Archive for August 3rd, 2020

August 3, 2020

The beauty of boring

by Janie Jones

Hello all.

Well, the new blog was a bust.

After keeping it up for a few weeks I realized I had run out of things to say, and it lost its allure.  Besides, I got to thinking, no one really could be interested in such boring posts anyway.  I mean, if I am bored with it how could other people not be?

So, I am back here.  Sort of.  Just wanted everyone to know that all is well.  COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be a huge issue in my corner of the world, so far at least, and my summer has been busy with the normal, boring stuff of life.  Which, is not a complaint.  It is actually a pleasure.

I have a new summer job which I enjoy very much.  I have great co-workers.  It’s work from home with flexible hours for the most part.  I wish it was a permanent thing, but it is only temporary.

I have been continuing to work in tick monitoring and doing some Lyme outreach.  Our group has been asked to make a community outreach video about our work, and the bulk of this task has fallen to me to coordinate.  Parts of that have been fun, but time consuming.  This year I have trained up several undergraduates so we can monitor tick population and activity on a weekly basis, which has given us a much better data set.  Earlier on in July two undergraduates and I also built six tick traps which we plan to use bi-weekly or monthly.  The traps are actually working pretty well, but are a bit of a pain in the butt as you have to buy dry ice for them, and then they need to be carried around to various locations, left for about 18 hours and then they need to be gathered back up and inspected.  Nothing worth doing was ever easy.

I was supposed to be working on writing my thesis, but have been distracted by a great many things (obviously not by compulsive blogging, however) and have made little or, to be honest, no progress on that front.

Now I am anxiously waiting to hear whether COVID-19 will keep schools closed this fall in my neck of the woods and whether I will lose my graduate school funding.  Fingers crossed that life stays boring!!!

The spud has been summering with her dad and step mom.  Apparently they did a little road trip and the spud took horseback riding lessons and finished her basic SCUBA certification.  Yay spud!  She is going to be 16 this December, so learning to drive will likely be next summer’s activity; unless we tackle that during the school year.  While it is a bit scary to think I will have to turn over the car keys, on the other hand, I am greatly looking forward to not having to chauffeur her around to things as much.

Leif turned 50 this July.  We talked about how to celebrate, but in the end we just stayed at home and grilled rib eyes and corn on the cob and ate our weight in watermelon.  I also made a gigantic punch bowl full of potato salad and a cheesecake with Key lime curd  and homemade whip cream topping, which melted because it was stupid hot that day.  I can assure you, however, it tasted quite fine just the same.

Because I have been too lazy to dig out the air conditioner units and put them in the windows, this summer we have melted ourselves through an Aliens movie marathon, all three seasons of Stranger Things and the first two seasons of MI5.  Leif is hot and heavy into Sharpe, but although it is refreshing to see Sean Bean not die, I am take-it-or-leave it.

I planted three variety of tomatoes, a cucumber, celery, kale, Swiss chard and potatoes.  The Swiss chard is kicking butt, but the others are not harvest-able yet.  That said, they are growing well.  I am eagerly awaiting a few dozen tomatoes to finally turn red, and my cucumber is loaded with flowers.  My taste buds are tantalized.

So.  As you can see, nothing terribly exciting going on.  But then again, a normal, boring life does have some of it’s own advantages and comforts.

Hope if you have had an exciting summer it has been for all the best reasons and not due to side effects or direct effects of the pandemic.

Best,

Janie