Monday, June 01, 2020

May - the Coronavirus Diaries

Friday, May 1

Decent day at work - feels good to wrap up the week. We decided to try Pizzeria Tasso for dinner. They're close by and had just opened a physical location, as opposed to their food truck, right as everything started to shut down. Today was the first day that restaurants could officially open for dine-in, with social distance measures in place, but it doesn't seem like anyone is really ready to do that yet so we're happy that car delivery continues. We tried three kinds of pizza, and they're all pretty good. Spicy salami, sausage, and a classic margherita. 


We took a decent walk around the neighborhood and the sky was just gorgeous. We've had a little rain on and off, and I love having the clouds around. 

The night before I started watching the new series Belgravia, and I shared Anthony's teasing monologue on Insta. And this is the freeze-frame from all those messages. Bless him. 


Saturday, May 2

I stayed up way too late Friday night reading, so I was terrible at getting out of bed today. I still bummed around all afternoon. Say outside to read a little, but never really got moving. I'd planned to maybe hang up artwork around the house or do a Target run for some essentials, but none of that happened. I mostly read the book I started the night before and finished it! Thank you, Jessica Simpson, for a run trip back to the days of boy bands and pop princesses. I found it very delightful. 


Finally at 6pm I got myself in gear and did a decent outdoor run. Then we hopped in the car to get gas, a car wash, and some Normal ice cream. Their salted vanilla with almond dip is a grand combination. We came home and finished the Waco series on Netflix, which is so incredibly sad. I didn't remember many details from seeing it on the news when I was a kid, and while this was a dramatization, it certainly seems like the government totally messed things up and no one was held accountable for so many people dying.  


Sunday, May 3

Set a goal to wake up at a decent time today, so I could read some church books and make it feel like Sunday. Mission accomplished. Then we had a social distance picnic with Ian and Lacey and their tiny baby, who luckily I got to meet in early March before everything shut down. We met at a park in Sandy and got to chat for a couple hours, which was so nice. They have lots of house tools and offered to help us update trim or install flooring, so I really hope to take them up on that someday. 

Rest of the day entailed a short couch nap, some TV, more reading, a walk, and leftovers. Time to gear up for another week. Sigh. 



Monday, May 4

Another week, another Monday. I rallied some folks together for a training with some outside software we're using. I think it's gonna be cool stuff.  I did a quick evening run and then made this excellent chickpea stew. It'll be in the meal rotation from now on.  We started watching Upload on Amazon, which provides some very interesting things to ponder. And it's funny. 


Tuesday, May 5

Utah is opening up, and so is my hair salon. I'm not feeling totally comfortable with people getting back to normal, but I feel okay about getting my hair done. My stylist hasn't worked in weeks, hasn't gotten paid, so it feels nice to be able to support her. Plus they have a lot of safety rules in place. They're in a big space with three stylists working, everyone in masks, no extra people or outside food/drinks, and full sanitizing of the area I'm sitting in and all the products. So yeah. I went. 



Since I was down by brother's house, I stopped by to sit out on the driveway and chat for a bit. I've missed those kiddos! The girls were too busy riding bikes around with their friends, but I got some good nephew time in. He's the best boy. 



Wednesday, May 6

Work stuff - I don't remember. And then I skipped YW cause I just can't do much more Zoom, and I went on a nice long run. And also figured out one of my favorite Peloton workouts got scrubbed from the app since the instructor did something bad. Whoops. We had a Hello Fresh box from the weekend and made a farro bowl with lots of good veggies in it. Pretty tasty. I'd recreate this at home. 



Thursday, May 7

Roller coaster emotions at work, going from one meeting where morale is the lowest I've seen, then another meeting hyping up why my company is so great and we've got a new investment plan. Kinda feels like we're a pawn in someone's portfolio, but I guess we are. 

In the evening we went to D's big birthday. Her husband organized a social distance dance party in a parking lot near their house. Really nice to see a few more people and chat, outside and spread out. And then we didn't have any food to eat and were getting hangry, so at 8:15pm we started to figure that out. Too bad most restaurants are closing up at 8 now. We found ramen open, so we ordered online to pick up at 9pm. Cue more hangry. We picked it up around 8:50 and then Anthony's car wouldn't start. We used his battery jumper pack. Still wouldn't start. Didn't even make the battery sound like it was trying. Ugh. We risked leaving it in the parking lot over night since we didn't have many options and thought it was more than the battery. Called Meghan down the street who came and bailed us home. Felt illegal getting into her car, but it was so nice to see her for a few minutes!!






Friday, May 8

Cue the stress trying to deal with the car. We thought we'd have to tow it into a shop and then troubleshoot. Anthony and I both had some meetings in the morning, but eventually he rescheduled some of his and went to work on the car troubles. He drove my car to the parking lot, thankfully his car was fine overnight. The tow truck met him (we called a couple for estimates, like responsible people) and successfully started his car up with proper jump cables. Well, then. He drove it to a shop across the parking lot and got a battery test and then a new battery. All is right again in the world. 

Scrounged for dinner on the last of groceries with an Asian beef stir fry. Gotta use up that fresh ginger. Did a walk and worked on a puzzle. 


Sometimes the kitties can sit nice on the table and watch me puzzle. And other times they try to eat the pieces and steal them away. 


Saturday, May 9

Another blank slate weekend, and I saw that Carisa's cake truck would be open in Payson, so I suggested we take a drive. I've followed her baked goods online for awhile now and needed to try them myself, even if that meant a long drive. I know she sells out of things, so I wanted to get there when the truck opened. After a stop at In-n-Out, we got to the truck about 15 minutes after opening, and then I waited in line for 40 minutes. And now that I've eaten several things, I can say that it was worth it. 


I ordered one of her cookie sandwiches, (chocolate caramel), a cake cup (raspberry lemon), a cake slice (PB chocolate), and a Mrs. Jenkins dessert cup that has a chocolate mousse and caramel and toffee toppings. After trying the cookie, I can say that the caramel is some of the best I've had, the cake cup was super great cake, and the dessert cup is bomb-diggity. Haven't gotten to the PB cake slice yet, but I know I won't be disappointed. 


Since we were down south, we stopped by the Springville cemetery to see my cousin Ryan's grave. It was his birthday May 1, and I haven't seen his grave marker since they put it up. I think it's really cool. I miss that kid. 

We also took the chance to see Anthony's friends, Sam and Jenny, down south. We mostly hung stayed outside and know they've been pretty isolated, so we took our chances. We ended up staying for dinner and s'mores, so it was a pretty nice day visiting with them. 


Got home to Leo bundled up in my scarf. 

And then dug into more of the cake cup. It's real good. 



Sunday, May 10

This morning I went to volunteer at the new women's homeless shelter with Tara, who's been going regularly. Since I don't have church in the morning, it's nice to do something to help people. We mostly sorted donations, even though they're not taking any used clothing donations right now. 

I worked on my new puzzle and despite covering the puzzle with heavy books to keep the cats out, I found a piece with some little teeth marks on the floor. I blame Leo. And then I found a few pieces in the water dish. I blame Miriam. More puzzle story later. 


Kitties have a new scratcher thing. Miriam will lay on it, and then Leo comes to take her spot. He's a little meanie sometimes. 


For dinner we headed up to Anthony's parents' home for a Mother's Day dinner. Since we have not seen anyone during social distancing, we were kind of nervous. Yes, Utah is opening up, but it doesn't feel like we should totally be doing that yet. We mostly tried to stay outside, but it was really, really nice to see them. We had a good dinner, and Brooklyn made lemon bars for dessert. 


Also found this from a coworker. It's a fun musical generational game to kill some time: https://pudding.cool/2020/04/music-challenge/

Monday, May 11

Pretty quiet day at work. Nothing majorly remarkable, except this little cat's eyes. 


I finished off the Mrs. Jenkins dessert from the cake truck, and wowza, it's amazing. 


I went on a run after work and neither of us wanted to cook, so we had Cafe Rio. The one closest to us has a drive-thru, but they had about 6 people outside waiting to take food directly to cars in any parking spot. Super quick. 


More puzzle time with the little imp watching over. But he's darn cute. 



Tuesday, May 12

Time to finish up the last of the cake truck goodies - the one slice of actual cake. This is a peanut butter chocolate, which is never my first choice, but I actually really liked it. It's a substantial piece of cake. 


Long walk after work. Love spring. 




Wednesday, May 13

I haven't been sleeping well and mostly take short naps after work. And today I had an actual reason to nap during the day. Around 11:30am our power flickered out for a couple seconds, two times. Turns out a large truck hit an electric pole in the neighborhood. Around 12:30pm the power company called and emailed to say they were doing an emergency repair and the power would be out until 6pm. No internet, no TV, no grilling. Just read and take a nap. I moved all my afternoon meetings to the next day. 


In the evening, I almost didn't get out of the house, but we managed a walk together and it really helps us both, especially to go together. Ran into some neighbors and had a nice chat with a few folks. We made brats for dinner with roasted veggies on top. They're pretty good. 


Okay - here's my puzzle mystery. My heavy book-covering hasn't worked and the cats still manage to get to the pieces in progress. I found 3 plain white pieces in their water bowl, and assumed that the top layer of art had come off. Maybe the cats just ate that part, I don't know. Because another day I found a piece in the water where the top layer was slipping off but still attached, so I super-glued it back together. So as I'm finishing this puzzle, I figured I would have 3 spots to fill in with these white pieces. But I finish the puzzle, and all of the pieces are there except one edge piece on the top right. The white pieces don't go anywhere! They're the right size/weight for this puzzle, and I have no idea where they came from! I went through all the pieces when I started to filter out the edge pieces, and definitely do not recall these white pieces. Totally baffled. 



Thursday, May 14

I folded some laundry and Leo slept pretty much the entire day downstairs on the towels. They love to lay on textured things. 


Anthony popped by the store to get some things that were left off our Walmart order earlier this week.  He managed to only read the text preview on his phone, and not open to read the whole thing. I called to him as I made dinner, asking if we had a couple things. He said they weren't on the list. They were indeed. Alas, we still managed a great salmon dinner with roasted broccoli and potatoes. 


I had a nice run and stopped to smell the roses. We rearranged some living room furniture to make the Modsy design vision come to life. I got a couple pieces of artwork in, so I'm hoping to hang that soon. Called Taylor for his birthday today. Hoping to celebrate his and Courtney's birthday soon. 


Bedtime with the kitties. My legs are in the middle and I can't move. 



Friday, May 15

Pretty good day at work, busy-ish for a Friday. I have a new boss, technically 5th one in 17 months. But I think it'll be good. We had our first official chat today, and I'm hopeful that my job will continue to be good, as long as I still have one. Covid times keep me a little anxious. 

I'm currently reading this book, and it's so good. Everyone in America should have to read it. It's about the migrations of blacks out of the south from WWI into the 1960s, roughly. So well-written, important history, and we still have a long way to go in combating racism. 


After work I drove to Draper to meet up with Meghan for a hike. Packed parking lot, but actually the trails weren't too busy once we found a parking spot and got going. We found the old bridge, which had zero people on the trail. And I was not a fan of the suspension bridge once I stepped on it and felt it swaying in the wind. One of those things that sounded better in my head. 

Anthony went camping with a friend for a night or two, so I'm hanging with the cats at home. 





After the bridge journey we grabbed takeout from Vessel and hit a nearby park for dinner. Vessel is so good. 

Also got our cloth masks from Esty in the mail. Loved the cactus bag. 


Saturday, May 16

I slept in and planned to have a lazy day to myself. I made the Pioneer Woman's sour cream pancakes (except mostly subbing in greek yogurt since I didn't have enough sour cream) and wowza, they are perfect. 

Anthony was maybe going to be gone for two nights. He came home early though! And then a wave of invites for weekend socializing happened and I nearly had a meltdown trying to figure out what to do. I had an evening invite to hang with some ladies in the neighborhood. They've invited me a few times to join their group, and each time I was out of town - October and February. I wasn't going to miss it this time! But we also had invites to a birthday gathering with Taylor and Courtney, plus one for Anthony's sister, Brooklyn. All happening at the same times, mostly. 

In the end, I hung out with the neighborhood ladies on Saturday night in a newly finished backyard patio. One lady brought Del Taco, per tradition, and we sat outside and chatted. So so nice.  And we figured out how to do both birthday gatherings on Sunday. I needed some kitty love at the end of the day to help out my socializing meltdown. 



Sunday, May 17

The perfect kitties in the window. 

And then off to celebrate Taylor and Courtney's birthdays in the afternoon. We missed their bigger family party the night before but they had plenty of leftover hotdogs. The girls entertained us in their new hammock. 


Little Q gathered a flower family. She is the best. 

And this one is growing like a weed. 

We had sprinkles on our ice cream. 

Always a busy-body. 

We took off and drove north for Brookyln's 13th birthday. She requested pulled pork for dinner. 


We had a good evening with food and cake and family and excellent weather. 



Monday, May 18

I bought flowers to take to Courtney for her birthday but totally forgot to bring them along. I'd locked them away so the cats couldn't eat them. whoops. 


Busy day for me at work. Lots of meetings, and I finally got to meet a new colleague in Sydney. Miriam didn't have quite the busy day. 

I went on a run in the evening and their nearby-ish neighbor apparently has new signs every couple weeks. I'll have to make this a regular part of my route. 

Tuesday, May 19

Another full and busy work day. Lots of meeting days are better than no meeting days. I hung out with the cats, duh, while Anthony was off getting a new tattoo for most of the day. A slight sore spot, not because I'm anti-tattoo, but just more cautious about the placement. Anthony thinks long and hard before choosing one, and he's been on a waiting list for 8 months to get in with this certain artist, and hasn't wavered, so he did it. 


I also got new puzzles in the mail today, yay! I had to hunt down and re-order after Galison got overwhelmed. Luckily I was able to find a small indie bookstore in the northeast that had the same puzzles.

Wednesday, May 20

I awoke to some social media drama about Anthony's latest body art. Not the best way to start the day, but I'm sure it'll blow over at some point. I think I mostly zoned out for the day trying to ignore that. 

Then I made a great dinner on the grill with chicken and veggies and made tacos out of it. 




We had YW this evening, and each of the leaders drove a car parade-style to drop off a treat to each girl celebrating the end of the school year. It ended up being cold and rainy most of the day, but popsicles are still great. Then I ran an errand at the store and popped by Normal just before they closed. Salted vanilla ice cream with an almond dip topping is just a simple pleasure. 


Nice kitties. 

Puzzle thief kitties. 


Thursday, May 21

Had a little helper for work today.


Managed a quick run late afternoon before getting ready and heading to Heather's bridal shower. She's moving forward with a corona wedding, so a few of us wished her well in a lovely garden party. 



Came home and finished a puzzle. No weird extra pieces this time!



Friday, May 22

Friday of a holiday weekend. Pretty quiet at work but managed to get a couple things done. These two didn't do much though. 


We kinda had plans to maybe try and do something Friday evening, but it never really happened. Anthony's friend recently bought an old house and found some really old ammo, so Anthony went to take a look. And I needed to use up some ingredients in the fridge, so I made the excellent chickpea stew again. Look at that beautiful ginger. 



Caught a kitty in the evening too. She's the best little sleepy glaring cat. 


Saturday, May 23

Mostly a lazy day at home. It rained all night and was quite chilly for late May. Did some yard work - Anthony mowed, and I probably did some chore inside. At 5pm we headed north to cousin Julie and Jesse's house for a mostly outdoor BBQ. They've got a nice backyard with only a big hill for a neighbor. We had burgers outside until we got too cold. 


They've got a few indoor herb gardens. Maybe I could handle one of these things. Seems a little easier? 

Julie made cinnamon rolls too. 

And then I got them to buy a new Jackbox pack, and we played for a good while with some great laughs. I'm really glad they live here. We've lived in most of the same places (DC/VA, OK, AZ, UT) but never at the same time until now. 


Sunday, May 24

Another quiet-ish day at home. We went on a walk to the oldest home in Salt Lake that's near our house. It belonged to guy who built a sawmill. 



Apparently nothing else of note, except cats. 


Monday, May 25

Memorial Day! Still not in a spot to host a BBQ - thanks coronavirus, but we did manage a not-perfectly-social-distance hike. 


I always want green spaces, so we tried out Centerville Canyon. There's a waterfall, so that'll get me on the trail. We picked up Meghan and Anthony's sister, Brooklyn, to come along. Lovely trail, along a creek, lots of shade, cool waterfall, but pretty narrow and pretty crowded. Anthony was having a meltdown at the end with all the people. He always wants nature to himself, which is why he's usually way out west in the desert. The trail was really narrow in a lot of spots and there wasn't room for 2-way traffic. 



We ended up hiking roughly 5 miles, so that took most of the day. Anthony stayed at his parents for ribs after, and I went home to grill with Meghan since we'd already made those plans. We grilled all the things. We should just do that every week. 




Tuesday, May 26

I keep forgetting what day it is. But holiday weekends are great. Today we had a guy start fixing up our guest bedroom. The trim in there has been terrible, and I wanted to add trim to the window, so I found a guy via Instagram, got a quote and asked him to come make our house look better. Very exciting stuff. He moves quickly, so much faster than we could if we tried. I'm very pleased. 

This is what we started with - horrible orange wood, gross yellow tile in the window ledge, and a crappy piece of cardboard screwed into the wall to cover the plumbing access panel. 



Also got hit with the rumor mill at work that layoffs are coming. I'm pretty sick to my stomach and we'll see what happens. It's stressful and terrible. 

Talked to my parents tonight - they're on the way to OKC for my mom to have knee replacement surgery. I really hope that all goes well tomorrow. 

In progress photo!

And an evening walk after Thai Archer for dinner. 

Wednesday, May 27

Welp, the worst happened. I woke up to an instant message from my boss mentioning a giant restructure with my job affected, and to please call him when I could. It's sick, really. 

I had to welcome in trim contractor guy again that morning, and I had a dentist appointment so I wasn't able to chat with anyone for awhile. But yeah, it sucks. I'm mad. Really mad and disappointed. No way can I find another job in this economy before my severance runs out. We have savings and Anthony's job is okay for now, so we'll be okay for awhile. I'm just really bummed that I was hitting my stride. I'd hoped to stay for 4-5 years. Alas. Job hunting it is. 

On the good news of the day - the guest bedroom has new, beautiful, custom trim!

I'm painting the walls sometime soon, so I told him not to worry about taping off. He painted doors and trim and even managed to repair some of the wall I messed up when trying to fix the trim myself. 


And no more nasty access panel! He did a custom one with a magnetic latch. So good. 



Thursday, May 28

Woke up in a panic remembering that I don't have a job anymore. It's going to take awhile until I feel calmer and optimistic. The day before I had quickly emailed a number of friends to start generating leads, so I've got something going. Not quite ready to update the resume and jump yet. I need a few days to process. I did post on LinkedIn, and that started driving some traffic my way. Maybe something is open, but I don't know. And I'm scared.

But look at that beautiful window. 

 
Cher came over for dinner. We grilled outside, but I had to show her our magic time capsule room. We had tons of delicious stuff - she brought lots and we grilled this bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken thing. I'd done my first Trader Joe's run since quarantine, and that felt nice, even if I did have to wait in line for a bit. Worth it for good, easy food!



Friday, May 29

Sleeping in and reading in bed for awhile may be awesome. But I think I'll get tired of it soon. In the morning I had a job-related phone call with a referral from someone I worked with, but they're not ready to hire for my type of position yet. Still, it was a good convo, and maybe it'll open a door later on. 

Lacey invited me down for lunch and for a short outdoor adventure. Got to hang out with baby Rosie. 


We had a good lunch and then headed out to Tibble Fork. Didn't stay too long, as it was very hot and we had a tiny baby with us, but it was nice to get out with a friend. 




Ian had texted Anthony while we were out in nature and asked if he wanted to come down for steaks. So we all go to hang out. Right after Anthony went to his dad's to grab free sod they'd dug up earlier. Free sod could cover patches in our yard! He was not too pleased, but he did it. And then came south to hang with me and Ian and Lacey. We had a good evening hanging out and then we borrowed some tools. He's a photo so we don't forget. 


Played with Miriam on the stairs before bed. She's the best. 

Saturday, May 30

Protests are erupting for George Floyd, who was killed by police. The whole country is angry, and it feels like a new wave of good change can come out of this, maybe, finally. 


Since the guest room is getting updated, it's also time to get rid of these cheap-o door knobs and gross old air return vents. 


I made a couple trips to Home Depot, waited in line to go in out in the very hot sun. But all is well. Picked up new door knobs, door hingers, a new vent, and maybe something else. 

Hello, pretty new knobs! There are 3 close together with a bedroom, closet, and bathroom doors, and it's just way better to see nice ones all in one spot. 



The strike plates that came in the box were too small to fit the existing notch on the door frame, so I went back to Home Depot for one that fits and matches. 


Also made some progress on the 1000-piece puzzle without too much cat interruption. 



Sunday, May 31

May is over, what?!

We hung out at home, tried to care for the patches of sod we put in the day before. We don't really know what we're doing, but our lawn is very sad. I just plan to re-seed it in the fall. Kitties don't know how to help either. 




Meghan invited us over for dinner to grill pizzas, but I'd already made great pizza from Trader Joe's ingredients. I did take her up on a walk in Millcreek Canyon though. SLC is under curfew due to protests, so we had to walk outside city limits. Her friend, Val, has a Millcreek Pass (which, I should get one), so we popped up there for an easy walk on the Pipeline Trail. It's flat. Hooray!




I came home and got to work updating my resume. Applied for a couple jobs before the night was over. I really hope something can come up soon. Even if it's not perfect, that's okay. I can do lots of things. Bye, bye, May. Let's hope June brings good things. 












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