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On the Bright Side

After venting my anger at the man who thinks it's okay to gas peaceful protesters and a priest out of her own church to take a photo last week and watching protests intensify, devolve into riots (possibly perpetrated by far-right instigators and otherwise opportunistic white folks, like this guy with a bow and arrow), and be escalated by absolutely unnecessary police brutality, I thought it'd be good to focus on the positive stuff today.
Uplifting Protest News Firstly, in positive protest news, it's important to note that most of the protests are, in fact, peaceful, and the majority of police are trying their best to keep the peace. Of particular note are several instances of police walking with protesters such as in Flint and in New Jersey (showcasing a proper example of deescalation and how to serve and protect). Likewise, there are examples cropping up of peaceful protesters turning rioters over to police to prevent escalation by outsiders.
See? We can all get along.
Uplift…
Recent posts

Y’all Went Ahead and Made Things Worse

It's not polite to say "I told you so" so I'll instead quote a movie called Fight Club and say "I am Jack's complete lack of surprise."
I was really hoping that my first post after my vacation could just be about how fun and relaxing it was to be off-the-grid and with my family among the beauty of nature, but given that this is a COVID-19 blog I'd be remiss not to mention all the crap that's been going on lately. But for those of you just curious to see how I'm doing in my personal life, I'll start with that and label the COVID-19 news for you to skip or read afterward at your leisure.
Getting Away Really Helps I'm pretty sure I covered this a few times before, but it's really healthy to take a break from the news and chaos going on around us once in a while. I was fortunate enough to do so over the course of a week with my in-laws at their cottage in the middle of nowhere of Michigan's upper peninsula.
Being without internet and…

Getting Away for a Week

We had a pretty big weekend, by which I mean we had a pretty big Saturday and then it's been raining constantly ever since. On Saturday I made two trips to the dump for free mulch, my partner finished putting together our new flower garden (aside from a few touches we hope to add later).
Then we planted vegetables in our newly expanded garden on the side of the house.
Followed by similarly planting a few final vegetables and herbs in our repurposed garden beds in the back of the house.
Somehow during all of this we also managed to have fun with our daughter, who herself managed to be productive by helping us do some digging.
It was honestly one of the most fun days I've had in a while, which was definitely needed after all the crazy stuff going on right now. While Sunday wasn't quite as exciting, my partner did manage to paint another hallway of the house while I enjoyed some quality father-daughter time, which was great!
Furthermore, since we'll be going on a week-long vac…

This Isn't Going To End Well, Is It?

So after Texas loosened restrictions and allowed businesses to reopen in some capacity, they saw their biggest daily increase of positive cases of COVID-19. Then, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down our governor's stay-at-home order and now people are flocking back out to public places without being mindful of wearing masks or keeping a safe distance from each other.
I wonder what this could possibly lead to, and what the trend as a whole says about us as a nation.
On the bright side, I know I talk about the weather a lot, but it looks like it's FINALLY going to be warming up for good. In fact, the last frost of the year has finally passed, so my partner and I celebrated by planting some stuff in our new corner flower garden in the front of the house.
And you can bet your butt that we're looking forward to more walks, hikes, and everything else outdoors. In fact, we also purchased a child carrier backpack for us to take our daughter with us on hikes, which we'll likel…

Wisconsin is (Kind of) Easing Restrictions

It feels poetic that shortly after my previous post reiterated how bad an idea it is to relax self-isolation efforts, my home state of Wisconsin reported experiencing two weeks of sustained decline of new COVID-19 cases and subsequently the relaxation of restrictions on some businesses. For the most part nothing is changing, but small retail stores may now reopen for in-person shopping of up to five customers at a time with social distancing practices.
Of course, the fact that newly-reported cases are back down to below 200 per day for the first time since April 27th is a good thing and evidence that efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 are working. I'm just personally not sold on the idea that loosening restrictions is the best response to this development. That said, the extent to which restrictions have been loosened is so incredibly small that I can't help but wonder if this is just our governor's way of trying to keep his political opponents and the folks protesti…

Self-Isolation Day 49: Is This Almost Over or Do We Just Really Wish It Was?

Hope is a double-edged sword. It can help get us through difficult times, but it can also lure us into a false sense of security.
Some states are reopening. Some organizations have already set dates for their employees to return to the office despite the effectiveness and safety of remote work. Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the US continues to climb with the tally currently at 1,219,066 confirmed cases and 73,297 confirmed deaths. I'd like to remind you again that each of those over 70 thousand deaths was a human being with a job, friends, and a family who cared about them but was unable to be at their side when they passed on. This isn't something we've won. This isn't something to celebrate. People are dead and continuing to die of this disease. This is an ongoing tragedy.
Of course I want to believe things are getting better. I want to believe that we've got this thing under control, but I want that to be true more than I want to believe it…

A Weekend Full of Dirt

My three-day weekend was full of dirt. Lots and lots of dirt. Free dirt, expensive dirt, and dirt from my own property.

First on Saturday, I made three trips to the local dump to load up on free dirt to fill in the rest of our expanded garden beds. Then my partner and I went to the hardware store to pick up some nutrient-rich dirt to mix in with the free dirt, as well as pick up some other supplies like seeds, plants, and wood chunks for smoking meat. Personally, that was enough dirt and physical labor for a whole weekend, but then on Sunday I spent a big chunk of the day digging up the grass and dirt in a corner of our front yard that we want to transform into a flower garden. I then spent a part of my Monday off transplanting the sod I'd dug up onto a bare patch in our back yard.

Unfortunately, none of this is actually listed on our Quarantine Projects list so I don't get the satisfaction of checking it off as complete. Oh well!

I also went on the offense with some hornets t…