I have realized that updating my coronavirus spreadsheet every day is an unconscious effort to maintain control over the situation in some small way. I continue to have the same low-level depression that pretty much everyone has this year; in me it manifests as low energy. I started the laundry last week and still haven’t finished it. Little projects that would life my spirits stay undone. I do knit every night and look forward to it as soon as I get up in the morning. Earlier in the lockdown I would review my day as I went to bed and try to remember something I accomplished that day. That was a good practice that I need to re-start. Compared to almost anyone else in the world, my lockdown experience is superior — pleasant place to be, good company, financial security, plenty of food, excellent internet access, extended family doing fine — but we all know logic is not a remedy for depression. Doing things is a remedy for me. Gotta pick a teeny project every day; baby steps.
I filed all four financial reports that were due yesterday, two for campaigns and two for political parties, and I filed them all early. I am very proud of myself for that, since I am a model procrastinator. There are 34 such reports to file in 2020, so many that I cannot remember them all — I have to have an Excel spreadsheet of the dates and reports on the bulletin board next to my computer. As I file a report I cross it off, otherwise I might not even remember that I filed that particular report. The next five are all due between July 30 and August 3, then there is a respite until the third week in September. This treasurer stuff is definitely a part-time job, but it is one I enjoy.
My book group has been meeting in a park this summer. We hadn’t met since January or February, and by June we were all itching to socialize with each other again. We each bring our own chair and our own supper, and we sit at least six feet apart. It has been glorious. Not sure what we will do when the weather turns too cold for park sitting. Maybe we can meet in the large meeting room in the new library in town; it has a capacity for 50 people, so six should be able to social distance properly.
We used to have a four-armed bird feeder hanger on the hill visible from the kitchen and dining room; we hung a hummingbird feeder, a thistle seed feeder, a suet block feeder, and a supposedly squirrel-proof feeder*. But a bear took it down one night in a hunt for a treat, and then the new septic system required rearranging the hill. We never re-installed anything. The hummingbird feeder and thistle feeder were moved to the front deck railing, but they did not seem to attract many birds. Now we have fixed that, and by “we” I mean me pointing and Smokey doing.
The hummingbird feeder was very busy in June, and when an oriole showed up one day, Smokey acquired an oriole feeder; it’s almost exactly like the one for the hummers, but has perches for the birds and a larger reservoir. The deck absolutely buzzes with hummers, and, as they prefer the oriole feeder, he took down the smaller one. He also rehung the thistle feeder, and for some reason the goldfinches came back to eat the very same seed they had ignored in previous summers**. So we have avian entertainment in the afternoons and evenings when we watch TV as the hummers, goldfinches, chickadees, and nuthatches fill their little bellies. Even a red-bellied woodpecker stopped by to see what all the excitement was about.
Then I watched this video. And got all kinds of ideas for more feeders. Yesterday Smoke hung the suet feeder, which was promptly visited by a wee red squirrel. (I didn’t even know we HAD red squirrels here.) Smoke also stocked up on black oil sunflower seed, which will go into that supposedly squirrel-proof feeder that used to hang on the four-armed post. Smokey is planning to rig something that attaches to the railing that will elevate the feeders so we have a better view of the action. This is how retirees amuse themselves...
* I don’t think any feeder is actually squirrel-proof. At least one squirrel figured out back in the day that it could curl its tail over the top of the feeder and hang from it to get at the seed without causing the perch shelf to close. Clever squirrel!
** Does this happen to anyone else? Something doesn’t work, and I try everything I can think of to fix it before asking Smokey to look at whatever it is. He touches it with one fingertip and it immediately starts working flawlessly. I used to get frustrated with this, but now I just shrug and thank him.