~thankful thursday~ a time to refrain from embracing


Saturday 3-28 In between posts about “arm yourselves” and “protect your 2nd amendment rights,” last night there was a post about how the police of my hometown (including guys I went to school with) had a standoff with a guy who had 500 rounds in his house, across the street from one of my brother’s good friends. The post was by the friend, who was hiding in a corner of his house fearing stray bullets. One officer was shot, but this morning he was giving the thumbs up from the hospital and our friend had made it through the ordeal safely. Praying the officer is protected from the virus while protecting my town from those whose second amendment rights feel like the only things that are really safe.

Fedex delivered my purple asparagus crowns that I pre-ordered in February, and I have to decide where to plant them. I am grateful to have started 2020 with some gardening goals.

Rich is working this morning and I’m not, which is unusual for a Saturday. Grateful for his steady job. Everything about him is so steady, actually.

Alberta succumbed to world domination, so Quinn and I finished our hour-long phone call with a couple logic puzzles. Quinn’s paleontology camp director has sent out feelers for a lecture series delivered by zoom, and I plan to have him watch them for quull school.

I had a tearful moment watching video of the whole city of New York applauding health care workers at the 7pm shift change.

Turn turn turn sung by Dolly Parton made my evening. A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing… to everything… there is a season…

~meme of the day~

“This is the dude. The dude is not panicking. the dude does not get uptight. The dude is not buying in bulk. The dude takes it easy. The dude is not arming himself. The dude does no harm. The dude is staying home in his own private residence man. The dude abides. Be the dude.”


Sunday 3-29 I couldn’t sleep in on the one day I could have, and finally got out of bed around 6.

I made a big breakfast, and we had a mellow morning. In the afternoon I sat in the trout lily patch for an hour with my camera to see if a hummingbird would visit again.

So much is so serious. Especially when I’m in a New York state of mind. Real people close to people I know are very sick or have died and it is heartbreaking. I am feeling very scared this evening after talking to my mom, hearing my dad has “a husky voice, but it’s nothing to do with coronavirus.” I couldn’t breathe very well. I went back down to the trout lilies one more time and sat there for another hour to listen to the birds and feel the wind and watch the flowers sway in the breeze. It took a while but my breathing went back to normal.

Climbed into Rich’s recliner with him to listen to Dave Grohl play there goes my hero from his home studio. Then Rich serenaded me with Lukas Nelson playing to make you feel my love.

~3-29 gratitude~

Rich and I have both been wearing our new t-shirts from the 50th anniversary of the Oregon Country fair last year, which feature hummingbird art. It reminded him of his hummingbird encounter and he retold the story. His cat Spot brought him a hummingbird that was still alive but its legs were tangled up in spider webs. He worked hard to pick off all of the bits of web, trying not to hurt the hummingbird while doing so, and when he was done it was very still. So he held it on the palm of his hand, marveling at the colors of its feathers, and then suddenly it was off his hand and in the air, hovering in front of him, saying thank you. It came and visited him at some point later that same day to thank him once more.

I had my own hummingbird brought to me by my baby kitty one time as well, and held it in my hand just the same way, holding my own breath as I watched its tiny rib cage heaving, unsure if it was able to fly. Then zip! Up it went, and just like Rich’s, it hovered nearby briefly before zooming away.

Tiny hearts beating inside tiny ribcages heaving to catch their breath but being pressed down upon by the jaws of this threatening time is a metaphor that feels relatable… but so is holding hope in the palm of my hand that we will rise, set free to fly again, to joyfully spring forth into the world. I am grateful for hope and hummingbirds, the things with feathers, today.


Monday 3-30 Quull school starts today and I think it will mean an extra hangout later in the afternoon to touch base on how his school day goes.The best thing ever is he is so prompt every day for our hangouts call at noon and they are always over an hour long. He is accessing it through his own email which he is truly in control of now that he is 13 and he is getting so grown and these are all such good skills for him to be acquiring, showing up on time for meetings and screensharing.

fibonacci spiral with nets; we’re math doodling together

More internet one-sided arguments about constitutional rights, government overreach, whether our December colds were Coronavirus… OHSU health workers are testing positive for the virus.

~3-30 gratitude~

It has been noted that in a time of crisis, we have relied heavily on the arts to get us through. Today I am grateful for music. I listened over and over to Mirko and Valerio the twelve-year-old Italian twins who played Coldplay’s Viva la vida in their quarantined home. It really made me smile. The Rainbow Girls sang Angel from Montgomery, and a lot of other John Prine songs have been making the rounds as the singer songwriter fights for his life. Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell have been playing every night live, and that has been a nice part of our quarantine routine. They are all wearing sunglasses tonight. They are Amanda’s trademark but also I can tell there have been tears.

~meme of the day~

Chronologically beset memes have transitioned from uncertainty about day of the week to the duration of this month. “In case anyone forgot what day it is, today is March 97th.” “30 days hath September, April, June, and November, all the rest have 31, except March which has 8000.” “This was a pretty big leap year – February had 29 days and March was five years long.”

~Tuesday 3-31 timeline/gratitude~

Speaking of how we’re leaning on the artists, I am also grateful for writers. As I am thinking ahead to posting a thankful Thursday on 4/2 i read rarasaur’s blog post soft voiced and this quote resonated

“In my perfect world, Rarasaur blog is a dinner table full of food, a place of nourishment. If there is wine here at all, it is for the celebrating, not the aching, not the barding of aches. Here, I want to talk about the harvest. I want to say soft-voiced grace and have it reach the furthest chair. I want to lean forward, elbows on the table, and just, look at you.

Just look at you.

You’re so beautiful.

When I’m ready to leave, I want to be full.”

I drove into Newport to pick up Rich’s birthday present painting at 8 am and an incredibly bright rainbow appeared that accompanied me along the highway for a mile or more. It was so bright I could see its end down by the horse barn and sitka spring farms, and on the other side in the swamp. The painting is amazing, and it felt good to support an artist friend, especially right now. I paid via paypal for it and I picked it up off her front porch – no contact birthday shopping.

Then I was going to drop off the rent check but the bank drive-through wasn’t open yet so I drove down the coast to scope out if any beaches or waysides were open so that I could walk with Quinn on the beach on Friday. Almost none were, and even one out of the way favorite spot had some of its parking blocked, but the one closest to the highway was unblocked and there was one space available for me so I parked and got out on the beach for a few minutes. This was needed. Somewhere near lost creek a pair of bald eagles was circling above 101, and they were still there when I was driving back north again. A rainbow/eagle blessing felt fitting for my husband’s 50th birthday present.

I dropped off the rent; after handling the tube I touched nothing but my hand sanitizer and only after that rolled up the window and put the car back in gear. When I got home, I sprayed isopropyl on all knobs and handles I had touched on my way inside, and sprayed down the outside of my hand sanitizer for good measure. Seems circular, and yet does not feel like overkill.

I measured egg diameters all day, while enjoying a tilt parenting podcast on executive function during a pandemic. I had video calls with Quinn at noon and four. His schedule is coming along and gaining lots more detail. On our first call we got him set up to use zoom for his paleontology lectures. On our second call he told me about geometric morphometrics, which he explained very eloquently. I know he found that area of study quite intriguing – math plus fossils.

On our mailbox date, Rich and I received our pre-ordered Pearl jam album Gigaton. Happy birthday to us both! And then we walked to the bayou and had yet another hail rainbow vista.

~Wednesday 4-1 timeline/gratitude~

The Age of March has ended.

Teleworking rhythm established, phone check-in with my therapist friend, placed order for birthday dessert from Arr place, ordered GTF VSA box for next week (week four box… wow. Four.) Sent Sifu a check, a friend’s 84-year-old mom a birthday card.

Q sent me a photo of his organized resistors for making a foot pedal for his dad’s guitar. “Electronics day 1” was his caption. This is something he’s interested in, without being interested in playing guitar, just for the electronics learning. So quull.

Sewed my first facemask.

Talking with Rich about what we want to keep doing vs going back to normal fully. The obtaining of food from people in our near vicinity feels so good, the intentional spending of our dollars on goods we feel so good about supporting; let’s keep doing that. We are reflecting on how this time provides an opportunity to take stock, be intentional, choose what to embrace and what to refrain from embracing as a wider variety of choices open back up again after all being retracted for a time. I am feeling grateful for the meaning that can be found even in this difficult time.

~Meme of the day~

John Cusack holding up the boombox in Say Anything, playing In Your Eyes. “Gen X. Expressing love from a responsible distance since 1980.” Tied with the Pacman version of going to the grocery store. “Avoid everyone, get the fruit, and take any route to avoid contact.

~Thursday 4-2 timeline/gratitude~

It’s my birthday eve, and my husband woke me by telling me so.

I have been alternating sleeping hard and being restless/waking up in the middle of the night. Last night I slept hard. I prefer those nights. Getting off social media early in the evening is helpful.

Food is like the sleep, some days it is snack all day, some days it is forget to eat all day. Weird.

The sun just came out so I got outside and now I’m finally making lunch which I will take and eat out there too. Quinn is quull. He has been having me watch Vi Hart videos with him and some of them I have not watched so the one today called the science and math of frequency and pitch was like her version of my tide thing/rabbit hole/post/learning endeavor. Sine waves and graphing and math and such great stuff. He is always learning.

Brene Brown has a podcast and I am so grateful for her work and plan to listen to every one. This one on grief and finding meaning, and long spoons, was particularly moving.

Also grateful for friendship and this exchange from camp boss came at such a good time:

CB: I’m sure you have seen this article already… I saw it on a blog I really think you would like. the article kind of made me think of you/ something you might say.

MB: YES I did see it and appreciated it a lot. It is such a head game. one of the very first links NOAA leadership sent around was the article about how Isaac Newton developed theory of gravity while quarantined. Not helpful!!! Not for perfectionists anyway. Love you.

CB: I’m working on my first plasma laser so hide the cats!!!


CB: No dispersed bundles here!! It is ALL syncing as I wish it to be!!

MB: Oh yes everything is stellar here as well. Shipshape.

Grateful for good friends and humor. (Camp boss, I can’t find the Robin Williams video clip to reference, so send it my way if you can locate it!)

While I made dinner, I watched several you tube videos of different ways of making facemasks, including the vacuum cleaner bag method and the pocket mask that can accept a filter.

~Friday April 3 gratitude/timeline~

Rich woke me up with a snuggle and told me happy birthday right away – he always remembers before I do. Then he serenaded me first thing as I made coffee and breakfast.

In the morning, I spent an hour making face masks with pockets (organic knit cotton).

I worked on egg diameters after that, diligently until it was time to go. First I stopped by Arr place and picked up my bag of goodies I had ordered for birthday dessert. I put the ice creams into my cooler and went south to a wayside beach. I had a little time before Quinn would get there so I got out and wandered down the beach. It had been raining until ten minutes before I left the house, and now it was beautifully sunny and gorgeous, with a little wind.

Quinn and I had a wonderful walk for an hour and a half. We inspected tiny treasures in the sand, Quinn told me about things he has been thinking about, we peered into tidepools, he found a green worm, I found squid egg cases, we absorbed all the sunbeams.

The two treasures I brought home…

smooth round stone (as small as a world and as large as alone)

and a tiny, imperfect sand dollar.


So many treasures I just took pictures of, but these two came home. I wish I could have taken home the lanky teen treasure, but I just took pictures of him as well.

The origami yoda birthday card he made for me:

I went to Local Ocean and picked up our dock box for dinner. Receiving packaged food outside two buildings where I knew the actual person who had handled them felt much easier to deal with than going inside the grocery store.

A sweet friend made a socially distant no contact treat delivery.

Tuna kabobs and crab cakes for dinner that took only a little bit of effort to prepare. Rhubarb crisp with rhubarb and cinnamon ice cream for dessert. Whiskey and coke. A lovely evening. Really, I have had far worse birthdays than this shelter-in-place birthday. And now I am 42, the answer to life, the universe, and everything!

1 comment to ~thankful thursday~ a time to refrain from embracing

  • campboss

    sadly it looks like the overlords at youtube are blocking the video of Robin Williams! ;-( so it’s up to our less then stellar memory to keep it alive..!

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