Another odds and ends edition

This was not the scene outside my house!

Last Friday was the first day that no contractors were scheduled here for the kitchen project. It was just us and the cats. There have been days where no one showed but we had been expecting people so the normal routine was out the window. Our kitchen contractor was wonderful. No radios, drop cloths removed every night and quiet except for the power tools. He was very considerate. He became like family but it still required that the cats get fed early and everyone was up and dressed by the crack of dawn. Friday was like being on vacation. There will be more workmen here as the last pieces come together but the worst is over. For now we are enjoying the solitude. I keep looking out the window hoping to see the beach but it’s not quite a vacation!

One weird side effect is that without commotion going on all day, the cats have become more “needy.” They like a lot of attention. If I sit, there are at least two cats swarming over me. It’s not a bad thing, just a new thing.

A relative of a distant relative contacted me this week about my mother’s ancestors. Her great grandmother was my mom’s sister. She’s applying for dual citizenship so she’s looking for documents proving country of origin. Almost all of us have emigrated from somewhere else so at one point our ancestors were the immigrants that people treat poorly today. A generation or two from immigration can sure make people “uppity.”

I fell down that rabbit hole — the ancestry research hole. I plunked down a bunch of time updating my tree. New information was available to fill in more holes. I find it soothing. When I think about the true hardships people went through leaving their home country never to see it again, I’m amazed at their grit.

I saw something this week I haven’t seen in a while. People wearing masks at the gas stations. At the beginning of the pandemic, people wore masks pumping gas even though they were more than six feet away from another person. Many people including me, wore disposable gloves. As the scientists better understood the virus, most of us dropped the gloves. The virus was airborne rather than touchy. Masks at places where you are not close to others (in parks, walking paths and pumping gas) also stopped but the recent uptick in cases put people back in gear. We are one of the states where the numbers have dropped so I expect in a few weeks, people will again drop the masks outdoors. I will be happy to put this in the rearview.

58 thoughts on “Another odds and ends edition

  1. There’s so much to be said for solitude, especially during a renovation. Your contractor sounds like a true professional. I’m always astounded at workers who come in, do their work and leave a bunch of debris in their wake. What the bloody blue blazes, dude?? Now I find I don’t clean in advance of any inside work being done, opting to wait until they leave so as to not having to do it twice.

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    • I find myself putting up plastic and removing throw rugs so they don’t get dirty. A really good contractor would do that first but I don’t take chances. I once had a guy refinish my hardwood floors a long time ago. I had taped shut all the heating vents (my heating contractor said to do that as the dust from wood sanding is fine and will go through the house). I came home to find that he ripped them off and said it was “good” to have it go through the heating filters to clean it out. Read him the riot act and made him put them back. On what planet is it a good idea to have sanding dust go throughout the house. Never used him again.

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  2. I have experienced that same sense of relief in times past when after days or weeks of having contractors on site we get a rare reprieve. It just feels so good not to have to work around anyone else!

    A thought on the masks at the gas station. I don’t like to touch my mask too often and take them on and off, so sometimes I just keep mine on when I’m running errands and I don’t distinguish between indoors and out. Sometimes I just can’t be bothered! I think we’ll be wearing them here in Los Angeles County for a long time yet. I almost don’t care anymore!

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  3. Our local paper published an article today that said the Omicrom outbreak here is declining, and by the end of February life will be back to normal! Ha, ha! I’ve heard that twice before, so I won’t bet the farm on that. I don’t think we’ll ever be back to normal; there is an evolving new normal. But at least it might involve being closer than six feet to someone. Maybe. Going in to work when you have a cold will hopefully not be part of the new normal. Maybe bosses will be more forward-thinking than that old way of working through any illness because the show must go on. I’m glad you had a day of your new home all to yourselves, close to your ultimate vision for it.

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  4. Status quo is always nice and coveted. Our stats are still terrible in Michigan, especially in our area where we have two large hospitals, each within five miles of my house, with federal teams helping out. I wear my mask everywhere but today it was so bitter cold, that even the FogAway and the N95 mask did not stop the fogging which turned into a frozen glaze. Sigh.

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      • Yes, it was bad yesterday, even with the spray and my eyes are bad, so I can’t take off my glasses. My eye doctor suggested getting contact lenses again, but I said I’ll stay in glasses. We were in single digits all day today and are supposed to be getting a wintry mix Tuesday night (the worst kind as the sidewalks and roads will be messed up for a long time). We’ve dodged both bullets the East Coast has suffered with, so I guess it is our turn now.

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  5. Glad you survived the kitchen remodel. Mine needs it badly, but I don’t think I can deal with it. I think I’ll just let it go until I die and the next owner can remodel. As for the weather, we have had three snowstorms this year already. One snowstorm is a rarity. It is cold again now. I give up. And people here will not wear masks. It is as if there is no pandemic. Needless to say, our state is one with the highest number of Covid cases. I’m afraid to go out, but you have to live. I avoid crowds as much as possible and have bought some N95 masks. So far we’ve been lucky.

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    • Our numbers here are coming down quickly but people are masking. I was at Starbucks and everyone had a mask on. I’m in there less than 30 seconds to pick up an app order so I usually don’t wear one. I was the odd man out.

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  6. I think it is great you are doing the ancestry search again. A good thing to recover from the re-do.
    Our numbers are finally falling again. Fingers crossed for some time to be able to dine outside and not have so much worry over being out and about. It’s COLD down in Florida… it’s crazy!

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  7. I well remember the sigh of relief when they all left and I could sleep in and have the house to myself again…..pure bliss! Maybe the cats have a new appreciation of you – as the defender from contractors!

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  8. So glad you had a peaceful day or two!! It’s got to be nice to have a break from all the peopling 🙂 Our numbers are up, so the masks are becoming more common again. I find my face is warmer outside with the mask on, so I tend to wear it outside, even though it’s not necessary.

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  9. Doesn’t it feel good to have your home to yourself?! As for masks…the virus numbers are way up here so wearing a mask is a good idea. I don’t wear one when I take my walk but always when I shop.

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  10. Okay, one question – did you stay in jammies longer that day or do you get dressed anyway because of your Starbucks trip? Yes, mask over the eyes at the gas pump is good. 🙂 I’m so happy you are so close to the finish line on your renovation. I did some genealogy work and thoroughly enjoyed it, but then wondered who’s going to look at this when I’m gone. 🙂

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    • No jammies. When I was a kid my mother didn’t let me come down without being dressed and I still have that in me. Unless I’m sick, I get dressed right away. As for genealogy work, I do it for myself and the occasional distant relative as no one in my immediate family seems to be interested.

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  11. Ah, your scene could be just five minutes up the road from us.
    Glad things are going well and the cats are getting back into a routine even if it is a new one!
    We still wear our masks and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

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  12. I wear a mask when shopping inside stores, but not when I pump gas. I ditched the gloves a long time ago, depending on hand sanitizer instead. I imagine your cats feel you owe them after what you’ve put them through these last few months. Wonder how long they’ll be needy?

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    • Until they get tired of me. I rarely use sanitizer these days unless I’m out and about for a long time. It does a number on my hands. Almost (but not quite) prefer the gloves. If I can wash my hands I prefer to do that.

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  13. When the weather is bitter cold, as it has been around these parts lately, I find that I put my mask on even just to take the trash out! It’s much less traumatic to my lungs to be breathing back in air that my body had already warmed than the cold stuff! I’m still pulling it down from my nose when I’m inside a place where no one is anywhere near me (like an empty aisle at the store) but I’ve never had a problem wearing one so until I’m convinced it is no longer offering me any protection, I’ll continue. And maybe all of those people are the gas station are just trying to keep their faces warm as well!

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  14. Vacation, indeed! I’m a big fan of quiet. When my son went back to school and my husband went to work (after what we thought was the worst of the pandemic, haha), I just wandered around the house, enjoying the silence. Filling the space. Breathing.

    Bliss.

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  15. This post looks different . . . it’s like your kitchen remodel carried over into the blog. Either that, or maybe the cats on your lap prevented you from adding your normal highlights?

    OR maybe diving down the genealogy rabbit hole is cutting into your blogging time? 😉

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    • I’ve made peace with it all. The contractor was thinking he could get the window this week but I haven’t heard anything from him. He ordered this in December (after his wife cancelled the July order) and windows take 4 months these days. If it comes to that, I’ll be ok. The kitchen looks good and is functional even with the old window catawampus in the opening and a painted backsplash..

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