at the start of april, time was seemingly standing still. the days were incredibly long. and it was hard to remember what day it actually was. we were still doing school. and arts and crafts. and dance. but the daily monotony was getting old.
i busted out some clearance crafts that i picked up when i ordered my easter sprinkle bounty. the girls had a blast painting mermaid and unicorn night lights. i made a rainbow. 🙂
once again, there was a LOT of baking in april. like. a lot. at one point, due to poor planning, i had 16 overripe bananas, so anna and i decided to make FOUR banana bread recipes. we cut them up in fourths and delivered a sampler pack to three different friends and kept the fourth for ourself. we made banana banana bread, sour cream banana bread (not shown), chocolate chip banana bread, and chocolate banana bread, which was hands down the favorite.
this picture gives a good view of the state of my kitchen during baking sessions. there’s been an increase in kitchen cleanup since quarantines began.
there were some cookies made. a massive pile of chocolate chip cookies by anna. and some researched gluten free peanut butter blossoms by isaac.
there were also many many mornings of full blown pancake/waffle breakfasts. anna would make regular pancakes for her and hazel. and isaac would make a batch of gluten free. double the mess. yippee!
out in the yard, there was a lot of work to be done. the big tree we had taken down in the back required hours of chainsawing and woodsplitting. and and firewood stacking. and small limb burning. we put all lidkids to work on this and even borrowed a cousin a few times for another set of hands.
with the weather warming up (mostly), we also spent a lot of time outside when we weren’t working to clear trees. the secret basketball court is less secret with all the new growth removed, so there’s a lot of basketball action. but when there’s bugs around (always), hazel prefers the safety of the indoors. and, derek bought ME a hammock. whether or not i ever get to use it, much less use it alone, remains to be seen.
meanwhile, in the front yard, my raised beds were completed, and the “last frost” date passed in mid april, and i was set to plant. but, after one rainy weekend, the very most sickening thing of all time happened. more leaves grew in on all the treetops, making my garden be pretty much full shade. we made the executive decision to have three of the seemingly most shade producing trees cut down (who needs all that money anyways), which seems to have improved the situation enough. it was time to plant.
there’s still not as much sun as i would like on the parts of the garden that most need the sun (all the tomatoes on in the long rectangular bed). hoping for the best, at this point, but next year i might have to do a better job with strategic planting.
and now. our most exciting news of the month. my friend victoria (of grandlidbom anniversary charcuterie board fame) needed to rehome her beloved, almost 2 year old, border collie, duke. we offered to give him a go at our house and instantly fell in love. he’s the sweetest snuggliest guy. and so so smart. he’s not exceptionally tolerant of hazel’s snuggles, because she’s been spoiled by ruby’s complete indifference to all things, but she’s learning to heed the warning grumbles.
duke and ruby started out fantastically. but, recently (maybe not in april, excuse the blog post title transgression), they were near the neighbors electric fence and/or donkey, and something happened and we heard yelping and they both ran back. we couldn’t figure out what happened to which one, but from that point on for a few days, duke was really aggressive towards ruby. like vicious. and relentless. and ruby was on high alert to stay away from him. and we were really worried we would have to give him back. but then one day, ruby backed him off and sort of stood up to him. and their friendly order seems to have returned. anyways. we are giving it a little longer to see if it seems to have shaken out. fingers crossed.
as you likely know, there’s no hair cuts in the time of the coronavirus. i almost took isaac on the day we got back from florida, but procrastinated and then it all went crazy. and so did his hair. so, we ordered ourselves some clippers, and went with an old school buzz cut. isaac hates it with a passion and even requested a hat for one of his zoom meetings.
in baby gerbil news, two of anna’s gerbils developed a respiratory infection (which i’m told is quite common and not related to covid). she had to quarantine them. and then my favorite one (that hazel is holding) died. :(. but two are doing well, and the one that is still in quarantine seems to be getting better or at least not dying. we are waiting for the second litter to be born (because that’s apparently a thing, two back-to-back litters), and then we will figure out what to do with this rodent infestation. my suggestion of releasing them in the woods is not an option, i guess.
on one particularly nice day, i was able to escape the house and take the dogs over to salem lake to go on a walk with my friend heather. the dogs did great. we walked for about two hours and they were exhausted. also, it was nice to talk to a real live other adult in person. we received a bit of social media flak for not wearing masks and not social distancing, which is lovely. and ruby barfed all over the back of my car on the ride home.
we haven’t seen much of the grandlidboms. we’ve tried to have a picnic every other week or so, and we’ve had several drop offs and pickups of various items. like banana bread. masks. eggs. etc. when they come for a picnic, we keep our distance and stay outside. and the lidkids put on a musical and/or dance performance.
it’s been awhile since we’ve seen my side of the fam in person. but, there’s always google duo and facetime. every now and then we even get to chat with my nephew holden. 🙂
and lastly, i’ll leave you with some ruby snuggles. i guess if we keep duke, the last little section of my monthly recaps will have to be ruby and duke. in fact, i realize he might actually be in the second pic.
and. that’s april in quarantine.
the month started off with the days being long and feeling endless and running together. i guess it still feels that way, but it’s the new normal and we’ve adjusted to it. just this week, some state parks have begun opening up, but i was hesitant to rush off with the masses to visit them. but, i’m hopeful that things are starting to change?