Whelp. I could be: making lasagna, organizing my desk supplies (currently dumped out on the floor where they’ve been living since March), finishing my side work project that I need to get done tonight, or cleaning the floor and bathrooms. All things on my list for today. As are a number of other things. But, I don’t feel like doing any of them. So, blog post!
The past month has been a whirlwind that I haven’t written about because… pandemic. So, some word vomit of the highlights:
Paul broke his clavicle. Just six days after the last entry we headed off to the Valmont Bike Park for a “low key” ride. I won’t recount the details here, but suffice it to say Paul went over a jump that should have been fine, and it very much wasn’t. He landed head/shoulder first into the dirt below. I swore loudly in front of several small children. It was all very bad. It quickly involved calling a Lyft (incredibly, someone came to us despite the end location being “the hospital”), sending Paul alone to the ER (yes, the ER, in a pandemic), and me walking both bikes 1.5mi home. Very, very thankfully, the ER was a ghost town and he was in and out in about 35 min. Five days later he had surgery at an orthopedic surgeon’s office location (no hospital trip!), and he’s been on the mend since. But the first few days were quite rough all around, especially while we waited for him to go into surgery and he just walked around the house with a seriously broken bone 😬Now he has 8 metal screws to show for it, and a nice 4.5 inch scar. Tonight’s his first night off the strong drugs, so we’ll see how that goes.
We restarted our sourdough experiments. Our levain is named Louisa and she’s doing just fine, thank you. We’ve been making plenty of bread. But also sourdough starter pizza crust, sourdough starter crackers, sourdough starter pancakes (with blueberries!), and various other snacks. Also cookies and pie. But those have nothing to do with the sourdough starter. They’re just a necessity of quarantine.
Biking. I’ve been doing a lot of it. The day after the last post we went hiking, and the trails were JAM packed. It was overwhelming, even on usually quiet trails. We haven’t been hiking since. So, biking! And less focus on elevation gain (though I’m still trying to do some climbing), and more focus on distance. This is for two reasons: 1) I kinda needed a break from climbing and I didn’t want to push too hard, and 2) I
am a competitive monster like participating in fun challenges where you can win prizes. I’ve found two challenges so far. I managed to win one (yay, gift card to my local bike shop!). And the second is ongoing for April. It’s for a great cause (registration fees go to local shops, and you compete through Strava). But I’m quietly trying VERY HARD to get into the top three folks for mileage. I don’t think I’ll make it for the month, but I *might* have made third place just for this week. I pulled out 170mi which, I will say, is more miles in a week than I’ve done in a LONG time. In fact, apparently I haven’t done that many miles since Cycle Oregon in Sept. 2016. All I did that week was ride, and I knocked out 411 miles (and have never done anything like that since, though I’d like to!). July 2019 was my next closest with 154mi. But this week I only did 9,500ft of elevation, which is about my weekly average this year. And 9,500ft of elevation feels way better of 170mi than over, say, 65mi, which is what I’ve been doing.
Masks at the grocery store and the celebration of flour: I used to like grocery shopping. I feel very grateful I have the ability to go to the grocery a couple times a week and generally buy what I need. I know that’s a privilege. And certainly I’ve had times where that wasn’t the case. But right now going to the grocery store is… a production. It now involves first putting on a mask. My lack of sewing skills or desire to actually spend time making a mask means my mask is usually several minutes in the making each time (yes, I realize I could probably save time by just making a mask but 🤷♀️). Then it involves going to the store and, if not timed well, waiting in line 6 ft behind someone in front of you to be let in. Once in, you now have to navigate around OTHER PEOPLE who may or may not believe in social distancing. Or, who do believe in it but the aisles are small and there’s a lot of us and sometimes it’s hard to make space! Which is essentially how I literally fell backwards into a shop employee a couple weeks ago. I digress. Now some stores have one way aisles, which is sort of effective. It also means when you forget something you get to do a whole little run around back up and down the aisles, which considering my watch has now decided my step goal for any given day is 3,000 steps, is maybe not a bad thing. BUT, this past trip I found two five pound bags of flour! It was like Christmas, I’m not even kidding. I’ve been looking for flour for six weeks, and we were getting really low. Sign of the times when buying flour is the highlight of the day. And then you have to bring everything home, carry it in via several trips because your partner still has a broken clavicle and it’s all in paper bags because reusables are no longer allowed, remove your mask without touching the front of it, wash your hands, wash your produce, wash your hands, put things away, wash your hands, wash your counter, wash your hands, disinfect everything else you touched, and then hopefully take a nap because the whole thing is darn exhausting. (And, again, I know how lucky I am that that’s the most tiring part of my day).
I got directly sneezed on: This was a bummer. I was having a whirlwind day to start with, and I wanted to squeeze in a bike ride. I went to get on the bike, but quickly realized my back tire was flat. No problem. I started to do a quick tire change, but I just couldn’t get the tube to reseat. Needless to say it took 50min to change my tire. That’s about 3x as long as it should have taken. I had a meeting in a hour, so I zoomed out. The ride went okay. This was before I stopped biking on the bike paths, so there were more people than I would have liked. But all in all, not bad. I was almost home, heading back to the house on the bike path. In fact, I could see the house I was so close. But there’s an area where folks who are experiencing homelessness sometimes hang – a low concrete wall that runs along one side of the path. And this day there was a guy sitting out on the wall by himself. There was a runner in front of me and a bunch of other folks in various areas making it hard to determine how to best stay away from everyone. I decided to pass the runner, slowly, while avoiding another runner coming the other way. But as I veered into the middle of the path, the guy sitting on the wall full out sneezed on me from about 2ft away. No covering his mouth, no anything. It was not a good moment. Thankfully, I’m 2 weeks passed that incident. But it was upsetting. And it was extra upsetting because I felt frustrated that I was upset by the whole thing at all. That guy is definitely having a way worse time of this than I am. It’s hard to imagine not having a safe and warm place in which to ‘shelter in place’. It’s a reminder of where we’re at. Three months ago I’m not sure I would have even noticed.
I lost Paul’s car key: Last Sunday night we were going to Safeway to get our “pick up” order that we placed the previous Tuesday. We had a confirmation email and everything. We put on masks (we assumed we have to talk to someone) and headed out. I drove (Paul’s still healing) and we used Paul’s car to give it a chance to run for a bit. We arrived, pulled into the pickup spot, and called the number on the sign. Over the next 12min we called the number 3 times with no answer. So finally we decided to go inside. Long story short, our order apparently wasn’t one of the lucky ones chosen (ie: they had too many orders and ours was cut). “But we have a confirmation email…”, “Yes, but did you get the second confirmation email?”, “…No?”. Suffice to say, no order to pick up. So, in the 10min we had before the store closed, we raced around grabbing some essentials that had been on our list. We checked out and I drove home. Paul grabbed out a couple things from the back (what he could carry with his still healing clavicle) and I grabbed everything else in one of those ‘should have probably broken this into two trips but I’m going to cut off circulation in my fingers to get all’ kind of trips. We brought it up, unpacked, washed our hands 16 times (okay, probably just four, but still) and collapsed on the couch. That was that. Except, not quite. A few days later, on Thursday, I wanted to drive to Trader Joes. It was snowing and I thought it would be quiet at the store. “Where’s the car key?” I asked, not seeing it in the usual place. “Uhhh…. you drove last. Where did you put it?”. 45min later with couch cushions upturned, bags spread out, and pockets inside out, the key was officially missing. With 10 inches of new snow, we couldn’t find it outside either. Paul dug up his spare valet key and I went off to the store. But, it’s been three days since then and the key is still missing. The snow is melting, but still no key. We did laundry, no key. We double checked all the usual places, no key. We searched the car, no key. Somewhere between the parking space and our house the key is hiding. I’ve never lost a car key, but it was such an unusual, topsy turvy evening that I can. not. remember. what happened after I got the groceries. Did I lock the car? Did I put the key back in my pocket? Did it make it in the house? No idea… Maybe one day we’ll find it in some random place (the fridge?). Until then…
I’m the opposite of bored. Here’s where I’ll end. I know some folks are going stir crazy. Or really struggling. I can’t even begin to list all the situations that people are in that are so hard. I am well aware that I have it SO good. I am employed, I can work from home, neither I nor my partner is on the front lines, I don’t have kids to homeschool, I’m not taking care of an elderly relative, etc. However, I also know a bunch of fully employed folks, like myself, who are so bored. And I get it, that’s totally personal. Everyone is dealing with this in different ways. But somehow, I’m still feeling like so much is happening. I actually would really like an extra weekend day right now to get everything I want to do finished (which, of course, includes some ‘doing nothing’). I don’t know if it’s the extra biking, or extra baking, or what. But I have so many things on my list of things to do, that I’m not sure how I would get bored anytime soon. Which I guess is a good thing…
It’s a weird world we’re living in. It feels surreal somedays. I get up every morning, look up the numbers of new cases and deaths around the world, check the updates for Colorado, and look at Twitter for the latest. I’m on Zoom with friends I haven’t spoken to in ages, which is amazing. We’re all finding a new normal I guess. I really can’t imagine what the next few months will bring.