Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, May 15, 2020

I haven't been good about

writing lately. I have meant to blog and just haven't. I'm home again on my week off due to COVID-19. Most people are starting back at work on Monday, but because of my diabetes and asthma I am in the vulnerable category, so I'll be going back full-time on June 1st. That means I'll go back the 20th-26th (but of course Memorial Day is a holiday), then be off for three days, and then back for good, so long as things don't change with a spike or anything.

Kentucky is doing pretty well about opening slowly.  We've been at a plateau, even decline, and testing has ramped up significantly better than it was even a month ago.

The last two days of being off I haven't done much, as I've just felt a little blah. I'm having horrible nightmares at night, too.  So I guess that's from anxiety.  Today was better.  I:

  1. Went to Kroger [masked] to get some soda (so I do actually have some caffeine in my system, which has been part of the problem and a few things we needed.  I looked for disinfecting wipes without success but found the Kroger version of the multi-purpose cleaner that has similar disinfecting properties that can be used with paper towels.  Everything I bring into the house gets disinfected if it can be, you see, along with my keys, the door, etc.
  2. Went to Fresh Market [also masked, of course] to get a couple of loaves of challah.  Here's the story behind that.  So last week I had gone back to work on Wednesday and Thursday and I'd been pretty busy, all things considered.  Plus we had worked on a couple of projects at home, and in it all, I'd forgotten to make bread for Sabbath, something I remembered early Friday morning as I dressed for work.  After work, I ran to Fresh Market to at the very least try to find a couple of brioche loaves, but they did have challah, nicely braided, and I was saved.  Fast forward to this week.  This week I was determined I would not have an ADHD moment and so on Wednesday I was going to do my regular chores like dishes and cat boxes, but definitely went to to the bread first.  I got the bread maker down and looked inside, and there was no paddle (kneading blade).  None.  And then I remembered.  The last time I'd made bread, two weeks before, it had not done well.  My bread comes out pretty evenly decent, but occasionally I get one that doesn't rise well and doesn't even mix right.  The one I got was a little square with lots of flour in the bottom, and not suitable for human (or even dog) consumption, so I threw it away.  Rarely, with this machine, the paddle stays in the bread.  I never checked.  Never thought.  Just chucked the sad bread and went on with what I'd made already.  Hence, I threw away the paddle something like two weeks ago.  It's in a landfill, irretrievable.  So I went online and found a suitable replacement (it says it will fit my model) from a storefront on eCrater (I'd never heard of them).  Anyway, it's ordered, so it should be here in about a week, but hasn't shipped yet, and we needed challah in the short term, so Fresh Market was the place to go, and I got their last two loaves.  (It was $10 for two loaves of bread, but the paddle itself was $20 and if it works, will get me back to making loaves cheaply).  In recent weeks I have found bread flour with difficulty and the help of co-workers, ordered instant yeast from Amazon (a whole pound), and generally have had to work hard at getting what I need for the bread. But I was all set, and then no paddle. :(  Oh, and instant yeast is apparently different from active dry yeast in that active dry yeast has some ascorbic acid in it.  I have a loaf booster I use for wheat bread that has that in it, so I'm going to use that when I can bake again.  The booster has soy lecithin and ginger in it, too.  Anyway, that's the bread saga.
  3. I came home, caffeinated, and had some cereal I'd gotten.  Then I went to be tested through a drive-through testing site for COVID-19 here in Lexington at Walgreens on Executive Dr near Hamburg.  It was well done.  None of my things--ID, etc. ever left the car.  A cart with the swab in a bleached box was placed near me so I could take out the swab (in its wrapper), swab each nostril for at least 3 seconds, replace the swab in the wrapper, and put it back in the box, where it was wheeled away after things were explained further to me.  All the people working there had gloves and masks, and my window remained up except when they were talking to me, whereupon they asked me to just roll it down for an inch or two so I could hear them.  The only time my window was down completely was to get the swab and replace it in the box, and they stood way back. I should know by tomorrow but most people get an e-mail by 8 pm the night they take the test. I'm self-quarantining (that's why I got my stuff prior to that, which yes, might be bad I guess if I am positive, but I am asymptomatic, and really got it primarily in anticipating going back to work, as they'd asked us to.
  4. Since I've been home I've swept and mopped the kitchen and bath and cleaned two of my masks and my roommate's mask.
It's a gorgeous day with a nice breeze. We have the windows open.  The dog has been outside most of the day as she has wanted to stay out, electing to go lie down in the grass and sunbathe.  We check periodically to see if she wants to come in to get some water or anything, but she hasn't wanted to.

We have a new member of the family, though, a male dog my roommate adopted on Sunday.  He's a chocolate Labrador mix, also probably with a little Pit Bull given his head.  His eyes are a beautiful honey colour, whereas the other, who is also the same mix, is blonde with dark eyes.  He looks for all the world like a chocolate Lab puppy, smaller than her, although he's about two years old per the humane society.  He's brought out the maternal in her, and they've gotten along well, although despite being fixed he has tried to mount her a bit and she's discouraged him strongly.  She's much calmer in general though.  He also plays with the kitten, who is now 14 lbs and is rougher than the other with him, so we're keeping an eye on things.  He has tried to play with the older cat and discovered that that is not a good idea.  He loves comfort.  He came from an abusive situation and has a couple of scars.  But he seems really gentle and also seems really happy here.  He has chewed the head off of a stuffed mousie that is the kitten's, and is totally not interested in balls, although the Nylabone was appreciated.  Neither dog understands they are part retriever, but he is fascinated with birds and chases them.  I do think he's had soft stuffed toys, though, so I'm keeping my teddy bear up, as he seemed very interested in that.

So there are two people, two cats, and two dogs in the house.  Everyone seems to be doing pretty well with one another.

So I've got the weekend and then Monday and Tuesday before I go back this time.  I'm going to try to stay caffeinated so I'm actually productive.  And yes, I'm going to try to remember to write.

Hope you are having a good week.  I'll sign off for now. :)

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