Oh January

Omicron is running rampant. I looked at the NY Times COVID map yesterday and nearly every state is brick red or purple. That’s not good. We made plans back in the summer to go to Key West at the end of January/beginning of February and I’m very pessimistic about our chances.

We are finally getting rid of the Christmas decorations around here. I’ve been slowly putting things away, but the tree goes today and we’re taking down the lights on the garage. The garage wasn’t going to be any sooner since we had snow a couple of days ago. Now that it is mostly gone we can wrap this thing up.

I’m helping my parents next Friday; she’s having knee surgery so I’ve stopped contact with the world. We went to the grocery store on Wednesday and now we’re done until after next Friday. I’m very lucky to be able to say and do something like this. My next scheduled day back in the office is the 19th. After that, I’m still not sure what I’ll be doing as far as heading back into the building. My set-up at home works just fine as it did for the last year and a half?, two years?, decade?

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Christmas Time Was Here

On the whole, our Christmas was very nice. We spent time with what I will call the cool kids on the better-half side of the family. It was a smaller gathering than usual because of COVID and the passage of time. It’s natural that such a large family would splinter and do their own things once grand-kids start having kids. COVID loomed large not just because of the new variant, but because there are some people who are anti-vax. So those nuts were not invited. I am totally fine with the host’s decision on that. The world is full of angsty madness right now and I do not need to be trapped in a house arguing with people who will never hear the voice of science and reason. To be fair, there are old arguments going as well that I give zero fucks about. Let it go, people. Protect your mental health.

We also saw my family for Christmas breakfast and then at our house for dinner. We had a good time all around and I was happy a friend of ours could join us for dinner. She brought mac and cheese and it was pretty darn good. Friends with mac and cheese? Thumbs up all the way.

We celebrated Boxing Day by napping (him) and finishing a book (me). Then we watched the new Matrix movie. We both enjoyed and I reflected on how we watched Wonder Woman last year on Christmas and it wasn’t as much fun as the Matrix movie this year. I guess you can’t have everything all at once? But, you can have popcorn and beer on the couch while watching thousands of bullets barely kill anyone. In the opening segment of the movie, we commented about no one got to be a better shot in the last 20 years of the Matrix universe.

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Coming into the home stretch

I don’t know what burned out feels like, but I may be close to it. Instead of blaming the never ending pandemic, being back in the office full-time while worrying about area COVID numbers, managing a team that is mostly remote and figuring out how to continue doing the impossible, maybe I should just blame this feeling on not sleeping well for the last week. One night the FitBit just said it couldn’t even calculate a sleep score for me because there was so little sleep. Dang.

I know this will pass because I occasionally go through these periods of little sleep. Of course, it would likely help if it weren’t in the 70s with humidity so high our towels don’t quite dry in the mid-December time period. I think my body and my brain are confused. Climate change is real. Trust science.

We are having a small gathering tonight, only five of us. We’ll be running the air filter and perhaps crack the door to the porch. Four of us have been boosted and I’m not sure about the fifth. It’s been a lot this year for all of us. So it is nice to head into the end of this year by hanging out together.

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Appropriate Weather

It’s the middle of November and it finally feels like it here in central Virginia. Yesterday, I swapped out my dresser drawers subbing in sweaters for my t-shirts and shorts. As I said to the better-half yesterday, people drive to the mountains to look at the leaves changing color, but we don’t have to do that. The neighborhood was amazing yesterday with the oaks and maples putting on a show for the Richmond Marathoners.

Last week, our CEO gave my team a shout out during his town hall. I ran up the back stairs and knocked on his door to thank him. We’re a small enough organization and the building was running on mostly empty so I felt fine with doing that. I told him how much that meant since we’ve really been trying to build ourselves out and up. I’m glad people are noticing all the work we’ve been putting in.

I don’t have a clever way to tie these two paragraphs together so bye :)

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She was pretty special

The better-half’s aunt died a week ago and we went to her memorial service on Saturday. It was a nice day and the church is small so they set up tables outside. Because, there was a lot of food afterwards which made the service very fitting. She brought people together and I think she would have had a great time at her own service.

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Ho Hum

It was rainy and overcast this weekend so we did not go to the Richmond Folk Festival. We should have braved it because the only item of note this weekend was washing our outdoor cushion covers. Yeah, boy. The fun never ends over here.

I think our immediate next door neighbors are 90% complete with their new patio so we have no more concrete saw noises to look forward to, but the house two doors down is being renovated so that noise keeps on keeping on. I know this is a sign of normalcy, but working from home and listening to the process is not that great. Actually, the reno isn’t too bad. That freaking concrete saw or whatever–they are having large stones, slate or some other hard surface put in–it doesn’t matter because it is loud, dusty and awful and was for the birds.

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September, we hardly knew you

Here we are at the end of September. I don’t know what happened to the month.

We went to our first concert since January of 2020 and it was so nice to have big sound wash over us. The outdoor venue was about half filled and where we sat people didn’t sit right next to people they didn’t know. We all had to provide proof of vaccine or a recent negative test result. We have another show in November that’s indoors. We’ll see about that one. It makes me nervous, but at some point, we have to figure out a way forward.

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Nice View If You Can Get It

The condo is straight out of the 80s but the view can’t be beat.

We are close enough to the harbor that we get to see all the ferry traffic. There are a bunch of baby stingrays, some crabs, and small fish hiding in the grasses in our part of the sound. It’s incredibly shallow until it is suddenly deep and that’s the channel used by boats and the ferries.

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Pretty good weekend

Yesterday we helped a friend of mine from work move a huge dresser out of her house and over to Rick’s aunt’s thrift store (his aunt’s church runs a thrift store as part of their community mission). Then we picked up end tables and a smaller dresser and helped her get those into her house. Finally, we went for one beer at a local brewery which turned into 3 beers and the best time hanging out. I really thought we’d be a couple of hours and it turned into an afternoon. It was also hot and humid and our truck has no air conditioning so we enjoyed the heck out of the A/C at the brewery.

Today we were up early to see this exhibit at the VMFA. I’m proud of our museum as it stands up against other museums in much larger cities.

And, to round out the totally local scene. We took a bunch of gift cards to our closest Lowe’s so I could buy a new weed eater and ran into a couple we really like. Well, to be fair, I work with one of them, but we’ve had dinner together so I think I can say we really like them.

***The bathing suit order from LL Bean arrived in time for vacay!***

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Bye, July

Somehow, it is the first day of August. Which means 27 days until vacation. As usual, I find myself in a weird spot of being halfway through the year and I’ve taken about 6 hours of vacation all year. There’s something wrong with me. So, I’m taking this coming Friday off just because.

With the thought of going on vacation only a few weeks away, I pulled out the pile of swim suits. It dawned on me that I don’t think I’ve purchased a swim outfit since before 2013. I threw all of the pieces away and am betting on backorder at LL Bean. I will sit on the beach and go in the water. We’ll see what I end up wearing come the last week of August. The beach is spacious, not populated and I DO NOT CARE. A woman in her 50s has very little fucks to give.

With the Delta Variant, we’re wondering if we’ll be hauling the big cooler to the beach again this year since restaurants may shut down and we’ll be on takeout or buying supplies at the local fish market. Either way is fine. Honestly, just being able to jump in the car and 5-6 hours later being at the beach is a privilege. I’m aware we are lucky to be able to do that and to pay someone to pet sit while we’re gone. We are fortunate. You can bet I’m prepared with images of our vaccination cards in my phone and masks in my bag. Speaking of protection, I do need to buy some sun screen.

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