Everything is breaking in our house. Including our Subaru, which was driven in six states in the past three months and has 150,000 miles. The toilet in our bedroom bathroom started leaking and has trashed the wood floor around it. We were planning on redoing that bathroom in three years — after we checked off other items on the home repair list — not now. Our downstairs, which was ruined by a backup in the sewer pipe, is still being put back together.
In short, lots of shopping is happening around here. Some of these expenses are being covered by insurance money. Other expenses are not. But let’s not talk about unpleasant business like money. Let’s talk about cute things.
I need some new fall shoes. A pair or two for practical trips around town, and something cute for a girls‘ trip to wineries on Long Island next week. My favorite way to shop for shoes is to get ideas from the Garnet Hill website, but I might buy them on Amazon to use up some gift cards.
We’re moving furniture around. The living room sectional was moved downstairs to the new media/homework room. So, we bought a new sofa from the living room and a new media console for downstairs. (It’s all 25% off now.)
Stores have adjusted to the pandemic dressing environment by selling a lot more sweats and comfy t-shirts. I bought a bunch of everyday shirts and masks from Old Navy last week, and I actually love all of them. These joggers from the Banana Republic Factory were surprisingly flattering.
Our $14 IKEA chairs in the dining room are falling apart. Not a shocker. So, we’re rehabbing a solid set from the 1930s. Steve glued joints this weekend. Then we’ll give them a quick sand and paint them with Farrow and Ball paint. After I finish this post, I’ll get new seats made at Calico Corner. These are the before pictures.
I’m in between articles, so I’ve been using the time to buy and sell books. I’m looking forward to checking out this estate sale this weekend.
And I’ve been doing lots of cooking. Yesterday, we cooked up pork, potatoes, and lots of veggies for 11 family members. The picture up top was from yesterday. More pictures on my Instagram.
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We hosted family for take out on Monday. It was good. No cooking though and still not comfortable serving food from common container, though I’m not really sure why. Say if everyone served themselves it should be fine.
Our local public radio had one of their reporters (who was sick for 8 weeks with COVID) try to track her exposure. Her candidates were husband, dog, surfaces, air, because she had done nothing when she caught the virus. Husband had repeatedly tested negative and she was told that dog, surfaces, and air (during a walk) were unlikely. Frustrating indeed. I’m thinking asymptomic transmission from spouse, but who knows?
The pork looks good. I’ve never tried that big of a piece of meat on the grill yet.
I’ve done nicely using sous vide to bring it to internal temp, then grill for crust.
Laura wrote, “Stores have adjusted to the pandemic dressing environment by selling a lot more sweats and comfy t-shirts.”
Landsend recently had a big catalog section on “comfy.” They also had a page devoted to women’s blouses that look dressy on video that you can, they suggest, pair with comfy bottoms that nobody will be able to see.
The estate sale link leads to a site listing estate sales across the country.
Some of the sales make me unreasonably sad. It’s a small glimpse into someone else’s life. I feel an urge to declutter at home. What would (will) our belongings look like, if presented in this fashion?
At least we don’t have legions of dolls, gazing emptily out of the frame. Nor, um, literal baskets of dirty laundry.
The books are the best part.
I’ve had two email bounce-backs trying to reply to your emails. It’s the weirdest thing.
Yes. What makes me most sad are family photo albums for sale.
Laura tweeted, “Schools that have safely opened and three weeks in are virus-free are totally fascinating. I want to hear about what they’re doing right. Much more interesting than another article about frat parties gone wrong. Thanks!”
Our PK-12 private school is finishing up its 4th week of in-person instruction now. There was one case of a 3rd grader getting COVID that sent the whole class remote for two weeks, but other than that, I’ve heard nothing. My BFF’s private school had a 1st grade teacher and aide get sick (also sending the whole class remote) very early in the school year, but that’s all that I’ve heard.
Especially in the elementary environment, it may not be necessary to shut down a whole school if one or two people get sick.
We yanked our 10th grader out of PE because his descriptions of PE arrangements made us uncomfortable, especially the boys working out with no masks in a small, poorly ventilated weight room and the boys taking off their masks in the locker room. School has decided to not require masks during physical activity, which I’m fine with, but I think you need to pair that with making sure that the physical activity happens outside or in a large indoor space and that the kids keep their masks on in locker rooms. Our 10th grader really wants to go back to PE, and I’ve told him that we will put him back in PE once the county positivity hits 5% (it’s around 11% right now). I have a lot of personal plans for when county positivity gets down to 5%…A bunch of the 10th grader’s classmates started remote but have come back to school now.
I suspect that being a smaller school helps a lot.
The county has gone from having one active case for every 120 or so people to one active case for every 475 residents. A lot of the public schools are opening in-person this week, so fingers crossed.
Hometown U. had a nasty surge during the first week of class, but Hometown U. is doing wastewater monitoring, random surveillance testing, contact tracing and locking down the sick/quarantined kids (I’m not sure how tightly), and there’s been a significant decline in active cases. After about 5% of the student body getting sick between Aug. 1 and now, we’re now at the point where the surveillance testing has found nothing twice in a row and about 1 person in 1000 on campus gets a positive per day–a fraction of what was happening during the first week of class. (All of this is approximate, because they don’t break out students from the larger campus community.) The total active cases on campus are less than half of what they were at peak, which was Thursday Sept. 3. Hometown U. says that there has been no classroom transmission.
In the weeks before class started at Hometown U., there was some very obvious mixing and mingling going on–hence the big case load in the first week of class. Paradoxically, I think that the start of class helped Hometown U. get a handle on the kids.
A few of our private schools have opened for the youngest kids and we’re starting to hear metrics for other schools planning openings with <50/100K/14 days in the county. We hit 65/100K/2 weeks this week, but are waiting for potential Labor day issues.
I don't know what the active case number is — our metrics are cases/100K & positivity. Our positivity has now been regularly under 5%, aiming for < 2% and seem to be getting there. We've been taken of some states quarantine lists (Massachusetts, for example).
This article at Grown & Flown was positive about Massachusetts colleges planning for reopening: https://grownandflown.com/good-news-some-colleges-return-campus-successfully/
On the other hand, U Illinois Urbana's best laid plans seem to have struggled.
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