Dandelions: 1, Mark: 0

Bye-Bye, Arrows

I went grocery shopping yesterday without a mask for the first time in over a year. It was both liberating and weird. Funny how something so unnatural becomes the new norm.

About half the shoppers were still masked up. I trust the CDC and have been following their guidelines all along, so I had no problem leaving my mask in the car. Tara is still wearing hers. Not sure if that’s due to an overabundance of caution or simply the fact that old habits die hard, but to each their own. I’ve always said when it comes to COVID-19, everybody has a different comfort level and you have to respect all opinions.

Except the anti-vaxxers, of course.

The best thing about my grocery shopping experience? This:

No more one-way arrows! Not that anybody ever paid attention to them anyway. Except for me, of course. I’m no scofflaw.

No More Jeans

Further evidence that things are returning to normal? Our offices at work are reopening to the public next week after being closed for 14 months. This shouldn’t impact me too greatly; we don’t have any walk-in customer traffic at my location. The biggest change will be unlocking our doors and letting the UPS guy just walk on in.

That and wardrobe. Because CenturyCo has been off-limits to the public, they have allowed us to wear jeans every day. Normally that’s a Friday-only policy. I haven’t worked anywhere that’s required more formal attire in years, so I’m going to have to make a trip to the mall this week to pick up some slacks. Nothing too fancy; some khakis and Dockers will suffice. Kind of overkill in my opinion, seeing that I’m holed up in an office all day long with no customer contact. And even if I did come face-to-face with the general population, this is South Dakota. Half the state consists of ranchers, who probably don’t own anything but blue jeans!

Oh, well. In the overall scheme of things it’s no big deal. I’m still counting my blessings to have landed such a great job.

I’m hoping this relaxing of the rules means I’ll be able to go out into the field and interview people in-person again. Phone interviews are fine, but I’ve been itching to get out of the office more.

Last week’s virtual conference was…well, I’ll just say, not exactly riveting. But I did learn about a handy headline analyzer that I have already put to good use, so there was at least one positive takeaway from the whole thing.

I’ve got another online commitment this week, but this one should be far more interesting. It’s a writing workshop called Mastering the Art of Storytelling. Now, that’s something I can use! It’s two hours a day, 11-1, Monday through Friday. Which overlaps the lunch hour, but I’ll just go late. Last week I had to work through my lunches, but I did end up with overtime for my sacrifice.

Everything’s Growing Like Weeds. Even Weeds.

This weekend has been pretty productive. Tara is finishing up the raised garden beds and should finally be able to get some things planted. I did a shit ton of weeding, which has left me sore in places that, quite frankly, should never be sore. No rest for the weary, though; I’ve gotta mow the lawn this afternoon. We’ve had some occasional rain (still not enough; we’re way below normal for the month) and, with sunshine and warmer temps, the grass is growing like weeds. Err…like grass blades.

So too are the dandelions. I attacked them with vigor last year, but had finally come to terms with ’em this time and was ready to let them grow naturally. No sooner had I adopted this new live-and-let-live philosophy than Tara decided she didn’t want us to be those neighbors whose yard was the only one on the block with dandelions, so I’ve capitulated (fun word; I don’t use it often enough) and am once again pulling them out as quickly as they grow. Which is often twice a day, no exaggeration.

Case in point: yesterday, I spent a solid hour yanking up every single dandelion in the yard. Front and back. Woke up this morning and counted eight new ones in the front yard and 13 in the back. It’s like they’re mocking me or something. I want to go out there and yell, “Stop stop growing already, or I’ll turn the whole lot of you into wine!” Threaten them into submission, if you will.

Work, work, work. But we did enjoy a perfectly normal Saturday evening for the first time in a month. For us, this means hanging out in the basement with all our groovy lava lamps on. Listening to records, playing cards, and enjoying adult beverages.

That was one close game, by the way. I narrowly pulled off the victory, but it came down to the very last hand.

Best kind of game, if you ask me…

27 thoughts on “Dandelions: 1, Mark: 0

  1. Is the handy headline analyzer an online thing? Can you share more?
    Hubs and I love playing cards too. I had a notebook that held all our scores in tight little numbers (of which there were MANY). After a flight, during which he was in charge of the notebook, it mysteriously got left behind. This was years ago. I still jokingly give him a hard time about that, saying he was trying to hide the evidence of my higher win rate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s online through CoSchedule. The link is on my work computer…I’ll try to remember to share that with you tomorrow. Then again, we both see how well I’ve remembered to update y’all on Subway Dude.

      Tara and I are pretty even when it comes to our card games. That notebook is close to full, and leafing through it, I’d say we both have about a 50% winning ratio.


  2. Our lawn is too massive to ever come close to winning the dandelion war. Plus.. our neighbors think they’re lovely and encourage the growth. Someday I’m just going to say to hell with it and make wine. That being said, I feel I could sit happily for hours pawing through your vinyl collection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just watched the Curb episode where Larry and Jerry talk about “Having said that…”

      If I had a lawn like yours, I’m pretty sure I’d let anything and everything grow there as it pleased!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m going to be one of those cautious folk who don’t abandon the mask at this point. Does that mean I have trust issues or is reality telling me that even those who are not vaccinated are going to jump in with both feet on the No-more-mask bandwagon. A healthcare job means I’m still wearing a mask anyway so I see no rush… Tara’s beds look amazing. Can’t wait to see what they produce.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s awesome about the store. I guess our mandate is being lifted in June, but I suspect some stores will still require masks. We ate inside a restaurant for the first time on the 8th and have now gone two more times. It was definitely a weird feeling at first, but now it’s like we never left! Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Around here everyone is still wearing masks when shopping. I’m surprised because this is a red county so you’d think it’d be a hot time in the old town tonight. But caution prevails. As for no jeans at work, that sucks. My condolences.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ugh. The masks. I don’t like wearing them, but I do like not having had a cold in over a year! I was reading a fascinating article about the battle over what’s described as airborne and how the CDC/ medical profession got it wrong for years because of tuberculosis.

    Basically, the small size of tuberculosis (5 microns) became a definition for airborne. COVID and influenza are bigger and were thus defined as droplets and not aerosols (as they should have been).

    So technically tuberculosis is still killing people. But with COVID.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard a lot of people are choosing to keep wearing masks because they’ve enjoyed not getting colds. That’s not a bad reason! I very rarely get sick anyway (knock on wood), so it wouldn’t be much incentive for me.

      That’s very interesting to learn about tuberculosis. I had no idea!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A few days ago I went into one store unmasked and, while nobody gave me the stink eye or anything, I felt kinda weird. Fortunately it was just a quick return at the front desk and I was outta there. I may have masked up if I had needed to go into the bowels of the store. As you say: old habits die hard.

    Dandelions are so tricky. It’s nearly impossible to get the whole taproot out, but the few times that I’ve managed to, it’s so rewarding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the CDC is saying the latest studies show there is little to no risk of even transmitting the virus. Who knows? Seems like our knowledge is mutating as quickly as the virus itself.


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