from our mom, who does a huge amount. I can’t even fully imagine being pregnant, much less having an active 3-year-old to take care of. When I was younger and made mental plans for what happens in this sort of situation, I always mentally planned for us to all hope up together. So in a way, it’s super weird for her to be on her own even though that’s not been the plan for a decade. Also apparently my brother-in-law found a ton of mold in their house just a few days ago. I just realized I forgot to ask her about that. 
 

Woody is all into making internet videos. So he’s getting a full production primer while we’re home. He scripted and story boarded a scene, shot 14 seconds of video, and did voice over for it yesterday. I’m really excited to have a project like that with him. 

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Remote working has been a lifesaver. The workload had been crushing because of the virus upheaval. I never would have had a chance to get it all done in the office. 
 

There are some drawbacks. Like the spreadsheets not saving properly on the servers, and so a lot of work just occasionally vanishes and having to be redone. I back everything up in Notepad that I save on my local drive but dang redoing the work is depressing lol. 
 

********** 1 day later ***********
 

I finished what I needed to and then put up a fence. Jessie and Woody went to Costco and Target for some necessary supplies, and carefully scrubbed down during and afterwards. We also put out Easter decorations and started looking for old video game console stuff. And we talked with my sister-In-law and her husband ove me video chat for about 3 hours yesterday. 
 

I wish we had the lumber we needed. We want to build a bunk bed for the kiddos and that night not happen for a while now.  We’re still cleaning and organizing. It’s not like we’re short of stuff to do. Heck, everyone being super bored out do their minds confuses me. There is SO. MUCH. TO. DO. The difference is no longer dealing with commutes. And frankly, we’re making real, sustained headway for the first time since roughly this time last year. And unlike last year, its at a noticeable scale. 
 

My Lapin cherry tree is starting to bloom. I’m super exited about that. And super excited that we seem to be getting ahead, and at all the extra energy I’m getting being able to stay home all the time. I hope we all stay safe. My dad is officially retired now! And my mom will be at the end of the school year and may not be going in at all. My sister is due in the next few weeks with my second niece so I’m hoping they stay safe too. They discovered mold in their bathroom and my brother-in-law is doing emergency rehab and mitigation. 
 

How is everyone else holding up?
 

 

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Jessie went out to get the lumber.   Home Depot was filled with crackpot science-denying conspiracy theorists and generally disgusting.  On top of that, I placed a whole order to be pulled so all she had to do is pick it up and pay at the service desk, but the idiot on the phone didn’t communicate that nothing would be pulled without a completed transaction. Which the system wouldn’t allow because of an inventory issue (the computer couldn’t see any of the 3,000+ 2x2x8s in the store), which is why I called in the first place. Jessie wouldn’t have gone if we’d known it would be a 2-hour ordeal with numerous checkouts instead of a quick pick up and load. Now she’s nervous and I’m nervous even though she took pretty strong precautions by staying far away from others, disinfecting, washing stuff she touched... nobody seemed to have any overt symptoms so I hope that those precautions were effective.
 

I think we’re in agreement that there’s no need to go out at all again, and when we do only to places taking this seriously like Costco. The county is basically ordered closed anyway. As it is, we don’t need anything else. Needed stuff is here. I hope none of us were exposed before things got really serious and that it’s not just incubating. I hope that’s just my Millennial anxiety coming out. 
 

I started cleaning out the garage yesterday. We won’t be able to finish that until we finish building the bunk beds because half of my side of the garage is filled with new furniture for the boys’ room that will only fit right with bunk beds. And we have to build that in their room, though we’ll be doing the cutting in the garage. 
 

We’re still busy as ever but as long as everyone stays healthy there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. 


 

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