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Apr. 6th, 2020

So what did you do while on lockdown...

Well, we basically relandscaped the front yard, on Saturday. LOL

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Before. We've been wanting to get rid of the ornamental bamboo because it's a non native invasive.


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Halfway done.


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Of course we dug out bricks.


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After. We planted the Dwarf Alberta Spruce that had been in large pots on the porch instead. They won't grow big enough to damage the foundation, or wide enough to block any views and they grow so slowly, that'll it'll be a long time before they're taller than the porch railing. It looks so much better now. The leaves got mulches up and put on the newer garden bed, the watering trough for potatoes with soil added too, as well as a bunch in the compost bin- it needed some 'greens'.



Then, on Sunday...

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We took a few hours to completely empty the beds, added fresh compost and garden soil and got them ready for planting next weekend. This year, we'll work on bringing them up another row of blocks, then topping them. Over the winter, we'll add more compost and soil.

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The center bed will stay one block high, with the landscaping blocks on top and gradually brought up to level, soil wise.


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Our Red Bud, Archie, bloomed this year! We're so proud of it!


Friday's numbers in Virginia-

19005 tested
2012 positive
312 hospitalized
46 dead

TODAY'S numbers here in Virginia-

24321 tested
2878 positives
497 hospitalized
54 dead

There are now 5 cases in Bedford County.


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Mar. 16th, 2020

Various and Sundry

Caena is doing well.

Came home Sat morning. They didn't have to put a drain in and it looks like they got all of the cyst out. She looks so much better now. Lots of stitches, and she'll have a gnarly scar, but she's ok.}:)

Her appetite is definitely back up. She raced to the kitchen last night and danced while we were prepping their dinners. And today, she refused to eat the Clavomox in her food , then proceeded to fight me when I tried to force it into her mouth. It took 4 tries to get her to swallow it. That's my girl!

Took the dogs on a long (1.19 miles) walk through the woods yesterday. Found what we think are rabbit warrens. Discovered that there's another abandoned barn structure at the end of the private airstrip behind the house. We'll have to go down there sometime when the weather is better, to get some photos. Otherwise, it was quiet and peaceful.

Our local Food Lion was thoroughly picked over yesterday. It doesn't help that the other small, local grocery store shut down 2 weeks ago (and won't reopen until sometime in April, under new ownership), creating a food desert in that part of town as well as our Food Lion being half the size of a regular one. And we have no ethnic food stores here either.

We did our grocery shopping last Weds, and luckily, thought to stock up on some dry goods and canned goods. This Weds, we'll go get our usual weekly perishables. Hopefully.

It started with a rumor that our all toilet paper comes from China(it doesn't) and escalated from there. People are trying to price gouge and well, it's illegal to do in at least 38 states, so they're now finding themselves in trouble with the law.

The panic shopping here is odd. It's not even in our half of the state, it's all on the coast. But, well, human nature. Yesterday when I went to see if I could get some coleslaw, half the egg supply was gone, almost all the milk. There were 3 lone paper towel rolls, at the back of the top shelf where no one could reach them. The canned goods were distinctly reduced- not cleared completely, but definitely well shopped. The fresh meats had no chicken left. It's the cheapest, so not surprised. Glad we got a couple packages of thighs last week.

But the *freezer section*. That was practically empty of frozen pizzas and dinners. Seriously.

Mark just texted that they were being given the option to telecommute now until the 27th, if they so chose. Our internet being what it is, he's going in unless they physically close the building. He asked if I was ok with that, I said it's not in our area, once it reaches here, we'll reassess.

Martial arts classes have been cut back, so they have time to wipe the dojo floor mats and such down between classes. It only makes sense. We also have to bring our own water now. The water dispenser will be removed for the duration. Not sure what this will mean for the black belt test. I imagine if/when it gets worse, it'll be postponed.

I'm actually ok with that.

Talked to my parents on Friday. They're of the generation that grew up with shortages and probably are best suited for knowing how to prepare for a crisis like this. I'm glad they passed that on to us and we know to keep at least a month, if not 2 months, worth of dry goods and canned goods on hand. Though, I'm pretty sure we had 6 months worth growing up. Heh.

Knowing how to grow your own food, and how to preserve it, will definitely come in handy this spring and summer.

Meanwhile, keep your heads down, wash your hands and stay well out there.


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Jan. 30th, 2020

Various and sundry...

People who have no business in politics, think various counties in Virginia need to secede. They want us to join *West Virginia*.

Like, how will that work? A county in the middle of Virginia is suddenly part of a state, over half a state away? And why would we join a state that can't even take care of its own people, where drug abuse is worse than it is here, where the unemployment rate is , at 4.6%, *nearly twice as high as Virginia's at 2.6%*, and ours is *dropping*, whereas their's is *climbing again*.

Apparently this all stems from West Virginia invited Frederick County to join them, *158 years ago*. Yeah. That's how ignorant this all is.

Our way of life is not under attack, by the way. Nor was our state government elected by 'federal workers'. Parts of the state that have never voted blue, went blue big time this last election. We just got fed up with the Republican led majority idiocracy.

Moving on...

Virginia ratified the Equal Rights Amendment recently and now, our AG, among others, is suing the US to get it ratify at the federal level". Hopefully more states ratify it- to date, 38 now have, with Virginia being the latest, Nevada and Illinois the most recent after the 1982 deadline, and then do the same thing. Maybe then it'll, finally, become a real Amendment and part of our Bill of Rights.

And onward... )

Jan. 10th, 2020

So long, won't miss you.

I was unfriended on Facebook last night.

No big deal, I don't post there anymore and only commented a total of 6 times this month along. Well, 4 times now, since 2 comments disappeared when I was unfriended.

Anyway.

This person had posted a video of a group of guys- most of whom appeared to be black, or able to pass as such, problematic for other, sad reasons- who apparently used their *religion* (Christianity, to be precise) to "convert/cure themselves of being gay to being straight".

I replied that that was not how it worked. That wasn't how any of it worked. That I pitied them for having deluded themselves so badly.

She replied that they likely knew better than I.

I said, yes, they likely did know better than I. They likely knew better that they were deluding themselves into believing there was something wrong with them that needed to be fixed. Because that *was not how it worked*. That I still pitied them for having deluded themselves.

Whatever she replied with, I have no idea, as she unfriended me before I could see it and that post was, ironically, friends only.

Now, we'd been friends, well, distantly, for some years now. And I once followed her on Instagram. She still followed me. So I sent her a message there, saying that since she unfriended me over a difference of opinion on Facebook, she might as well unfriend me here as well.

And I learned something last night! I didn't need to wait for *her* to unfollow me! I could remove her as a follower myself! Which I did. And good riddance to such a closed mind, honestly.

If your religion, which pretty much says your god does not make mistakes, tells you , you can't be LGBTQ+, then maybe you need to reexamine your religion. Because if your god , who you say doesn't make mistakes, who created you in their image, created you to be LGBTQ+, then who are you to decide they did in fact, make a mistake and that you must be cured of said mistake?

Because obviously it's not your god telling you something is wrong with you, it's *your fellow mankind*.

Yeah.


In other news, went to let the dogs outside last night and while standing on the back porch, distinctly and loudly, heard an owl hooting. It was either in the peach tree or the mimosa, it was close.

I literally stood outside in the cold, jacketless, just to hear it again. Which I did, further away.

And I was reminded how *lucky* I was to live in such a place, where the deer wander through the back yard, opossums come on the porch, looking for cat food, an occasional fox wanders through the hayfield, a rafter of turkeys sometimes passes by, a hawk flies off down the driveway, clearly having been perched moments before in a tree in the front yard...

Yeah.

Pretty damn lucky.



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Nov. 13th, 2019

Leaves like rain...

Yesterday started out rainy and overcast. Then the winds picked up and the temps started dropping. Leaves were falling like rain.

This year, we somewhat winterized the house. It's easier to do when you don't have a third person living with you, not actively contributing but offering unsolicated advice when you're doing things to get ready for winter.

So, to that extent, the two long front windows now have plastic , double layer, over them. And I put the window inserts in the double square windows on the sides of the house myself. The chill that had been in here is now gone. Though it was disconcerting to watch the plastic 'breath' in the gusts of wind, even if I couldn't feel any cold air, thankfully.

Monday, knowing this cold snap was coming, I made an outdoor cat shelter for Barny, the barncat that seems to have semi-adopted our property.

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It consists of a plastic storage tote and a stryofoam cooler inside, with a entry hole cut in the front. It was then stuffed with dry leaves and had some catnip sprinkled in and around the front of it. I then took some brtanches that came off of Fezzik earlier and draped them over and around it, after placing it against the cattle fence where Barny usually comes trough to eat on the porch- which is also a covered feeding spot, with an old welcome mat underneath, so they aren't sitting on cold concrete while eating. Hopefully Barny uses the shelter.

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Last night was belt testing. This is the last belt before we go for our 1st degree black belt. So very proud of how far we've come since we started. All the stiffness, aches and weariness we felt last night and today, after class, is so very worth it.




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Oct. 30th, 2019

Ratchet the stress...

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I was up before the dawn yesterday. We were finally getting a new dryer, after deciding that we really wanted a dryer over a washer. That we were ok with continuing to go to the laundromat to wash clothes, but a dryer would be more useful right now.

The old dryer had started dying. Sounding like the bearings were going, not heating thoroughly. That sort of thing.

We had been trying to save to get a full set at the same time, but things kept happening and we kept not being able to get the full amount needed.

So we got a dryer on Monday and will get a washer in a few months, now having an actual total price needed for it.

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It was delivered yesterday. It's so quiet.

Tomorrow I'll rearrange the bookcases. We had to move one so the dryers could be swapped, and I rather like the more openness in the library/laundry now. We don't actually *need* the wardrobe we're using as linen storage, so I'll empty the little that's in it and remove it, leaving space for a bookcase to be placed there instead.

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Worked on this piece on the loom yesterday. It'll be finished and off the loom today. Then I can rewarp and start on a few inexpensive scarves for the next show on the 16th. Inexpensive stuff sells better at that show than my more expensive stuff does.

Then I have 4 turkeys to put together and need to finish santa and snowman ornaments. AS well as a few last large pumpkins for this season.

My last show for the year is at the end of November, and typically, the small stuff, such as ornaments should do well there. Especially this time of year.

Then I'll have all of December, January and much of February to prep for Mysticon. I have plans for things for that 3 day event and will need the intervening months between the end of November and the end of February.

Here's hoping I get it all finished. But first, I need to practice for our last belt testing before full black belt. This time next year, is when we hope to go for our full, 1st degree black.

Hence, the elevated stress levels.


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Oct. 23rd, 2019

'Trees are the Ambasseors of Time.'- Edwin Honig

And the trees that surround Five Oaks are gorgeous when wreathed in dense fog.

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Read more... )


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