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.

Construction Continues, but Provides this Boost

I was worried that the construction company was going to tape over all the windows and leave them for weeks, but I worried for nothing. They did one side of the building at a time, and the windows were only covered for one day.

One interesting part of this process was that I learned there is a roller-type tool that is utilized to stick the blue tape on. With that tool, it was a very fast process.

And then, one morning they were painting just as the sun was coming up and I got this silhouette.

Old Photos

It seems strange to call these old, as they are pictures from when I was little and they are in color, but considering Ronald Reagan was president when they were taken, they are old.

That’s me wearing my mother’s Queen of the May dress that her mother made for her. I love the springy daffodil background. Choosing the background was my favorite part of getting my picture taken. A quick pull on this flower background and it would retract. Then you could choose a different one, like a snow scene, or a solid color. (Boring!)

Thank goodness I grew my hair out after this. I don’t love that bowl cut.

And here’s my brother. He wouldn’t consent to dressing in these types of clothing for much longer. But he looks so going-to-church.

Where do kids get their pictures taken now a days? I’m guessing not at Sears or J.C. Penny.

Hold the phones Edna! You can get your pictures taken at J.C. Penny! They even have themes. You can even get office head shots taken there. That’s the only place, though. Sears, Target, and Wal-Mart have all closed their portrait studios in the last decade. K-Mart closed theirs long ago.

New Phone! Google Pixel 3a

I made the switch from Virgin Mobile to Google FI. Both plans are similar: low monthly cost and you buy your own phone. Google FI has a variable rate for data and I might be able to lower my monthly charge slightly.

On the left, the new phone. On the right, the old phone.

I gave my usual three-minute search for a case. The new case (left) isn’t as good as the old one.

We shall see what the Google Pixel has in store for me.