This, that, and the other. And a contest.

We went out on Thursday to run errands. We went to…

  • The bank to make a deposit
  • The co-op for bread flour.
  • The post office for stamps and to mail a very belated Christmas present.
  • The library to return books and a DVD.
  • The village office to drop off a check.
  • The liquor store (more on that below).
  • The grocery store.
  • The dog park. (The dogs came with us on this errand run.  Oh, boy, Lady! We get to go in the car!)
  • The gas station because we cannot remember the last time gas was below $2/gallon. We paid $1.74.
  • A friend’s house to drop off  some yarn and a very belated birthday present.

At the last stop our friends brought four chairs outside — spaced six feet apart — and we had a lovely visit. As much as Smokey and I like each other, it is nice to interact with others from time to time.

Now, about that liquor store visit. You may remember that my 2019 New Year’s resolution was to try some new-to-me liquors and drinks. That resolution has continued into 2020. So far I have found that I quite like gin & tonics and brandy Manhattans. Also margaritas, but I already knew that.

I have never had to bring a list to the liquor store before.

Thank you all for your delightful responses to my Thursday games play-along! Here are the responses.

Game 1. Three things about yourself that are not true about any of my other friends.

ellend says…
I had an MRI yesterday.
I have been to a wedding in Nangjing, China (The wedding lasted all day!!)
I have been to a wedding in Kigali, Rwanda (Their wedding lasted all day too!)
Deb says…
I had my then husband committed to a mental institution (schizophrenia)
One of my sons works at google
I have 17 cousins (and love them all)
Rhonda says…
I travelled with my family’s carnival as a small child.
I’ve been to 63 countries, some more than once.
I took care of my husband while he slowly died from ALS.
I have leukemia.
Kathleen says…
1. I swam with the dolphins in Cuba. One took a shine to me and massaged my legs with his tail fin. I did Tellington Touch on this dolphin, then the dolphin rose up from the water, turned, and looked me straight in the eye.
2. I did community development work in a garbage dump in Egypt, and I slept there overnight because I wanted to see some piglets being born. I was invited to share a meal with the family. It was a large bowl of watered down tomato paste with several chopped green onions and some fresh garlic in it, and whole wheat bread for dipping. That’s all they ate for their meal!
3. I hiked to Jaguar Meadows neat the top of Mount Shasta, California and I encouraged those with me to continue on to the end. It was covered in snow. I shared my dried fruit snacks with my fellow hikers.
4. I spent a week in the Israeli desert with a group, hiking to waterholes, climbing cliffs, going through chalk caves, disturbing a group of brown desert eagles and sleeping outside under the stars which were brilliant against the dark night sky.
k says…
1. I was licked on the ear by a lorikeet.
2. I watched a guy pound a 10-penny nail up his nose, while his friend videotaped it.
3. I held my high school record for taking acid.

Game 2.  “Tell us what your pet is doing right now, but preface it with the phrase, ‘The drunk guy at the end of the bar is…”.

This sweet, pretty young gal came into the bar but got drunk. Now she is dragging her butt across the dance floor.Rhonda says…
Laurie says…
And the drunk guy at the end of the bar is rolling on his back in the sunbeam! 🙂
Carolyn says…
The drunk guy at the end of the bar is sound asleep with his tongue sticking out, all dried up.
k says…
The drunk guy at the end of the bar has quit yelling, but is whipping (her) tail around.
The drunk guy at the end of the bar is sitting in a cardboard box that is three sizes too small.
(And you made a list of things that probably weren’t true of your friends and didn’t mention kidding around with Alex Trebek?)

Game 3. Name three things you are grateful for.

ellend is grateful for…
I am grateful that the sun is shining and that I have a home where I can shelter safely.
Kat is grateful for..
The sun is shining today!! (this is a huge deal in Pittsburgh!)
10 thousand doors of January just came available from my library wait list!
Homemade Banana bread for breakfast! 🙂
Rhonda is grateful for…
My income is secure and I have all I need.
I feel good, even though my immune system is compromised. My sister, friends and neighbors look out for me.
My dogs are good company.
My boyfriend is fun, affectionate and thoughtful.
Laurie is grateful for…
The warm spring sunshine
Daffodils right outside my front door
I get to be housebound with my best friend of 41 years (my hubby). I couldn’t think of anyone I would rather go through this with!
k is grateful that…
The drunk guy is quiet – for the moment – and that the sun is shining, and that stores are making it easier for me to get in and out

Now for the fun part. In the comments, vote for your favorite item in each of the three games. The three winners will each get their choice of a skein of one of the sock yarns pictured below. (Assuming they are knitters or crocheters; if not I will dream up something else.)

Clockwise from upper left: Knitcircus Greatest of Ease, ‘Mulberry Street’; Zwerger Garn Opal Feelings; Rohrspatz & Wollmeise Pure 100% Merino Superwash, ‘Sultan’; Rohrspatz & Wollmeise Pure 100% Merino Superwash, ‘Wurzelsepp’; Rohrspatz & Wollmeise Pure 100% Merino Superwash, ‘Flussbett’; and Frog Creek Fibers fingering, unknown colorway.


Posted in Contests, Coronavirus, Miscellaneous, Yarn | Leave a comment

Friday funnies. And music.



Re-creating great works of art at home.

Samuel L. Jackson: “Stay the f*** at home!”

Let’s remember which companies acted responsibly and humanely during this pandemic and which ones did not. Happily, it appears that more companies acted positively than the other way.

He ran a marathon in his yard.

The video near the end of this article can be very helpful for all of us during quarantine.

Posted in Coronavirus, Music, YouTube | 4 Comments

Three on Thursday: let’s play some games.


We are all going a little stir-crazy about now.
How about some (hopefully) amusing games?

Game 1.

A friend posted on Facebook asking people to tell five things about themselves that (probably) were not true of any other of his friends. I think five things is too hard, so let’s go with three.


  1. I was licked by a cheetah.
  2. At my little part-time accounting job I was on a conference call with a colleague in Paris.
  3. (not gonna tell you this one, although I am considering putting it in my obituary; Smokey and Elder Son already know)



  1. He lived on an aircraft carrier twice for ten months each time.
  2. His heart stopped for eight minutes… and he lived (with minimal brain damage).
  3. He fell through the ice… and lived (with no brain damage) (Hmmm, perhaps this was related to #2?). 


Elder Son:

  1. He went snorkeling with whale sharks in the Indian Ocean.
  2. H was held up at knife point in Durban, South Africa.
  3. He was arrested at the Republican National Convention in New York City in 2004 and spent 40+ hours in Guantanamo On The Hudson sleeping on an oil- and asbestos-coated concrete floor using his shoe for a pillow.

Okay, you guys next — sing out in the comments.


Game 2.

A friend of Smokey’s posted this on Facebook: “Tell us what your pet is doing right now, but preface it with the phrase, ‘The drunk guy at the end of the bar is…”.

At Chez Kat™:

  • The drunk guy at the end of the bar is… eating from the bowl on the floor.
  • The drunk guy at the end of the bar is… sleeping next to me.
  • The drunk guy at the end of the bar is… licking his a$$.

Once again, sing out in the comments.


Game 3.

Name three things you are grateful for:

  1. That Elder Son is where he is and not in New York City doing a rotation at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens.
  2. That we have the means and resources to hunker down at home and have the means and resources to help others who are not as lucky.
  3. All of you!


Posted in Coronavirus, Silliness, Three things | 10 Comments

Unraveled Wednesday.

This is very long, but what else do you have to do? I found it fascinating.

Joining Kat and friends for an Unraveled Wednesday. Sheesh, I haven’t done one of those posts since January 8! Let’s see if I can remember what I have knitted since then.

A red hat.

A white and blue hat.

Tried to knit a Shift Cowl. The pattern kicked my butt. Maybe I will try again, who knows.

A scarf that I will finish tonight whilst watching NCIS.

Someday when I have more ambition I will post some photos. 

What have I read? What haven’t I read? Here is two-plus months of reading.

book solitude

Solitude Creek by Jeffrey Deaver. Standard FBI procedural. Recommend if that’s your bag, as it is mine. 3★.

book ajfikry

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. I listened to this several years ago and thought it okay. It was my book club’s pick and I enjoyed it more this time. It is the story of a bookstore owner who has isolated himself after his wife died, but fate has other things in mind for him. 3★.

book blowout

Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth by Rachel Maddow. A fascinating read for fans of Rachel Maddow and for those who find much to despise in the fossil fuel industry. 4★.

book chernobyl

Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster by Adam Higginbottom. OMG, this is one of the best things I have ever read. Much of the detail of what went on in April 1986 has not been told until now. Shortly after I finished it, Smokey and I watched the Chernobyl miniseries that was originally on HBO. I highly recommend both. 5★

book zero waste

Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste by Bea Johnson. Buy less, recycle more, blah blah blah. Nothing new here. 2★.

book truth

The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off!: Thoughts on Life, Love, and Rebellion by Gloria Steinem. A collection of essays. Nothing new here either. 2★.

book fever

Fever by Mary Beth Keene. The book chosen by Kym, Carole, and Bonny for their Read With Us book club. It was interesting, but I never really understood why the protagonist did the things she did. I guess I am much more of a rule-follower than she was. 3★.

book behold

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue. I listened to this one. Back here I told you about it. It gives a poignant portrait of an immigrant family that has to go back to Cameroon. 4★.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
The Murmur of Bees by by Sofía Segovia

I didn’t finish any of these. Back here I told you why.

book dangerous man

A Dangerous Man by Robert Crais. This is #18 in a series that I have never read, but it worked as a stand-alone. If you like mysteries, you will like it.  I did. 3★.

book girls

The Girls by Emma Kline. 1960s, northern California, hippies, strangeness. Kinda disturbing. 3★.

book eileen

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh. A tale of a strange young woman who become entranced by an even stranger one. Also kinda disturbing. 3★.

book power

The Power by Naomi Alderman. An interesting take on male-female power in a dystopian future. What if women had a strength advantage over men? What would that be like? How would they interact? 4★.

books sackett

Sackett’s Land by Louis L’Amour. My book club occasionally chooses an author rather than a book, and everyone chooses their own book by that author. I only read a few pages of the book because I was not really interested, but the discussion when we got together was.

book v

Evidence of V: A Novel in Fragments, Facts, and Fictions by Sheila O’Connor. A person I follow on IG recommended this very highly. It is the story pieced together by the granddaughter of a teenage girl in Minneapolis in the 1930s who aspired to be a star. It draws an unforgettable picture of what it was like to be a *fallen woman* back then. 3★.

book guardians

The Guardians by John Grisham. Grisham phoned it in for his last two or three books, but he is back on his game with this one. 3★.

book sticks

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry. Oh, my gosh, this was good! It was the March selection for the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club. It was strange, and hilarious in a delightfully underhanded kind of way. 4★.

And, in current news…

book rose gold

Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel. I got an unexpected and largely unexplained $20 credit from Amazon. I had just read about this one and added it to my Goodreads “want to read” list, so I bought it. I’m only about a quarter of the way through it and am not sure what to think yet. Stay tuned.

book splendid

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson. I am listening to this, and it is excellent. It may be hard to believe, but Larson makes this account of the year from May 1940 to May 1941 a virtual page-turner. Even knowing that Britain survived the Blitz and didn’t surrender and that the feared invasion never came did not alleviate the tension as I listened. Then the coronavirus pandemic became news, and that and the book complemented each other; they are both about catastrophes and community strength and keepin’ on keepin’ on. 5★

Posted in Coronavirus, Unraveled Wednesdays | 6 Comments

It’s Video Tuesday here in Coronaland.


Bird Song Opera. (Sorry, Vimeo will not let me embed the video here.)

“The Trump campaign seriously just issued a cease and desist for this ad so I’m doing my part and sharing it as widely as humanly possible.”

Elder Son called briefly on Sunday. He wanted his younger brother’s Social Security number because he is updating the beneficiaries on his retirement accounts. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst

Hungry hungry hippos!


Posted in Coronavirus, YouTube | 2 Comments

COVID-19 and knitters.


llama social distancing


covid hat

Coronavirus hat.

Posted in LInks knitting | 3 Comments

Blither, blather.


A friend who went south for the winter with her husband in their RV emailed me that there is one not-yet-confirmed case of coronavirus in my county. I went to the Wisconsin Department of Health website, which I keep open and pinned, and found that they no longer list the cases by county. Sheesh! I have to hear about this from someone a thousand miles away…

Re: the April 7 election in Wisconsin. From Friday’s New York Times:

Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin on Friday requested that absentee ballots be sent to every one of the state’s 3.3 million registered voters ahead of its April 7 presidential primary, the latest effort to change how elections are conducted this spring as states across the country scramble to protect voters and poll workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Evers, a Democrat, cannot send the ballots on his own; he asked the Republican-controlled Legislature to convene and approve a measure to do so. But the request represents a significant change of course by the governor, who had repeatedly said in recent weeks that the primary and other elections in Wisconsin should go ahead as planned, even as local officials begged for a delay and the number of reported coronavirus cases in the state continued to rise.

It is not clear, however, whether lawmakers will comply, how swiftly they might do so and whether ballots could be mailed to millions of Wisconsin voters quickly enough with less than two weeks before the election. Officials said Friday that they were still preparing for in-person voting at polling places by placing special orders for hand sanitizer and calling for volunteer poll workers.

From the Madison newspaper:

With lawsuits continuing to mount, Gove. Tony Evers on Friday called on the Legislature to send an absentee ballot to every registered voter in the state to minimize in-person voting during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic — a request that drew a quick rebuke from GOP leaders.

On Friday evening the Wisconsin Elections Commission approved Election Day procedures to mitigate the risks, including curbside, drive-through, and outdoor options at polling places. Procedures to limit contact between voters and poll workers also were approved.

The commission also recommended that anyone over the age of 65 and those with underlying health problems not serve as poll workers, a move that would drastically cut the already limited supply of poll workers in the the state. (Emphasis added. I no longer have to feel guilty about not working the polls.)

We talked to Elder Son today. They have had one COVID-19 case, a woman who was on dialysis. Unfortunately, she was coughing during her dialysis treatment, perhaps spreading it to others, and she had held a religious ceremony attended by a number of people. ES summarized the Zuni health center’s situation as the relative calm before the storm. Besides the patient mentioned above, they have tested five people but none were positive. They have enough PPE “for now”. They set up a tent outside ($90,000!) that will hold 20 beds, roughly doubling the size of the hospital. Besides seeing patients, he is on an emergency preparedness committee doing various research things about the virus and how best for the hospital to prepare.

Here are the sites I have pinned and that I check every day:

And because I am an accountant who believes everything is better in a spreadsheet, I have been keeping track of the number of cases.

Spreadsheet 3-29


And the only thing better than a spreadsheet… is a chart.

Chart 3-29


Yep, that looks kinda familiar…

Posted in Coronavirus | 3 Comments

Coronavirus on IG.



castaway martian

cat quarantine

dart vacation

he's in my spot

Conf call etiquette

corona going to store



llama social distancingIMG_0307


mask and gloves bank

little library



god pro-life

cooks vs drinking problem

social darwinism

oldest kid

nurses etc



house cat

Posted in Coronavirus, Instagram | 4 Comments

Networking the links.

connection social media

Neural-net candy hearts.

Living forest.

Tinamou eggs.

Octopus moves house.

Don’t make big decisions in February.

Fluff saves lives.

Magic incantations for coronavirus.

Free books! They are here.

The musical otter.

“A big sack of assholes on dinosaur legs.”

This is even scarier than the virus.

For Doctor Who fans.

Grass is greener.

Where one man sees a thresher, another sees a grain based carnival ride.”  Yeah, I had to google Ophiuchus, too.

States where you get paid to vote.

Links from Chris.


Posted in Links | 5 Comments

Where I am at.


I got a call yesterday from our township clerk asking if I was still available to be a poll worker in the upcoming April 7 election*. I was hesitant but finally agreed to work. I asked about the disinfectant procedures she plans to have, but I was less than impressed by her answers. Maybe she was feeling pressured to get the polls staffed rather than being nonchalant about spreading the virus; I hope that is the case.

The more I think about it, though, I become less and less confident that it would be okay. There are still no cases of coronavirus in our county nor in the counties to the west and east (advantage of living in a relatively sparse area) and only 4 cases in the county to the south. But it is only a matter of time until Polk County gets infected, or, probably more accurately, cases are diagnosed.

In this morning’s news sweep I read about a man in his 50s whose only underlying condition was high blood pressure. He died from the virus. Smokey and I have multiple underlying medical conditions, he more than I, and why take the chance?

I think I will call her back and quiz her some more.

Edited to add: I just made the call to decline to work. Listening to that inner voice that said it was too dangerous.

Ways to help — an off-the-top of my head list:

  • Donate to your local food shelf.
  • Donate to your local Salvation Army.
  • File your taxes now instead of waiting until July. States will need that April revenue bump to keep doing what they need to do during this crisis, and sales tax receipts are way down.s?
  • Keep checking in with friends, particularly those who may be at higher risk.

Have you seen news coverage about Elmhurst Hospital in Queens? Elder Son did rotations there during medical school. I remember him telling us that the area surrounding the hospital was the ethnically diverse square mile in the US (maybe the world?).

How about a video of some sheep?

Take a roller coaster ride down a Swiss mountain.

Nextdoor, the social network known for sniping neighbors and obsessive concern about package theft, is helping neighbors be neighborly during this pandemic.

Not all the elderly are dying.

“More than half a million people responded to the UK government’s call to become a volunteer for the National Health Service.”

3-D printers to the rescue!

Cautious optimism mixed with dread in Washington state.

Protecting and empowering your family during the crisis.

A St Paul neighborhood exercises together every day.

Let’s end on another high note, ‘kay?


* In Wisconsin the spring election is when we elect people to *non-partisan* offices — state supreme court, county board of supervisors, school boards, city, village, and township offices. While those races may have been non-partisan back in the day, that is no longer the case. Now candidates are fully identified as conservative or liberal, although there is no party designation. Some candidates go so far as to refuse help from political parties, trying to maintain the illusion of non-partisanship. That is not necessarily a good course of action, given 2019’s supreme court race, where the liberal candidate distanced herself from any party beginning with D… and she lost.

Posted in Coronavirus | 7 Comments