Remembering the Shire February 28, 2022 4:11 AM   Subscribe

This is a hugely stressful time for everyone and I'd like to propose a thread in which we celebrate ordinary beautiful things and good moments - something not meant at all to diminish the terrible things happening but to be a small comforting place away from the doomscrolling and arguments and fear for those in, near and watching the war. (There is a great thread on ways to help Ukraine and for mefites directly affected as another positive place)
posted by dorothyisunderwood to MetaFilter-Related at 4:11 AM (81 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

We are heading towards spring in the northern Hemisphere - which means night falls slightly later and dawn is coming slightly earlier as the days go on.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:25 AM on February 28, 2022 [10 favorites]

I added a new cat litter box (smartsift) to our collection and all of my cats went nuts for it, probably because it's sandy litter rather than pellets.

I turned around from my desk at one point to quell some hissing and found out it was from the kittens and cats squabbling in a line waiting to get into the litter box. One was inside, two were waiting somewhat impatiently outside, and another was trying to cut into the queue.

It was so utterly ridiculously funny and surreal to see them lined up, like they were tiny people in cat suits at a supermarket about to argue over the price of fish.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 4:26 AM on February 28, 2022 [64 favorites]

I have a strong sense that I'm about to be offered a job contract (and concomitant job *security*) this afternoon. If not the full offer, then at least the very positive next steps towards one!
posted by jpziller at 4:28 AM on February 28, 2022 [13 favorites]

We took four foster cats in, back in September, from a neighborhood hoarding situation. They were in rough shape. After long slow progress, two of them graduated to the adoption center last month. The remaining two are improving, and we have taken to leaving the door to their room open so that our cats can interact with them, and to encourage them to explore. One of them, Cha Cha, has been taking us up on it for a few days, very cautiously but regularly poking around, but the other one, Grace, who was in the very worst shape upon arrival, has not.

When I woke up this morning, I saw Cha Cha trot out of my room upon hearing me move. No surprises there. But then Grace trotted away right behind her, which was a beautiful sight to see.
posted by notoriety public at 4:42 AM on February 28, 2022 [36 favorites]

I spent the trip to school with the kids playing songs that they liked on my phone. Listening to them sing along to showtunes or Encanto makes my aging theater kid heart happy. My one son with some real oppositional energy tells me that he loves "the flower song" because flowers make him happy and it makes me so fiercely proud of him that I could conquer the world. My other son likes "the song not in our language" and hums in mime-Spanish and says that he never wants to leave our casita. My daughter prances and sways to "We Don't Talk About Bruno" and adds Latin flourishes to the way she walks. Not bad for a trio of white kids between 6 and 7 who lost all their friends due to COVID lockdowns.
posted by gwydapllew at 6:04 AM on February 28, 2022 [10 favorites]

I finished my first sailing class yesterday and did very well on the water
posted by goalyeehah at 6:37 AM on February 28, 2022 [14 favorites]

My 2nd kid is starting to look like the fist pump kid
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 6:54 AM on February 28, 2022 [5 favorites]

I can swim a mile now.
posted by anshuman at 7:05 AM on February 28, 2022 [27 favorites]

I planted a bunch of stuff yesterday. An orange tree, a lot of little dragonfruit starts, a vanilla vine, and a couple of hoyas. They'll probably all freeze in the freak March coldsnap that is no doubt on the way, but at least now they have something of a chance, being out in the sunshine and the rain, not cooped up in my dismal house relying on me to remember they exist.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:22 AM on February 28, 2022 [7 favorites]

My daughter went from severe speech delay to chatterbox, and it's so exciting.

She even has a catchphrase.

"Fucking drivers, pooping at dinner."

Don't know what it means, but it sounds serious.
posted by champers at 7:33 AM on February 28, 2022 [47 favorites]

The Vlei had been declared open after months of being closed due to water quality problems. So I'm going to paddle my kayak with my friends on Thursday.
Yesterday we watched a murmuration (do you call it that with fish?) of baby fish being hunted by bigger fish. A swift cloud of them darting around in exact sequence and opening up around the hunters.
I've been meeting my husband on his way home from work, waiting on a small pedestrian bridge near the mouth of the Vlei.
I love standing and watching the fish graze in the weeds.
It reminds me of that bit near the end of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader when Lucy sees an underwater landscape from the ship, as if she's flying over it, with hills and forests, and the fish are grazing like deer below her.
That is a trippy book.
posted by Zumbador at 7:39 AM on February 28, 2022 [12 favorites]

I got a brighter front light for my bicycle, and it has brights like a car headlight, so when I'm coming home on a dark path at night in the rain I can see the road conditions better.

Also, now that I go to work in person, my cat appreciates me a little more and even enjoys some daily snuggles.
posted by cnidaria at 7:40 AM on February 28, 2022 [6 favorites]

Oh also now that I have a bicycle (with an electric assist -- I always had the bicycle but without the jetpack Seattle hills were just not happening for me) and I'm not driving my truck everywhere, I see all kinds of tiny magical things. So many bunnies. Eagle's nest. Night towboat pushing a single barge under the small bridge with just one dim light on the deck. Rowers on the water in the mornings. The tangles of wires for the buses/streetcars. I can stop and look at the mountains and sunset and the city. I feel human again. (Soggy, often, but human!)
posted by cnidaria at 7:43 AM on February 28, 2022 [19 favorites]

On the topic of bicycles.... A year ago I cut all artificial sugar out and added salt of my diet, and now I feel more fit than I have in thirty years. The Jekyll 500 I bought fifteen years ago and rarely used is now smeared with road salt and dirt from near daily winter rides, and is in dire need of adjustment and cleaning for Good Reasons.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:13 AM on February 28, 2022 [7 favorites]

I got some daffodils which always makes me feel like spring is around the corner, and after a week of stormy weather in England then a week indoors here with a cold (11 days sick!) we have some warmer weather in Paris.
posted by ellieBOA at 8:15 AM on February 28, 2022 [7 favorites]

There are teeny tiny buds on the roses and the hydrangeas. These are new plantings so it's good to see they survived the winter.

Fearful Cat let me pet him this morning :-)
posted by shiny blue object at 8:34 AM on February 28, 2022 [7 favorites]

Tomorrow is Mardi Gras, and I go a little hard on Mardi Gras up here in Brooklyn. Especially since I got the job offer to start here the day before I was about to head down for my 50th Birthday (which fell on Mardi Gras).

I ordered a king cake from Gambinos which came a week ago and has been sitting in the company freezer; I just moved it to one of the fridges in a little-used conference room to thaw a bit before tomorrow. I also ordered a couple of NOLA snack things to give away as the prize to the person who gets the slice with the baby. Everyone else will be pelted with beads that I've saved from two trips for precisely such a purpose.

And this will be precisely 2 years after my first day here - and it's probably the same day that my boss announces my promotion to the rest of the company.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:49 AM on February 28, 2022 [13 favorites]

I got engaged over the weekend to the woman I fell in love with 30 years ago in college and had lost touch with until this past fall.
posted by KingEdRa at 9:22 AM on February 28, 2022 [98 favorites]

Oh, tomorrow is Mardi Gras and I'll be in the office! I must bake today.
posted by suelac at 9:31 AM on February 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

My parents just came back from visiting some extended sorta-family that includes five kids ranging from nine to sixteen years old. It was a ski trip in Maine (they are locals). My dad did a full black diamond at nearly seventy years old, after four years of very troubling and now receding balance problems, grief, and a much older fear of heights. He used to be state level when he was in high school so it feels to him like he is somewhat back to form. Also, the sixteen year old evidently decided to ski the entire time wearing a banana costume over his suit, and subsequently became a sensation to everyone inside the lodge according to my mother. When they were leaving, a girl and her mom came up to him and told him they had composed a song about “the skiing banana man”. My parents, having had my depressed ass as a teenager, were baffled, and I had to explain that Kids These Days are all about a combination of earnestness and Dadaism.
posted by Mizu at 9:33 AM on February 28, 2022 [18 favorites]

I will be firing up the Eternal Sunshine of the Blue Hot Tub this week. Maybe it still holds water! Like the dog, it's often just me doing the work but I'm also the one getting the most out em. It's so lovely to be out walking the dog, I think about H is for Hawk, about the Rings of Saturn, or whatever I'm reading, and always about a world only she can smell. In the tub I drift and dream. Both are an excuse to be purposefully offline, to be outside my normal headspace. I spend so much time alone in my head that these feel like a totally different sort of time.

I also started the process to get a new therapist.
posted by zenon at 10:08 AM on February 28, 2022 [7 favorites]

Tomorrow is the first day of school. My son is starting 'media', kind of like high school, 4 years and in the same school he's been his whole life, so not a big change, but still. It means we have to start getting up early, bleh. But I think it'll be good for him, he's been a little depressed over the summer vacation, didn't get to see his friends as much as he'd've liked. Cases are going down in Chile, we had the omicron surge but are on the other side of the wave now.
It's still hot but not as much, so that's good. My wife was away for a few days in Buenos Aires and is coming back today. We all miss her, especially Naga, our codependent cat.
posted by signal at 10:20 AM on February 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

My wife was putting our toddler down for a nap, and he had just fallen asleep. She then took off his socks because the room was warm. He half woke up, asked for his socks to be reinstalled and immediately fell asleep again.
posted by duoshao at 11:18 AM on February 28, 2022 [9 favorites]

It was so utterly ridiculously funny and surreal to see them lined up, like they were tiny people in cat suits at a supermarket about to argue over the price of fish.

oh man is she writin a check?
posted by trillian at 11:20 AM on February 28, 2022 [16 favorites]

I solved the daily Octordle two days in a row. It's a tiny bright spot in the grand scheme of awful I'm dealing with right now, but it's mine.
posted by Mchelly at 11:51 AM on February 28, 2022 [5 favorites]

Turns out getting out for a walk early enough to see the sunrise every day is a wonderful thing. Watching the season changing has been a joy: sunrise creeping earlier (it's getting quite challenging now); different birds adding their voices to the chorus; the first of the blossom (cherry plum) starting slow and then suddenly, exuberantly, everywhere; catkins getting steadily bigger; and going the other way, the heavy crops of berries diminishing as the winter progressed and the birds discovered them. There are more skylarks singing every day, and somewhere nearby there's a great spotted woodpecker drumming for a mate. This morning I heard a yellowhammer! Yesterday, I watched two, three, four, FIVE buzzards circling high up above the fields and woods, flap-flap-glide.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 12:23 PM on February 28, 2022 [12 favorites]

1. I’m moving house tomorrow and never have to hear the voice or see the face of my bitch-eating-crackers housemate ever again. 2 pals are helping me move and it feels like community is real.
2. I saw three stags while on a walk today. They were just sitting down chilling, didn’t mind me at all. I guess this is a little moment of harmony before they start trying to kill each other in the rut.
3. Snowdrops, crocuses.
4. Cream teas
5. My New Nintendo Switch <3
posted by Balthamos at 1:34 PM on February 28, 2022 [12 favorites]

Today I added "bitch-eating-crackers" to my vocabulary.
posted by bz at 4:02 PM on February 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

My 12 year old, super sick and diagnosed with Crohn’s during peak-pandemic October 2020-is over 30 lbs heavier and 4” taller now and has much improved results at last week’s follow up colonoscopy. He’s classic impulsive 6th grade boy now, which is often a pain for him and for us, but much much better than a really really sick sixth grader. And he and his fellow extra nerdy video gamer Boy Scouts are
Planning a trip to the big scouting center in Switzerland in August (we are in the PNW of the US)-best thing? His troop was so successful with two years of Christmas tree pick up fundraising that the trip will cost each family….$50

And-please please please-we are heading to Italy with all three kids in just over two and a half weeks.

The last two years have been unrelentingly shifty in so many ways that it’s hard to get excited but km sure trying.
posted by purenitrous at 4:03 PM on February 28, 2022 [12 favorites]

We are having a good time in Kitchener so far. It turns out Kitchener (at least, the part I live in) is kind of...nicer than Hamilton in ways I was not expecting - quieter! less traffic! charming, walkable neighborhoods! I get to take the ION to work everyday and so far it hasn't lost its novelty. Also yesterday while waiting for the bus I saw a mouse tunneling through a snow bank, so.
posted by janepanic at 4:33 PM on February 28, 2022 [6 favorites]

My cat is really social (to the point where we have a dear friend sleep over when she cat sits) and after a week away, he has spent every moment we are around glued to us. It’s a major tripping hazard, but the effort he is putting into trying to touch one, or both of us at the same time is currently adorable. We keep finding ourselves herded together by a tiny belligerent aging fluffball. Cats man, they are excellent.
posted by larthegreat at 5:15 PM on February 28, 2022 [18 favorites]

The massive floods we've been experiencing here are receding, the sun is out and the world outside my window looks like a much brighter place today than it did yesterday.
posted by dg at 6:42 PM on February 28, 2022 [4 favorites]

The owners of a local fancy golf club donated 75 acres of river front property to a land trust in the name of the original inhabitants for their use to put in canoes - they are trying to re-establish their canoeing culture. #landback
You just don't know how much this warms my heart.
posted by cda at 6:49 PM on February 28, 2022 [20 favorites]

We got 11-speed chains in at work (ugh ongoing bike parts supply issues), and I put one of them on my winter commuter bike, which has been taking a beating from all the road salt. Next up: new brake rotors and pads!

My bike commute is basically the only thing that makes city living bearable. Even when there’s an icy wind in my face in the morning.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:14 PM on February 28, 2022 [4 favorites]

Also yesterday while waiting for the bus I saw a mouse tunneling through a snow bank, so.

Oh! I would love to see that. A field mouse sat on my foot, yesterday. Very briefly. I looked at it, and it * popped * out of existence like a cartoon character.

Actually field mice are very like cartoon characters. We have a tile floor, and they will startle and run on the spot for a moment, tiny feet slip slipping, before they get traction and bolt away.
It's an effective strategy because it makes me laugh so much I have no hope of catching them.
posted by Zumbador at 7:35 PM on February 28, 2022 [7 favorites]

My future sister-in-law is expecting a baby in early May. It was after a long fertility struggle and multiple rounds of IVF, and everyone in their family is so excited to meet the little one.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 7:48 PM on February 28, 2022 [12 favorites]

My PhD student just successfully defended his thesis yesterday! It's been quite a a journey, and the pandemic made things so much more difficult than normal. It's a relief!
posted by dhruva at 5:12 AM on March 1, 2022 [14 favorites]

After more than a decade of work, I just received my official offer letter to be a tenure-track assistant professor at a major research university. A lifelong dream.
posted by Lutoslawski at 8:15 AM on March 1, 2022 [38 favorites]

I got my cookies made, and brought them to the office to share for Mardi Gras. If anyone cares, it's this recipe for homemade hobnobs from Bon Appetit. They are sweet and salty and buttery and oatmealy and generally excellent. And very easy to make!
posted by suelac at 8:35 AM on March 1, 2022 [4 favorites]

My daughter Maggie made it to Korea and encountered a few bumps along the way that made the 7-day quarantine period for inbound travelers more challenging than she was expecting, but as of about 2 hours ago she's officially free to exit her little 6x8 hostel room.
posted by drlith at 8:36 AM on March 1, 2022 [5 favorites]

Sometimes it gets very quiet at home. The dogs are sleeping on the couch. The parakeet is chirping to himself. So very peaceful. I wish I could send this calm to everyone.
posted by Splunge at 1:48 PM on March 1, 2022 [12 favorites]

Some little moments of joy:

babyfeet the second, yet to emerge, has started to move and kick. Tried to encourage Littlefeet to feel
the other day by saying "the baby is kicking!" She gasped and seriously said "no kick, baby". A very funny moment because she has been told off for kicking recently.

Our pumpkins are growing!

One of the cats we visit in the street behind us has forgiven Littlefeet and is trying to be friends again after the unfortunate tail pulling? Stepping? Squashing? incident (I glanced away for a second to take a photo). Pats for everyone.
posted by freethefeet at 5:36 PM on March 1, 2022 [9 favorites]

I somehow managed to make one single King cake last an entire day in an office filled with 75 people, and the guy who found the piece with the baby in it was the really new guy for whom it was only his second day.

And I found a delivery option for po'-boys and am using the "I just had physical therapy" excuse to indulge.

I also handed out beads from my stash and people were walking around with beads all day through the whole office. I kind of like being a sort of agent of fun.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:42 PM on March 1, 2022 [11 favorites]

Spring. Migrating birds. The thing I look forward to most every year aside from familial milestones.
posted by mollweide at 6:51 PM on March 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

A spectacularly gorgeous day here, lucky to be alive and walking and smiling in the sunshine. February was pretty much chill and wet and gloom and I matched it, been looking to March 1 with hope, and it's come and now it's going but it was damn sure fine to get out and into.

I had a check for $664.04 that I've been carrying around a few weeks, being all February about it, not to mention that I'd lost my drivers license debit card insurance card. I had an extra insurance card so no problem.

I needed to get a new drivers license anyways because I turned 67 and my vision is hosed, but Friday when I went and got it the day was almost over, the clerk and I got to messing around and teasing and flirting and somehow, even though I could not see those last two lines hardly at all, somehow I told her that "Hey, look, I can see those lines with my reading glasses on!" and she went with me, and I don't need to be strapped to glasses for another five years. I have no idea how I was able to see them with those readers on, as they are for close, like my computer screen maybe, part of it I'm sure was that I had sortof leaned way over her desk.

I went to get the debit card today and "Holy dogshit! One of those freebie 15 minute parking lanes! Hurray!. but then it turned out I had to go to another branch. I got the new debit card, deposited $600.04 into my account then took the $64 dollars in fresh, clean two dollar bills, which are such fun to tip with. (People just *love* two dollar bills, you'd be surprised how many ppl had no idea that there was such a thing, lots of smiles and happiness, turns a two or four dollar tip into more than it costs me, a simple thing to make it fun.)

The past week and esp yesterday and today I was getting about a hundred million annoyance calls and text messages; I've found that it's really fun to tell the person or text them if it's a text, tell them that every election season I'm a one issue voter, that I tally up both parties, and whichever party sends me the most text and calls me the most, I tell them I vote straight party line against whoever hassled me most. It's particularly fun when it's some person that is A True Believer, one woman maybe ten years ago, I swear she was about to have a stroke, she's all like "You cannot do this! You must not do this!" I told her that I damn sure can do it and I damn sure will; it really rocked her to her foundations. I wish I had it on tape, it was something. I don't do it of course, ever since Trump I'd sooner burn down a church than vote for anyone with an "R" after their name...
posted by dancestoblue at 6:55 PM on March 1, 2022 [9 favorites]

I ordered two Ukrainian cookbooks, and I am excited to learn from them. I find no harm in learning more about a country that is currently under invasion. (I also donated to charities helping Ukraine).

My friend has a very cuddly cat, and I get to catsit for him next week, which makes me happy.

I am also happy for the warmer weather in Seattle.

Dinner was church pancakes, for Shrove Tuesday. I haven't had pancakes since before the Pandemic, and those pancakes? They tasted GOOOOOOOD. Completely worth it to attend.

Last but not least - I seem to be finally getting better from my Long Covid, somehow. I am less fatigued overall, and my brain seems to be much more 'online' during the day - especially at work. Which is great, as work has ramped up a lot, but I can keeping up.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:14 PM on March 1, 2022 [5 favorites]

I have a bird feeder on my bedroom window - a platform suction-cupped to the window. It usually needs to be refilled daily, and I sit there after refilling it when I get up and chill out for an hour with coffee before starting to get ready for work.

Usually the mourning doves are the most frequent customers, and they're bullies - I got a smaller tube feeder for the smaller birds so they're okay, but I worried a bit about other birds (I've seen a blue jay and a couple cardinals). But - a couple weeks ago the male cardinal figured out my basic routine and I think he's started watching my window in the morning, and now invariably he is my first customer at the feeder, so every morning about ten minutes into my coffee I hear a soft "thud" at the feeder and then hey, there's a gorgeous red cardinal sitting there, about six feet away from me on the other side of the window, joining me for breakfast.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:38 AM on March 2, 2022 [5 favorites]

hey bz you might want to be mindful of that phrase - it's got a history.
posted by zenon at 9:17 AM on March 2, 2022

(spoiler the "history" is it's got the word bitch in it, that's it, that's the entire context)
posted by phunniemee at 11:48 AM on March 2, 2022 [6 favorites]

My happy news is I finally got the yard velociraptor I've wanted for ages, and she celebrated her first holiday yesterday.
posted by phunniemee at 11:50 AM on March 2, 2022 [9 favorites]

There are frogs singing in every ditch, creek, slough and puddle right now and it might be one of my favorite sounds in all the world.
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:22 PM on March 2, 2022 [7 favorites]

All the cats I've ever lived with loved to hang with me in the bathroom. Except Baby Goat, the cat who has been with me three years. Day before yesterday he came in the bathroom, accepted one pet, then left. Yesterday he came in for one pet, turned around to leave then came back for one more pet. Today he stayed with me and let me pet him the whole time! He is a super shy cat so small steps are a big thing with him. It makes me happy to see more trust from this wee tim’rous beastie.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 1:13 PM on March 2, 2022 [6 favorites]

phunniemee I really thought your "yard velociraptor" was going to be a particularly intimidating chicken -- but no. It is, in fact, a velociraptor. <3
posted by cnidaria at 1:44 PM on March 2, 2022 [5 favorites]

Growing up, the Tooth Fairy - aka our grandfather - always sent us two dollar bills (or "TWOTH DOLLAR BILLS or "TWO SMACKEROOS") (the Tooth Fairy always wrote in ALL CAPS to show it was REALLY HER). We tried continuing the tradition with my son, but he insisted that they weren't real money and didn't want anything to do with them. Two dollar bills are the best!
posted by Mchelly at 2:04 PM on March 2, 2022 [2 favorites]

Just hearing a story about the Woz made me smile.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 2:08 PM on March 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

One of the first families I babysat for, the across the street neighbors, paid me exclusively in $2 bills and Susan B Anthony dollars. At the time I was like wow this is neat, and now in retrospect I can't help but think maybe the parents' insistence on aLwAyS bEiNg SuPeR qUiRkY is probably why their kid habitually pissed in the potted plants like a recalcitrant cat.
posted by phunniemee at 2:40 PM on March 2, 2022 [7 favorites]

I think the term you are looking for is MeFi's own stevewoz.
posted by biffa at 3:11 PM on March 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

Well, when it's not raining two inches a day here of late, it is nice to go out outside. Inside, among other things, I follow Pee Wee Herman on Facebook. Who, among other things, likes potty mouth babies , well, babies in general and dancing kindergartners. You want a brief break from our common awful reality? He has no shortage of good moments.
posted by y2karl at 3:20 PM on March 2, 2022

I was randomly viewing some tweets about NFT's when I came across this tweet about

Your Doodle(s) will be exchanged with a Space Doodle, and if you sell your Space Doodle you are also selling your original Doodle.

I don't know what the kids are doing running around selling their doodles all willy-nilly like. But it made me laugh and laugh. And what a space doodle is I'm wily enough not to ask.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 4:49 PM on March 2, 2022

So, today I went to the dentist for the first time in (ahem, ergh, OMG) 3 years, fully expecting to be pronounced a dental catastrophe... but instead, it looks like my teeth are all in great shape! (He was particularly impressed with the length of my tooth roots; "You really don't see something like that very often," and I am pleased my teeth seem unlikely to fall out any time soon.)This is a new-to-me dentist, since I moved in the past 3 years, and everything about the visit was low-stress and pleasant -- and then I discovered that he'd done both his undergrad and DDS at the Univ. of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, where I lived/worked for decades, and then there was a lot of "Oh, hey, do you remember--" and I found out as an undergrad he used to do pizza delivery for Davanni's, at a time when I ordered a LOT of Davanni's, and hence he had almost certainly delivered pizza to me at least once. . .

Yes, much more pleasant than I'd expected from a dentist visit.
posted by Kat Allison at 5:31 PM on March 2, 2022 [8 favorites]

I had a work training/meeting day today, and a lot of things are changing, but I am cautiously optimistic.

On the way there, I heard a woodpecker, and have started seeing and hearing a lot more birds in general. Yay spring!
posted by cozenedindigo at 7:09 PM on March 2, 2022 [2 favorites]

Kat Allison: I am also visiting the dentist soon after a similar lapse and I'm hoping I now have the same luck....

I was at the doctors' today for similar reasons (I originally called to just get someone to give me an eye test to renew my drivers' license, but they said "uh, we haven't seen you since 2017 so we need to do a bit more than that...."). I have already been putting off using the home colon screening test the doctor sent me 2 years ago, because getting the sample was going to be a little acrobatic as it was and then 3 days after I got the test I broke my knee, and I called the doctor and said "well there is NO WAY I would be able to use this with my entire leg in a cast, so you'll have to wait on it."

But the nurse who was tending to me most was a young guy who laughed at all my jokes, cracked a few himself, and was a delight - he laughed at my story about the colonoscopy screening woes, and then stepped out of the room for a moment and then returned and slipped me a couple things he'd nicked to help me get that done easier. He also gave me the easiest blood draw I've ever had. And we BOTH went into hysterics when he asked about whether I wanted an HIV test, and I asked "would I really need one if the last time I had sex was during the Obama administration?" (I got it anyway, it was negative.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:53 PM on March 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

At the moment there are field mice living in my backyard. Unfortunately they have started coming into my house which is not great as they tend to make nests in my towel drawer.
Not a big problem. They aren't like normal domestic mice, they don't reproduce nearly as much, and despite their habit of creating cozy spots for themselves by ripping into my towels, they spend most of their time outside.
When they start coming inside, I catch them and release them to a nearby nature reserve where they are at least they are safe from cats and poison and people.
(They are indigenous to the area and should have at least a chance of surviving there).
They are easier to catch than domestic grey mice. Much slower and sort of chilled out as if they've smoked something.
More than once I've felt one walking over my bare feet as I sit at my desk, and twice now one has snuggled up under the blanket I'm resting my head on, a small warm lump under my cheek.
Something magical about a wild animal choosing to be close to me.
I used to catch them by hand but I think that stresses them out too much so I got some humane traps.
Yesterday one actually went into the trap and had the most divine peanut butter meal of its life, but when I went to look it teleported out of the trap.
Turns out there's a mouse-sized gap just above the entrance. I've blocked the gap now. Maybe I'll have better luck today and catch the little bugger.
They are not safe in my backyard. At least 3 different neighbourhood cats come hunting for them there.
posted by Zumbador at 9:02 PM on March 2, 2022 [5 favorites]

One of the crows that come by periodically for walnuts (happily scattered for them) has learned to say "hello" back to us. She came by today for a protracted and chatty visit.
posted by emmet at 5:25 PM on March 3, 2022 [11 favorites]

The Big Bear bald eagle live cam is up and an egg has hatched!!! I am beyond excite and this will be what’s on my monitor when I’m home. Unless there’s a bike race to watch.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:26 PM on March 3, 2022 [3 favorites]

Tonight on the bus I had another experience that looked like it might turn out bad but wound up being entirely nice. (This is the same bus I've celebrated here before.)

I boarded and sat across from a guy who was clearly experiencing things other people couldn't see. He was clapping his hands and rocking and occasionally arguing with a voice. Then he started slapping his head and making noises. Then he got up and very thoroughly searched the underside of the seats, looking for something. (Hidden microphones?) Then he started dancing. He kept getting up and dancing, then sitting down and rocking and moaning, then getting up and dancing again.

And. . . everybody on the bus was cool about it. The driver was friendly to him. The other passengers didn't mess with him. People went out of their way to walk around him. (I did have to stifle a giggle when the 20 year old guy three seats back briefly started dancing along in sync outside of his view. Not in a mean way, I think.) Then his stop came up, and he recognized it and went off about his business and everyone just watched him go. It would be better if there were resources to help him deal with his problems; but, I was impressed that nobody made it worse.

I remain amazed at how chill this city is. Especially in spaces where I'm the only white person. San Francisco, where I lived for years, has a reputation for accepting weirdness. But, I don't think it competes with South Chicago. If you visit and want to see what the city's really like, ride the 4 along its whole route after 10pm. You'll see people who are suffering. (I've sat next to someone with hospital wrist bands wearing only a patterned, fitted sheet. Nobody fucked with him either. I hope he made it to somewhere safe.) But, you'll also see real kindness, and delightful kids, and awkward 70 year olds asking each other out, and giddy high school students headed for an adventure. There's shitty stuff and mean people here too, of course, but I remain surprised by just how kind and tolerant most people are. The complete disconnect between the way the city is portrayed in the media and the reality I see is astonishing.
posted by eotvos at 10:43 PM on March 3, 2022 [11 favorites]

Thanks for that eagle live cam! Right now not much is happening, except the eagle occasionally shifting to a better sleeping position, but somehow watching an eagle with a head tucked under its wing is making me feel like yes, now would be a good time to sleep.
posted by nat at 11:10 PM on March 3, 2022 [2 favorites]

The songs are still coming. I think some of them might be good.
posted by aesop at 4:35 AM on March 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

My wife's first crop of seedlings are poking their bright green heads through the soil under the kitchen grow light. There are tomatoes and some species of Alcea, and probably others that I don't know about. They will live in the kitchen for a while, some of them transplanted into bigger pots as they grow, before ending up in the garden or greenhouse in the summer. As they did last year, and probably again next year.
posted by Harald74 at 5:46 AM on March 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

The Steve Miller Band made some trippy music, here and there, in their day. Song naming was pretty wonderful, and one name I am remembering this morning is, "The Beauty of the Time, Is That It is Snowing." Where I am, the beauty of this time is that it is raining. So Cal, the fruit, vegetable, and nut basket of 1/6 th of the world needs this, and I am so happy to hear it tapping, it is planting season! ♡♡♡Earth, I love you!
posted by Oyéah at 7:17 AM on March 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

eotvos - that was a lovely reminder of my time working at City of Chicago Public services buildings on the west and south sides.
posted by zenon at 9:49 AM on March 4, 2022

Everyone in art class liked my drawing yesterday.

Doesn't sound like much, but only six months ago I was terrified of drawing anything and tearful in class, afraid of doing something 'wrong.' Now I look at things and think about drawing or painting them all the time.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 10:02 AM on March 4, 2022 [13 favorites]

[Just to be clear, reading over my post above, I should have said "south side Chicago" not "South Chicago." That's also a place. But, not one I know about.]
posted by eotvos at 11:51 AM on March 4, 2022

Happily making my first Ukrainian soup recipe - mushroom, lentil, and carrot soup with dill. I even got sour cream for it.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:49 PM on March 4, 2022 [3 favorites]

Spinifex: recipe please?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:22 PM on March 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

It's a rough recipe made of things I had around the house, but here goes!

2 cups dried lentils
A few carrots, chopped
A few dried shiitake mushrooms - you can use any dried; this is what I had.
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/2 to 1 white onion
Any other vegetable you want to throw in
Sunflower seed oil
Vegetable broth - I use the 'Better than Bullion' stuff. Can also be meat broth, if you're not making it vegetarian.
Dill, either fresh or dried
Sour cream (optional)

BEFORE COOKING: Rinse, and then soak the shiitake mushrooms well, in clean water. This can take from 30 minutes to 10 hours. Save the water after you remove the mushrooms.


1. Wash the dried lentils well.

2. Cut up the carrots, onion and garlic into small pieces.

3. Put the carrots, onion, garlic, mushrooms, and lentils into a crockpot, with the mushroom soaking water. If there's not enough water, add more - it should be a couple of inches above the height of the lentils + vegetables. You can use vegetable or meat stock in place of the additional water here, but the mushroom water is mandatory.

If you have other veggies that take a long time to cook, like cabbage or potatoes? They'd also go in here.

4. Add some vegetable broth, if you're using cubed, powdered, or paste bullion.

5. Cook on either high or low, until the lentils and carrots are cooked through.

6. If you have veggies that don't require a lot of cooking, like spinach or peas, add them now.

7. Add salt, black pepper, and dill to taste.

8. Serve with sour cream.
posted by spinifex23 at 7:22 PM on March 4, 2022 [2 favorites]

Forgot to add - you can put in the oil early on in the process. You can even saute the onion and garlic in the oil; I didn't do that though.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:08 PM on March 5, 2022

I got a Wordle hole-in-one today! I try to start with a different word each day, and I almost passed over this one, but well 🤷🏻‍♀️

Wordle 259 1/6

posted by invokeuse at 6:00 PM on March 5, 2022 [8 favorites]

I am catsitting this week, and so far? It is delightful.
posted by spinifex23 at 2:26 PM on March 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

I got a bit of a health/dietary wakeup call recently, and started doing a deep dive into recipes that would help me bring things to rights - and just discovered something that looks like, and so far tastes like, THE PERFECT BREAKFAST FOR BUSY PEOPLE. It's a make-ahead thing; a combination of 3 different grains (oats, quinoa and millet), cooked together and then mixed with blueberries and nuts, and lightly laced with yogurt, lemon juice and maple syrup. And then you sling it in the fridge, and it can happily live there, either in one big bowl that you serve yourself from every morning or in little portable containers that you can shove in your bag on your way out the door. And it can be microwaved or left cold.

And - y'all, it is DELICIOUS. I had a nibble while I was stuffing it into the portable containers and I very nearly ate some right there.

And the thing I just ate with chicken and sweet potato over cilantro-lime rice was no slouch for dinner tonight either.

(I am apparently a cat, I am motivated by food.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:20 PM on March 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

Empress, that chicken sweet potato recipe is one of my go tos! I usually do it with yogurt instead of sour cream and it's even better.
posted by cakelite at 7:37 AM on March 7, 2022

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