Vintage Photos of Me

With my birthday card, my mom sent along this picture of me with my Easter basket. When I posted it on social media, more than one person commented that they lived in a house with that exact same fireplace.

My Aunt Carol sent along these two phots from when we visited Molokai. I think that’s my Aunt Pat (since the photos came from Carol, I’m guessing she was behind the camera?) me, and my brother dodging the waves.

And here we are running into them. (Except Chris, who was still in dodging mode.) Molokai had the best waves.

That was a fun birthday surprise.

Standing in Line for Ikea.

I drove to Ikea last week, but they were closed due to smoke. (That smoke was intense.) As you can see, the smoke has cleared, so now it was time to take part in another 2020 thing: standing in line to go into a store.

Kind of like waiting in line for a roller coaster, but with more space and no discombobulation due to testing physics. Ikea had a clearly marked path to get into their building. I made four turns while making my way through the line. Luckily Ikea is a big enough store that the line moved at a steady clip.

On Hold Since March

Back in March, I made a special Friday trip to grab my holds. My weekend had cleared and I wanted to have books and movies to tide me over. There was one book that had arrived, but it wasn’t with the other books on the shelf.

“Oh well,” I said to myself. “I’ll grab it on Monday.” Monday was my usual hold pickup day.

I did not grab it on Monday.

The libraries shut down along with everything else and it was about three months before I could bring this book home.

To do that I had to make a phone call, sit on hold, and arrange a day and time for pickup.

Pandemic fun!

I enjoyed the book, by the way.

Unemployment Checks Arrive!

What I learned today: when the state needs to pay out seven weeks of unemployment at once it does not issue one check. It issues seven checks.

And when the state has to pay an additional $600 a week due to enhanced unemployment benefits, they do not issue one check for those seven weeks, or combine it with the normal unemployment.

No, when you get seven weeks of benefits, fourteen checks arrive in the mail on the same day.

And then, you get to take a very happy trip to the bank!

The checks wouldn’t have come on this day without the help of AmyBeth, Speaker Kotek’s legislative aide. She was invaluable at giving me information about the process, telling me about a trick (calling rural unemployment departments) and putting me on Speaker Kotek’s coronovirus-specific mailing list.

I really appreciate the help of my representative, her staff, and the people of the Canyon City unemployment department, especially Sunshine, who used the Big Post-It Method to ensure someone called me back.

After this first run of checks, my weekly benefit will be deposited electronically into my bank account.

Signs of the Times at the Grocery Story

Bulk food! We can still use the bins that dispense, but they’ve cleared out the bins where we dig for things. Also, they’ve shut down the bulk spices which is a big deal in my world. The WinCo bulk spices section gets a lot of use by me.

Fred Meyer doesn’t want people sitting on their display couches. I suspect they’ve never liked people sitting on their display couches and this provided a convenient excuse.

Whoever owns Plexiglas must be making a fortune right now. Here we have barriers at all check stands at Fred Meyer. Also, in the background, one of my favorite checkers.

My Workstation Through the End of the Month

Though my job will end, there is still work to do. My computer is a laptop, but in order to be efficient with my work I use two additional monitors, plus a full-sized keyboard and a wired mouse. I hauled all those things home, plus my office chair.

Then, to get my keyboard to the correct height I propped up the dining room table on some bed lifter things I got from Ikea years ago.

When I’m done with work for the day Matt and I lift up the table and kick aside the supports, then gently set the whole operation down.

Hauling Home the Things

Yesterday, we were told that due to the pandemic, the entire office would be laid off at the end of the month. In the meantime, we would be working from home. I’d already brought things home, but I went back to grab all those personal items that live at work. Here’s my thermos I put my tea in each morning (so I can get more tea out of one tea bag) my water bottle, my shrug, and a picture of Portland that Sara sent me.

I’ve also got my work laptop in that bag. I think it was because I went in to write checks, so I had to haul it there and then back home again.

So Begins the Fourth Generation of the Five-Year Diary

I can recall once in high school realizing a skirt I owned was four years old! As evidenced by the italics and the exclamation point this was an amazing realization.

I think of that moment with a chuckle as I put on clothing that is five or ten years old. And so things accumulate as life goes on.

My five-year journals have been like that. I started in 2005, morphing a daily journal into my own five-year journal. And I’ve kept going for fifteen years now.

I don’t write every day. But I do write regularly.

The first year is its own year. I can’t see what’s come before. But starting the second year, and continuing through year five, I can see what I’ve been up to. Often Matt will hear at journal writing time: Did you know that three years ago we started square dancing lessons?

It’s nice to look back in five year segments. These journals have now taken me through four jobs and two houses.